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Telescope vs Monocular. What is the difference?

Telescopes and monoculars are optical devices used for viewing distant objects. While telescopes are used for astronomy, monoculars are typically used for viewing objects on earth. While you can use monoculars for basic astronomy, the magnification is much weaker than that of a telescope.

Magnification of Telescopes vs Monoculars

Because telescopes are used for viewing celestial bodies, they have a much stronger magnification. This can range anywhere from 30x to over 90x. Monoculars are used to view closer objects, so their magnification typically ranges from 5x to 30x.

Is a Monocular Considered a Telescope?

While they have different uses, a monocular is widely considered a compact telescope. This is because both optical instruments use the same means to magnify distant objects. Both devices refract light to magnify distant objects.

Which is Easier to Use, a Telescope or Monocular?

Telescopes require much more time to set up and maintain, but make viewing astronomical events much easier. Monoculars are easier to carry and operate because they are designed for outdoor activities. This includes hiking, boating and wildlife watching. To use a monocular, you simply locate an object and zoom in. 

Telescope vs Monocular: Which is right for you?

The right decision ultimately comes down to your intended use. If you plan on viewing only celestial bodies from a single location, a telescope will better suit your needs. The article, What is a Telescope?, explains how telescopes work in further detail. Because of their portability and magnification, monoculars are much more convenient for outdoor activities including hiking, boating and wildlife watching