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How to Choose a Pair of Astronomy Binoculars

When you want to view the sky while on the go or without having to set up a telescope, a pair of astronomy binoculars makes this possible. These binoculars are designed for the enjoyment of astronomy through nighttime viewing of the sky. They are available with a range of features and come in different types and styles.

What are some of the features of astronomy binoculars?
  • Strap: These products may have an attached strap made of cotton, nylon webbing, or suede for keeping the binoculars handy, hanging from around your neck.
  • Folding: Some of these devices fold inward in order to be more compact for storage and on-the-go use.
  • Image stabilization: Some of these products have built-in image stabilization that reduces blurring of the image if your hands are shaking while holding the binoculars. This is particularly handy when zooming in on stars and other items in astronomy.
  • Zoom lens: A zoom lens allows you to zoom in to an object and focus on it.
  • Night vision: This capability uses infrared light instead of visible light, allowing you to see objects when no ambient lighting is present.
What are the available levels of magnification for astronomical viewers?

Magnification refers to how many times larger the lenses make the object look from a specific distance away. The available options include less than 8 times, 8 to 9 times, 10 to 14 times, 15 to 20 times, 21 to 25 times, and more than 25 times larger.

What are the available size options for optical instruments?
  • Compact: This is the smallest size. The typical specifications are 8 x 25 to 10 x 25.
  • Mid-size: This type of eyewear allows an above-average amount of light to be brought into the lenses. Typical specifications are 7 x 35 to 10 x 32.
  • Full-size: This type allows the most light to come through. The range of specifications is 8 x 42 to 10 x 50.
What types of lens coatings are used on optical instruments?
  • Coated: A coated lens is one with a simple coating that allows maximum light to come through the binoculars. It creates a bluish tint.
  • Fully coated: Fully coated refers to one layer of magnesium fluoride applied to the lenses.
  • Anti-glare: Anti-glare coatings reduce reflections on the surface of the lens.
  • Multiple coatings: Multi-coated lenses allow the maximum amount of light to pass through the lens
  • Multi-fully coated: This is the maximum coating grade and allows for the brightest of image displays when minimal ambient light is present.
How do you select a pair of astronomy lenses?
  • Choose a brand: The available options include Bushnell, Celestra, Leico, Leupold, Nikon, Steiner, Vortex, and Zeiss.
  • Select the optics type: The optics eyepiece options include Galilean, porro prism, and roof prism.
  • Choose a size: There are compact and full-size options available.
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