Best Binoculars for Stargazing: See the Cosmos in a New Light
Locate stars, planets, and more in the cosmos with these high-quality stargazing binoculars
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PUBLISHED ON October 15, 2019
Charting the stars is a fun way to spend the evening if you have the right gear to do so. While you could get a telescope, they can be expensive and bulky. Instead, you can opt for a good pair of stargazing binoculars to help you see the stars. They are designed to allow you to see the sky more clearly and brightly and are lightweight and easy to use. Here are the best stargazing binoculars to consider for checking out the cosmos.
- Best OverallCelestron 20x80 SkyMaster Pro High Power Astronomy BinocularsSummarySummaryThese waterproof binoculars feature large 80mm objective lenses with a 20mm magnification lens that greatly filters light to allow you to see the stars.ProsProsThey include a comfortable and large eyepiece for a wider field of view. They provide a clear view of outer space and make images stand out sharply in the viewfinder.ConsConsTheir high magnification makes them wobble a lot if held in your hands, and the image may have a slight yellow coloration.
- Best ValueGosky 10x42 Roof Prism BinocularsSummarySummaryThey come with a powerful 10x magnification and 42mm objective lens for better visibility of space.ProsProsThe glass is made out of a multi-layer green coat. The binoculars include a smartphone mount so that you can see the image of a planet on your screen. Compact and easy to carry.ConsConsThey are on the heavy side, the phone attachment can be a hassle to understand, and the eyepiece is on the smaller side.
- Honorable MentionOrion Scenix Wide 7.1 Degree Field 1,000 Yard Linear View BinocularsSummarySummaryThese large-lensed stargazing binoculars include a 7x magnification with a 50mm objective lens for better light filtration.ProsProsThey are lightweight and extremely portable, provide a pristine and clear image of the stars, and filter light evenly for a sharp image. Made out of strong and durable metal. Function well with glasses.ConsConsThe protective lens caps can come loose and fall off in the case. The magnification isn’t the highest.
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Benefits of Binoculars for Stargazing
- Further vision. Binoculars are designed to allow you to see images and objects that are far away. While our eyes can see long-distance (up to three miles), the glass lenses of binoculars focus our vision and allow us to see as much as 12 miles away.
- See more details. We may be able to spot an object that is far away by just looking with our eyes, but it won’t be in focus. For example, we can see stars with the naked eye, but binoculars allow us to see larger and brighter star clusters.
- Brighter vision. The lenses of binoculars allow light to filter through them. This helps to brighten the image in the viewfinder, so we get a brighter view.
Types of Binoculars for Stargazing
These are some of the most common types of binoculars. Porro describes the specific prism designed inside the device. They are commonly used by nature photographers or safari enthusiasts. Porro binoculars filter in more light to make objects stand out.
Roof-style prism binoculars are generally much more narrow than Porro-style binoculars. This is because the glass is side by side instead of askew like Porro binoculars. They are more dependable and tougher and can see further and more clearly. However, this makes them more expensive.
Started by Tom Johnson in Torrance, Calif., this company manufactures and designs telescopes, binoculars, microscopes, and accessories. It was founded in 1964 as Celestron Pacific, and it created the first large-scale commercially manufactured telescope called the Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. It also designed the Celestron 20x80 SkyMaster Pro High Power Astronomy Binocular.
The company first began selling binoculars in 1975 as Orion Telescopes and Binoculars. It is headquartered out of the Monterey Bay area in California. It is focused on designing both telescopes and binoculars that are built to help amateur and veteran astronomers study stars, planets, and space. It is responsible for creating one of the best astronomy binoculars on our list, the Orion Scenix Wide 7.1 Degree Field 1,000 Yard Linear View Binoculars.
Binoculars for Stargazing Pricing
- $50-$100: Stargazing binoculars in this price range are great for beginners or those just starting out. They feature a powerful field of vision, and their lenses may be smaller and more lightweight.
- $100 and up: Here you will find binoculars with wider lenses, thicker glass, and an improved field of vision. They are generally more robust because of the thick frames. They will let you see further and more clearly.
To better view stars and planets, consider stargazing binoculars with a larger objective lens. Larger glass sizes means it will filter more light, brightening objects in the viewfinder. The lens is measured in millimeters and can range from 30mm to 80mm and higher. The second number is the size of the objective lens and determines how much light passes through the glass. A larger lens means more light will pass through, giving you a brighter image.
Binoculars with higher magnification allow you to see objects that are further away more clearly.The magnification is one of the most important factors when it comes to binoculars. It tells you just how far the binoculars magnify the object in the viewfinder. For instance, the first number of 10x50 means the binoculars have a max magnification of 10. If you combine the magnification with the objective lens size, you will get the binoculars exit pupil, or how much light is filtered through the lens.
The eyecup should be soft and made out of a dense yet soft rubber material. You will look through them for long periods of time, so they should be comfortable on your face. You should be able to swap out the cups for larger ones. This can help make sure people with glasses are able to see properly through the binoculars as well.
- Design: The design depends on what you will be using them for. If you just use them in your yard to gaze at the stars, then they don’t need to be robust or heavy duty. However, if you travel around to use the stargazing binoculars, consider a sturdier pair.
- Tripod Adapter: Stargazing requires a steady hand, and you may want to consider a tripod adapter to help you see better. It steadies the binoculars so they don’t wobble around when you hold them with your hands.
Best Binoculars for Stargazing Reviews & Recommendations 2019
As our top pick for the best stargazing binoculars, the Celestron SkyMaster Pros are sturdy, stylish, and sleek looking. They feature a tough and dependable Porro prism with a large 80mm objective lenses and a 20mm magnification lens. This allows them to filter light in a way so you can see the stars more clearly and precisely.
Their adventurous and rugged design includes a comfortable and large eyepiece to provide you with a wide field of view. Plus, the binoculars provide a clear view of outer space and make images stand out sharply in the viewfinder. You can also use them in the rain as they are waterproof as well.
However, you will find some aspects of these binoculars that aren’t stellar. Due to their high magnification, you will have to hold them steady to get a better view. They tend to wobble if you hold them in your hands. Another issue is the image may have a slight yellow coloration.
Best Value: Gosky 10x42 Roof Prism Binoculars
The Gosky Roof Prism Binoculars are another good product. These strong binoculars come with a powerful 10x magnification and 42mm objective lens for better visibility of space. One of the best things about them is that they are built with a roof prism that makes them more compact.
One interesting feature of these particular binoculars is that the glass is made out of a multi-layer green coat. This boosts their performance and makes them a bit tougher. Another great addition to these binoculars is their included smartphone mount. This allows you to easily set up the binoculars without constantly looking through the viewfinder.
One thing to note about these is that they are a little cumbersome. While not necessarily heavy, they might feel a bit robust in your hand. Another issue involves the phone attachment. The device can be a hassle to understand at first. Plus, the eyepiece is on the smaller side.
Honorable Mention: Orion Scenix Wide 7.1 Degree Field 1,000 Yard Linear View Binoculars
For binoculars named after a constellation, these are excellent to use for peering up at the stars. They feature large lenses that boast a 7x magnification lens as well as a 50mm objective lens for better light filtration. They also include high-quality BAK-4 Porro prisms and multi-coated lenses for crisper images.
One benefit is its lightweight and extremely portable design. Their lens design provides a pristine and clear image of the stars and filters light evenly for a sharp image. Other high points are the strong and durable metal casing that reduces the chances of them getting scratched or broken if dropped. They also function well with glasses and work well in low light.
You will find a few issues with these binoculars, however. The first involves protective lens caps. They feel flimsy and can come loose quite easily and fall off in the case. Plus, you may have noticed their magnification is on the lower side; however, the objective lens helps to counterbalance the low number.
- If you wear eyeglasses but have a pair of binoculars with a smaller eyepiece, you may be able to swap out the eyecups for larger and more comfortable ones.
- If you want to view the moon through stargazing binoculars, it is best to do this at twilight to reduce the amount of glare from the moon.
- To help you locate planets and certain stars, consult a star map or chart online or use a smartphone app.
Q: What can I do to avoid or reduce binoculars from shaking?
A: While binoculars are meant to be viewed with your hands, you can also attach them to a tripod. This will give them more support and reduce shaking or vibrations.
Q: How can I best view planets and stars with binoculars?
A: To get the best result and see more stars, planets, and moons, go to an area where there is little to no light pollution. The less light around you, the more you will be able to see.
Q: What does the objective lens on binoculars do?
A: The objective lens gathers light from the object you are viewing and focuses light rays to produce the image clearly. For stargazing, it is best to get a pair of binoculars with a higher objective lens so you can focus on the stars or planet more efficiently.
For a great set of stargazing binoculars, consider the Celestron 20x80 SkyMaster Pro High Power Astronomy Binoculars for their powerful objective lens that will help you focus on stars and planets. There are also the Gosky 10x42 Roof Prism Binoculars, which are less expensive and provide you with a clear and sharp image of the sky.