You don't have to have a telescope if you want to enjoy some of the remarkable sights that the night sky can give you. A pair of good binoculars can really bring many of the wonders of the universe alive. Here are some tips for you if you want to use binoculars for astronomy. (The Binoculars shown in the picture here are made by Celestron Corporation who make phenomenal optics and telescopes. They are specifically designed for astronomical use and have a near perfect exit pupil. Available at Edmund Scientifics at a reasonable price
Some Considerations of Binoculars
Exit Pupil: One of the things you have to consider when using binoculars is the exit pupil of the binoculars. What do I mean by exit pupil? I mean that the pupil of your eye expands in darkness and you know this but did you know that it expands to about a maximum of 5mm? So this is the amount of view you can take in at once. And this is a factor when considering binoculars. Some binoculars can have an exit pupil that is larger than your eye can handle which means there is wasted magnification. So, I recommend you get binoculars with an exit pupil that is less than 5mm. And how you calculate the exit pupil is to divide the lens size by the magnification so if a pair of binoculars has a magnification of 10 and a lens size of 50mm you get an exit pupil of 5 which is the maximum allowable. A pair of binoculars with a maginification of 12 and a lens size of 60mm would also give you an exit pupil of 5. So when checking out binoculars do a quick check of the exit pupil. The binoculars at the top of this page are 15 X 70 which gives us a near perfect exit pupil of 4.67 .
The Weight of the Binoculars
This could be a consideration because you have to hold the binoculars up for long periods of time and it could cause fatigue and take away from the experience of astronomy with binoculars. So take a look at the weight of the binoculars and if you are getting a really heavy and large pair you may want to consider getting a tripod or some kind of a comfortable lawn chair so you can relax and enjoy it with ease.
Getting a Book for Astronomy and Binoculars
An excellent introduction to observational astronomy for beginners of any age. Award winner from the New York Academy of sciences Children's Science Book Award. Although not originally intended for children, the subject matter is clearly presented for readers of any age. Basics included range from how to choose binoculars to how we are located in our universe and what objects are readily accessible with household binoculars.
Star-gazing with binoculars is rewarding and, for many, a lifelong passion! Patrick Moore has painstakingly resea rched Exploring the Night Sky with Binoculars to describe the optimal use of binoculars for astronomical observation. He explains basic astronomy and the selection of binoculars, then goes on to discuss the stars, clusters, nebulae and galaxies that await the observer. He charts the sky seen from the northern and southern hemispheres season by season, providing detailed maps of all the constellations. In addition, the reader can also observe the Sun, Moon, planets, comets and meteors. New to this Fourth Edition are: An improved presentation of all star maps, rendering a clear impression of what the night sky really looks like; planetary data through 2010; and advice on eclipse watching, including total eclipses of the sun. With many beautiful illustrations, this handbook will be helpful and encouraging to casual observers and those cultivating a more serious interest. The enjoyment of amateur astronomy is now available to everybody!
A practical and concise guide to viewing the night sky through binoculars that includes information on choosing and using binoculars, what to observe, city vs country viewing, and information about accessories.
Ever heard of a binoscope? Yes! It is two telescopes paired together as binoculars! I have more information about them including information from a leading hobbyist maker of them. More about Binoscopes.