The Best Binoculars For Astronomy & Stargazing Reviews & Buying Guide
- 1 The Best Binoculars For Astronomy & Stargazing Reviews & Buying Guide
- 1.1 Our Top Astronomy Binoculars! –
- 1.2 The Omegon Binoculars Nightstar 20+40×100 Triplet (Editor’s Choice)
- 1.3 Our Final Judgement – Which Binoculars Are The Best For Astronomy?
- 1.4 What To Look For In The Top Astronomy Binoculars (Buying Guide)
- 1.5 What’s the Difference Between Roof Prisms & Porro Prisms?
- 1.6 Best Features To Consider In Your Binoculars
- 1.7 Astronomy Binoculars VS Telescopes
- 1.8 How To Use Astronomy Binoculars
- 1.9 How To Maintain & Clean Your Binoculars
- 1.10 What Else Can You Use Astronomy Binocular Models For?
- 1.11 FAQs
- 1.12 Our #1 Binoculars For Astronomy
Binoculars are becoming a popular alternative to telescopes due to their portability and growing power, allowing them to become the perfect optical aid for astronomy viewing.
Stargazing with a pair of binoculars allows you to have a wide field of view when looking at the night sky, due to high image quality this can make you feel closer and give an even better view than a telescope.
However, there are lots of different high-end binoculars for stargazing on the market, with various features such as; magnification, the field of view and exit pupil, making it difficult to know which model is the best.
To help you out, we have decided to round up the best astronomy binoculars out there and compared them to find the best astronomy binoculars for the night sky.
Our Top Astronomy Binoculars! –
The Omegon Binoculars Nightstar 20+40×100 Triplet (Editor’s Choice)
These Omegon astronomy binoculars come with a 100mm objective lens diameter and have a three-dimensional viewing system. There are also two eyepieces included where you can choose either 20x/40x magnification.
Feature-wise the best astronomy binoculars have two 100mm apertures for better light and can be used with various 1.25-inch eyepieces. The binoculars lenses are additionally fully multi-coated.
The design of these astronomy binoculars has a wide field of view with adjustable eye distance and a single focusing system which allows you to adjust focus on each separate lens.
There is also an eye relief of 18.00mm, making it better for people who want to observe the night sky with glasses. Additional acessories of these binoculars are its splash-proof casing and carrier.
Overall, these astronomy binoculars by Omegon are one of the best binoculars on our list.
It’s 100mm objective lenses allow for excellent optical quality and light when viewing the stars, along with its two magnification abilities and three-dimensional effect, which will enable you to see stars up close.
This model is additionally great as it can be connected directly to a tripod adaptor and be used as a telescope if your hands are prone to shaking.
Some negatives of these Omegon astronomy binoculars have to be there instruction booklet which is said to be complicated to read. The binoculars additionally might be a little heavy to hold when stargazing.
- 100mm objective lenses allow for better light.
- Single focus adjustment per lens.
- 20x/40x magnification.
- Can be used with any 1.25-inch eyepieces.
- Fully multi-coated lenses.
- No instruction booklet.
- Heavy to hold when stargazing.
- High price.
- Not waterproof.
Our Second Choice – Nikon MONARCH 5 16×56 Binoculars
If you are looking for an affordable pair of astronomy binoculars, it could be worth checking out this Nikon pair. The binoculars feature a 16x magnification with a 56mm objective lens.
The binoculars notably come with ED glass for less chromatic aberration and have a prism multi-coated lens system for less reflection and better image quality. The lens additionally has phase-correction too.
Design-wise the astronomy binoculars have a waterproof fog-free construction which allows you to use the model in all-weather conditions. The binocular is also very simple to operate due to its twist type dioptre ring and turn/slide rubber eyecups.
Further features of this best Nikon model are; its easy-grip rubber housing, 19.5mm eye relief, flip-down objectives lenses cap and TRA-3 tripod adaptor.
These astronomy binoculars by Nikon are a good choice if you are looking for a pair of astronomy binoculars on a budget. It has high magnification with a wide field picture meaning better star gazing, the material itself is also extremely durable and long-lasting.
Additionally, these binoculars boast high image quality when compared to other models due to there ED glass and multi-coated lenses.
Some downfalls of these astronomy binoculars have to be their poor casing and lens cover which are said to be badly designed. The binoculars are also reported to be very heavy to hold.
- Powerful magnification with a wide field of view.
- ED glass reduces chromatic aberration.
- Weather-proof design.
- Straightforward to use.
- High-quality image.
- Poor casing.
- Bad eyepiece and lens covers.
Barska Waterproof Cosmos Binoculars
These Barska waterproof binoculars come as either 20x80mm or 25x100mm and have a 157/52 field of view.
Notable features of this model are its Porro prism build and multi-coated lenses, the binoculars additionally have 15.4 eye relief system, allowing you to view the night sky easier if you have glasses.
This astronomy binoculars design has an aluminium body. It is entirely waterproof and fog proof, the binoculars are suited to viewing celestial objects and can perform well in low-light conditions.
Lastly, the binoculars are also tripod adaptable and come with a carrying case.
The Barska Cosmo giant binoculars genuinely are great value for money and would not let you down if your looking for a low-price binocular that can help you view celestial objects.
These large objective lens allows for much better light and image quality, meaning you can get a much better picture quality of the moon and stars.
Downfalls of these astronomy giant binoculars have to be its weight which is said to be too heavy and can’t be used without a tripod; this means these binoculars are less portable than others.
- Very affordable price.
- 15.4 eye relief.
- High-quality image.
- 100mm objective lens.
- Performs well in low-light.
- Heavyweight which needs to be supported by a tripod.
Steiner SkyHawk 4.0 Binoculars 10×42
The Steiner SkyHawk comes with 10x magnification and has a 42mm objective lenses diameter. It’s can also close-up focus of around 2m.
Main features of these binoculars are high optical quality and 108m field of view; its design additionally is filled with nitrogen to stop the binoculars from fogging up in humid conditions.
This Steiner binocular design is made out of polycarbonate housing and is protected against water up to 3m. It additionally has a large focusing wheel that can be rotated 360 degrees.
Notable extras of these binoculars are; an included carry strap, protective flap and rain cover.
To conclude, these binoculars by Steiner are a great budget option for some high-quality field of view.
This binocular model can be used with any tripod adapter and could be great for astronomy thanks to its 10x magnification.
Some downfalls of the binoculars are its small objective lenses which may let less light in when viewing the image, the eyepieces for the binoculars are also reported to be too long.
So overall, this model could potentially be better for bird watching than astronomy.
- 10x magnification.
- 2m focus level.
- 108m field of view.
- Waterproof up to 3m.
- Can be used with any tripod adapter.
- Small objective lenses.
- Less suited to astronomy.
- Very long eyepieces.
Praktica 10 x 42 mm Waterproof Ambassador Binoculars
This Praktica pair of binoculars features a 10x magnification with a 42 objective lenses diameter.
Significant specifications of these binoculars are their multi-coated lenses and phase-corrected prisms which comes with ED glass. The model additionally has an 8.1-degree range of view at 342ft and can be used with any tripod adapter.
Design-wise the binoculars by Praktica are easy to grip and have a magnesium chassis to make the binoculars waterproof, the models also feature 17.8mm eye relief and twist-up eyecups, making it easier to use with glasses.
Extra acessories of these binoculars are; a padded neck strap, lens cleaning cloth and lens cap.
The Praktica waterproof astronomy binoculars are one of the best budget binouclars on our list thanks to its wide field of view and high magnification level.
This design additionally features ED glass and multi-coated lenses, which make the image quality much more high end when compared with other astronomy binoculars for sale.
However, these binoculars do have some negatives. For example, the objective lens size is a little small, and the weight is also a little heavy meaning you may need to use the binoculars with a tripod.
- Affordable price with high magnification.
- Wide-angle view.
- Can be used with any tripod adapter.
- Extra acessories included.
- Multi-coated lens.
- Small objective lens.
Our Final Judgement – Which Binoculars Are The Best For Astronomy?
Overall, to conclude, the top binoculars for astronomy on our list have to be the Omegon Binoculars Nightstar 20+40×100 Model.
These binouclars compared to others have a high objective lenses diameter which makes it outstanding in terms of light, followed by its individual focusing system for each lens, making it great for high image quality.
The binoculars are also the best due to their versatility which allows them to be used with any 1.25-inch eyepiece.
However, as this model is expensive we also suggest a more affordable alternative which is the Nikon MONARCH 5 16×56 Binoculars, these binoculars are great thanks to their ED glass and multi-coated lenses which reduces colour distortion when viewing the moon or stargazing.
What To Look For In The Top Astronomy Binoculars (Buying Guide)
After comparing the best binocular models out there for astronomy, you might be still be torn between buying a telescope or the best pair of binoculars.
There are also several features you need to consider in your best astronomy binocular.
We’ve put together an extensive buying guide below to help you out –
What’s the Difference Between Roof Prisms & Porro Prisms?
You’ve likely been wondering what big deal is between a Roof prism binocular and Porro prism binocular.
Well, both models can help you see the night sky clearer but have their pros and cons.
Roof prism binoculars are the newer kind of binoculars on the market and tend to be more streamlined, making them easier to hold and much more compact.
They additionally come waterproof and have a more powerful magnification, making them suited for more close-up, professional use to look at the moon or stars.
On the other hand, however, roof prism models tend to be less suited for sky viewing due to their small field of view; these models are also much more expensive.
- Compact and light-weight.
- Better magnification with the lens.
- A small field of view.
- Smaller objective lenses.
Porro prisms style binoculars are much more common and affordable.
They are good for stargazing viewing thanks to their wider field of view and ability to mount on nearly any tripod for steady stargazing.
These models also tend to perform well in low light thanks to their wider field and larger objective lenses.
Although, on the other hand, these Porro prism styles do have lower magnification and use a heavier weight, which can be tiring to hold without a tripod.
They also have a less durable design which means you need to take greater care when using Porro prism binoculars.
- Wider field of view.
- Larger objective lenses which mean better light.
- Less durable design.
- Lower-powered lens.
- Heavier weight.
Best Features To Consider In Your Binoculars
There are some essential features to think about before investing in an expensive pair of binoculars.
For stargazing, in particular, you should be considering your binoculars magnification, objective lenses, exit pupil and coated lenses.
We’ve listed out further essential features to look for in the best model below –
- Magnification level – The magnification level you choose is down to personal preference. If you are looking for a wider field of view, then you should go for a lower magnification level. However, if you prefer seeing things up close, then look for a higher one.
- Type of prism – Porro prisms tend to be more common and widely used in binocular for sale; these models have high contrast and sharper image quality. You can also choose Roof prims, which are good for minimising light loss and having a brighter image in your binoculars.
- Objective lenses and aperture – Larger objective lenses and aperture allows the image you see to be brighter; this improves the overall image quality of what your seeing, whether the moon or star clusters.
- Eye relief – This feature is essential if you wear glasses, you need to get a long eye relief with twist-up eyecups if you use glasses, a small eye relief will cut off the image you see and ruin your wide field of view.
- Exit pupil – The exit pupil in your astronomy binoculars should be between 5mm and 9mm to prevent seeing too dark of an image.
- Coated lenses – Having fully multi-coated lenses on your model is the best way to ensure high image quality as it prevents you from losing too much light in your binoculars, giving a better view as a result.
- Durability – Check out the overall durability of your binoculars, are they easy-grip and do they have an ergonomic design?
- Focusing system – This system should be very straightforward to use, the last thing you want when stargazing is to spend hours sorting out your focus, look for a large focusing ring to help you out.
- Weight – Now, when using giant binoculars, you want a model that you can hold for a long time without getting tired. However, you should also consider looking for models that can be used with a tripod adapter; this will allow you to stargaze for longer and keep the binoculars stable.
Astronomy Binoculars VS Telescopes
If you are looking at binoculars for astronomy, you’ve likely come across the ideas of using a telescope too.
Both types of optical aids can produce high-quality images of the night sky; however, the question is – which ones the best?
Using binoculars for astronomy viewing can be a great experience, as these devices allow you to use two eyes for more up-close viewing, you can even connect constellations and find star clusters.
Binoculars additionally give a larger range of view and can be used for viewing the moon as long it has a larger aperture and objective lenses.
However, binoculars do have some drawbacks for astronomy, for example, they can become shaky if used without a tripod, they also provide less magnification which means you might not be able to see celestial objects in as great detail as you would with a telescope.
- Real-life image quality.
- Large field of view.
- Bad stabilisation if used with no tripod adapter.
- Less magnification.
- Can be hard to focus with compared to a telescope.
Telescopes are one of the most popular ways to observe the night sky and the moon.
They allow you to have a steady image thanks to their tripod set-up and can help you get very close and focused on a single object in the sky.
On the other hand, telescopes are much less portable than binoculars and have a limited field of view, meaning you can see fewer patterns in the sky. You can lose light in your image too due to the high magnification.
- Stable for viewing.
- Good magnification for single objects.
- Better focus and image quality close-up.
- Not as portable as binos.
- You may lose light with more magnification.
- Limited range of view.
Overall, if you are looking for a portable way to see the night sky and still get a high-quality light image, then a good pair of astronomy binoculars is probably your best option.
If you want something more set-up however and are more interested in magnification than a range of view and portability, go for a telescope.
How To Use Astronomy Binoculars
Using the best pair of binoculars is pretty simple; however, there a few steps by steps and tricks that are worth reading through so as you can get the most out of your binoculars.
When setting up your binoculars viewing you should choose a good location outside with minimal light disturbances if you are using a tripod its also a good idea to get this set-up.
Make sure to set your eyepieces and neck strap before stargazing.
Focus your binoculars
To focus your binos, all you need to do is close one eye and keep the one open with the Diopter dial. Move this dial till the image is focused in your eye.
Repeat the steps for the other eye until you can see clearly through your binocular with both eyes.
It’s a useful idea to lock this setting as you will be using it every time you go stargazing.
When using your best binoculars, you want to be comfortable, and still, the best way to do this is with a tripod.
However, you can additionally try sitting in a recliner seat so as you can rest your arms on your chest or try leaning against something if you don’t have a tripod.
How To Maintain & Clean Your Binoculars
Binoculars, in general, are expensive pieces of equipment if you choose a high-quality model; nevertheless, they are even more costly as they will likely have more magnification or a larger objective lenses design to see the night sky.
So to keep these devices new it’s crucial we clean and maintain them correctly, we’ve listed out our top maintenance and care tips below to help you out –
- Use the neck strap and case – Perhaps one of the most overlooked ways to care for your binoculars is by using the case, this will prevent dust building up and keep your lenses protected at all times. Always use the neck strap too as this prevents you from accidentally dropping your binoculars!
- Fold-down your eyecups – After extending your eyecups, you should put them back to avoid any damage or tearing of them.
- Don’t forget the lens covers – Always put your lens cover back on after using your binoculars, you would be surprised how easily these lenses can get scratched and impact your image quality.
- Wipe them down with the correct cleaning items – Never use anything to wipe your lenses down with that could potentially scratch, use a lens cleaning cloth or micro-fibre cloth for the best result.
- Never leave them in direct sunlight – Leaving your binoculars in the sun is not a good idea as it can cause damage to the internal function of the binoculars.
- Use a blower brush – For taking off dust and debris, a blow brush will be your best friend as they can take away small particles of dust around your lens without having to make contact with it.
What Else Can You Use Astronomy Binocular Models For?
When buying your astronomy binoculars, there are many other activities you can you use them for which you may not have considered.
From bird watching to watching live performances, you’ll be surprised at what other activities your binoculars can do.
Binoculars are most commonly used for bird watching as they can help you identify different kinds of bird from a far distance and spot rare species.
Any kind of binoculars with an 8x/10x magnification is perfect for this activity as its more about the range of view.
Watching live performances
There’s nothing worse than getting the back row at an expensive concert, so using binoculars is a perfect solution to help you see what’s going on more clearly.
Due to binouclars having multi-coated lenses, this stops you from losing light when watching performances so you can even use your binoculars in low light situations.
If you’re lucky enough to go on safari or love spotting wildlife around your local area, binoculars can help you find these animals even in low light thanks to there high apertures.
Did you know you can use binoculars to extend your smartphone’s camera? Just align your camera up to one of the eyepieces for zooming and then adjust till the image quality is focused.
What magnification should I look for in these binoculars?
Magnification of at least 10x will be enough to see the moon and stars, anything above that will be a little challenging to stabilise and unnecessarily expensive.
Which binocular is best for seeing the moon?
A significant number to look for if you want binoculars to see the moon is 10 x 50 binoculars. These will give you an x10 magnification and 50mm objective lenses size, which should be more than enough for bringing enough light and magnification to see the moon clearly.
Do my binoculars need to be waterproof?
This depends on the activities you want to do, if you plan to be around water now and then, it’s worth making sure your binoculars have a waterproof specification.
Can I use my astronomy binoculars for other activities?
Yes, you can use your binocular for many activities such as bird watching and wildlife spotting, not just astronomy.
Does the size of objective lenses matter?
A larger objective lens will mean a lighter image can be seen through the binoculars; however, this additionally means more weight for your binoculars.
What is the exit pupil, and why does it matter?
An exit pupil is a virtual aperture in a binocular model; they are usually the circles in the middle of your binocular lenses.
Exit pupils are essential as they determine the amount of light that reaches your eye; this is especially crucial in low-light situations.
There no point of your exit pupil being over 7mm as this is more light than the human eye can perceive.
You can calculate your exit pupil by dividing the objectives lenses measurement by the magnification power of your binoculars.
Should I have lens coatings?
Lens coatings are ideal to have on your binoculars as they allow your lenses to lose less light and produce a higher-quality image.
Are telescopes better for astronomy or binoculars?
Both are very good for getting a close-up focused image of the stars, planets and moon.
However, telescopes are preferred over binoculars due to their higher magnification which can show celestial objects much better than binoculars.
On the other hand, binoculars are better for looking at constellations in the sky and are much more portable than telescopes.
Do binoculars work in low light situations?
Yes, just make sure your model has larger objective lenses and a large aperture.
Why does ease of focus matter in binoculars?
Ease of focus matters as you don’t want to see something interesting then miss it because your binoculars take too long to focus, the dial should be big and comfortable to grip so as you can avoid these problems.
Is it necessary to have image stabilisation in my binoculars?
This depends on your model, its power and its weight.
If you want high magnefication binoculars of 12x and above then your binoculars must have in image stabilisation, otherwise, all you see will see is shaky hand movements.
One hack for this, however, is to use a tripod to steady the binoculars but then again, this limits your movements.
How do I clean my binoculars?
You should clean your binoculars by using a blower and a lens cleaning cloth or pen.
Never use anything to clean your binoculars that could potentially scratch them, and always blow before wiping to remove any debris that could irritate your binoculars lenses.
Can I use my binoculars for stargazing?
Yes, as long as you model has an 8x-10x magnification you can use it’s for stargazing, matter of fact, they are very portable and can be used for stargazing anywhere.
Why do some models say they are nitrogen-filled?
Binoculars are nitrogen-filled to avoid fog building up inside the binoculars during humid conditions. This additionally makes them waterproof as it stops moisture from getting inside the model.
Can I use a tripod with my binoculars?
Yes, most heavy binoculars are adaptable to be used with any kind of tripod which can help steady them, especially when using them for astronomy.
Is it possible to see planets with a binocular?
You can see some planets with your binocular. For example, you can see Saturn but not the ring, you can also see Jupiter.
The only planets you might struggle seeing are the ones furthest away from the sun.
How much do the best binoculars typically cost?
Binoculars for seeing the night sky can cost anything from £400-£1500 and above depending on the quality and power of the binoculars.
What is the difference between multi-coated and fully multi-coated lenses?
Fully multi-coated lenses refer to lenses that are coated entirely and lose little to no light when being viewed through binoculars, multi-coated are similar but not as effective as fully multi-coated lenses.
You should look for fully multi-coated lenses, especially if you are going to be using your binoculars for astrology to prevent losing out on any light.
Can I use binoculars if I wear glasses?
Yes, you can use binoculars if you use glasses. If you are short or farsighted you can even use your binoculars without glasses and adjust them to correct your vision.
If you want to keep wearing your glasses while using your binoculars make sure your model has a long eye relief of above 15mm, this should allow enough space for your glasses without cutting off any of the image shown in the binos.
What can I use to steady my binos instead of a tripod?
You can try leaning against something while using your binoculars or resting on a recliner and putting your elbows down onto your chest; this will help to support the weight of the binoculars.
Our #1 Binoculars For Astronomy
To round up our article, the number one binoculars for astronomy on our list is the Omegon Binoculars Nightstar 20+40×100 Model.
We recommend this binoculars model due to its versatility to be used with any 1.25-inch eyepiece and high magnification power which allows you to see planets and starts easily.
As a more affordable runner up we also recommend the Nikon MONARCH 5 16×56 Binoculars, due to their ED glass and fully multi-coated lenses which helps to produce a higher quality image when looking through your binoculars.
- Many 1.25 inch standard eyepieces can be used as desired.
- Multi-coated optical surfaces.
- Very good field sharpness.
- Eyepieces can be focused individually.
- Eye distance can be adjusted exactly.