Binoculars for Astronomy
Save time and money with cheap astronomy binoculars. The extra time you save from having to dig out and set up your telescope can be spent in viewing the night sky. Only have 5 or 10 minutes on a bright, clear evening? Grab the binoculars and go outside. Perhaps the best of all is the cost savings. You can get a very decent pair of binoculars for astronomy for well under $100.
Using binoculars is also a great way to introduce kids to astronomy. They are far easier to use than a telescope, giving kids the ability to use both eyes for a clearer view. Also finding things in the night sky is much easier with the wide view from binoculars. It can be very frustrating even finding the moon with a telescope, when one is new to astronomy.
What can you really see with just binoculars?
Glad you asked! If you were to go outside away from city lights on a clear, dark night and look up, you could probably see a few thousand stars. Pretty impressive, that. Now add a pair of binocuCredit: Nasa Public Domainlars and you can see about 100,000 stars! Wow! And that is just with a standard pair of sports type binoculars.
Do you live in the city and have a hard time getting to a nice, dark spot for sky viewing? Again binoculars can help by cutting through that ambient light and showing you more stars than your naked eye could see at the highest point on earth.
And there is far more to gaze at than just stars. Astronomy binoculars can also pick up galaxies, nebulae, and comets...not to mention a terrific view of the moon. (My personal favorite night sky object.) Okay so now you know you need a pair of binoculars, but what do you look for when buying them?
What to look for in astronomy binoculars
First of all, it is highly recommended to go with a 7-10x magnification for astronomy viewing, unless you are going to be using a tripod to hold the binoculars steady. More magnification is not Credit: Wikimedia Commonsalways better. Next you need to look at the aperture...the second number shown on the binoculars. The aperture is the size of the front lenses. If you divide the aperture by the magnification you get what is called the exit pupil. Without going into too much detail, younger people might be more comfortable with an exit pupil of around 7-mm. (For example: 8x56, 9x63, or 7x50) People over 30 should probably go with an exit pupil of around 5-mm (10x50). And now, what you've all been waiting for:
The 3 Best Cheap Astronomy Binoculars
All three of these have the following in common:
- The reviews on them are very positive.
- Each of these binoculars are made with BAK4 Prisms, which are vastly superior to BK7.
- They are all fairly lightweight for hand-held viewing.
- They are all adaptable for use with a tripod, for longer viewing.
Please note that these are in random order, all three are excellent buys depending on your age (exit pupil needed) and preference. With a little comparison shopping, all three should be available for at or well under $100.00 from retailers, or online at Amazon.
#1: Meade Travel View 9x63 Astronomy Roof Prism Binoculars
#2: Orion Scenix 10x50 Wide-Angle Binoculars
#3: Nikon Action 7x50 Binocular
Perhaps the best news of all is that each of these 3 best, cheap astronomy binoculars is manufactured by a highly reputable company.