Stargazing with Binoculars!

Stargazing made easy?  (That depends.)

Sometimes we don't want to set up an elaborate contraption involving power supplies, alignments, and large equipment.  Or one person is hogging the telescope, and we want to see too.  Finally, what if we want to get into the hobby of Astronomy and start with the basics?

Things that should be considered when choosing binoculars for stargazing:

-All binoculars are the same.  Choose what works best for you.  This means that what you use for Stargazing can be used for birdwatching as well.  While some models are marketed for one purpose, they can be used for general use as well.

-Stargazing while holding binoculars is easy as long as they are small enough.  Large binoculars may be very appealing "on paper", but when put into use, can be quite a challenge!  

-Choosing large binoculars that are not easily handheld requires not just any tripod...but one that will allow us to point up without neck pain.  How?  A parallelogram.   This special mount will allow you to point UP at the sky on an angle that is conducive to Stargazing.  Think about it:  A regular camera tripod pointing up at the sky with binoculars on it will leave you laying down or sitting at an uncomfortable angle.  

So what are the rules of choosing the right pair?

There are no rules!  We recommend choosing lightweight, wide angle (so you see more sky at once) and up to approx. 50mm objectives in order to get the light collection we want, the compactness we need, and the comfort level required for longer observing sessions.  The same physics applies to binoculars for light collection as it does for telescopes:  The larger the light collection, the more can be seen. 

What are some examples?

Look for 7x50 or 10x50 models.  Going over the 10X range can be quite challenging to hold steadily for longer periods, which will result in eye strain.  If you get a chance, try out some different models, as it is better for you to determine what you are steady with.  

Example 1 Celestron Outland series 10x50  ($202)

They are affordable, and offer a decent 5.6 degree field of view.  They are light for the size!  

Celestron Outland X 10x50 - KW Telescope

Example 2  Celestron SkyMaster 7x50ED ($259)

These are light and high quality, with extra low dispersion glass and a large field of view at 7.8 degrees.  They are also affordable! 

Celestron SkyMaster Pro ED 7x50mm Porro Binoculars (

What are the limitations to using binoculars, and why would you want to consider starting with a telescope?

Limitations are: 

1.  Less light collection based on smaller diameter objectives, resulting in less detail to be observed.

2.  Less magnification than a telescope can reach, resulting in very small and less detailed views of objects such as the Planets.

3.  Larger binoculars require a stable mount, which is expensive and not as portable!

Want to try out some different models?  Come to our storefront and see our selection! 

2024 May 24th

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