Astronomy Binoculars - Great Alternative

Astronomy Binoculars - Great Alternative

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It seems that from the moment you start to take your love of astronomy seriously, all you can think of is what kind of telescope you are going to get. And without a doubt, investing in a good telescope can really enhance the enjoyment of your new passion for astronomy. But don't be too hasty to follow the big wigs at the astronomy club that has advanced telescopes. There are other alternatives that can give you most of the advantages of a telescope and some extra flexibility and reduce your boot costs.

That alternative is good astronomical binoculars. For the most part we think of binoculars as the stuff you go to watch football matches when you have to sit in a cheap chair. But if you do some homework and have a good understanding of what your stargazing is for, the advantages of astronomical binoculars over entry-level telescopes can be very convincing.

  • Usually, they are cheaper. So, you can get a lot of good stargazing for a lot less investment. You can always spend more money later but for now, this might be the perfect solution for you.
  • There are not many accessories. Owning and operating a telescope requires a lot of orientation on how to set up and use the device. Also, tuning it up for optimal viewing and diagnosing it when you have a problem can sometimes make the telescope more excited than observing the star itself.
  • Much easier to use. If you haven't bought a telescope, you've probably seen telescope owners go through grueling setups and break the discipline for every use. This is the time when they don't look at the stars. Binoculars users happily observe the stars as this progresses.
  • The binoculars are lightweight and portable. Unless you have the luxury of setting up and operating an observatory from your deck, you will probably take a trip to make your observations. Binoculars go with you much easier and lighter to take into the countryside and use while you're there than a complicated telescope mount kit.

So consider binocular options. However, to make the most effective choice, here are some facts about astronomical binoculars that will help you evaluate which one is the best for you ...

Binoculars have two sets of lenses, one at the end of the eyepiece and one set right next to your eye. The lens closest to the eye is called the ocular lens which magnifies the image (makes it bigger). The one closest to the sky is called the objective lens and the size of this lens will determine how much of the sky you can see at once. So whenever you evaluate binoculars, there are two numbers associated with the set. So if the binoculars have a rating of 15-40, that means the ocular lens is enlarged 15 times and the next number is a relative number of how wide the sky you can see. The higher the second number, the more you can see. The explanation is simple. The bigger the lens, the more light it comes in. But be aware that the bigger the second number, the bigger, heavier, and more complex the binoculars will be.

You have to balance these two numbers with your budget and what you want the binoculars to do for you. If you decide to use low power binoculars you can become frustrated with what you can see and you may have to look away from the display to get your orientation and consult a star chart more often because your vision range is so limited.

There is also the temptation to buy a set of binoculars that have a zoom function and other features that allow you to use them for other purposes such as hunting, whale watching, or viewing soccer matches from a cheap chair. While this is good economics, that function will get in the way when you use binoculars for astronomy. So, if you are considering this purchase as an alternative to buying a telescope, our advice is to buy a pair of binoculars made for astronomy only and not to take them to ball games.

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