Astronomy binoculars make for a great alternative to telescopes.

They are generally smaller, more portable, easier to use and cheaper.

Below are a number of great models for stargazing, from cheaper beginners options, to more advanced pairs that will cost more but open up greater viewing opportunities.

1. Best binoculars for astronomy – comparison table

Preview
Best for beginners
Celestron - Cometron 7x50 Bincoulars - Beginner Astronomy Binoculars - Large 50mm Objective Lenses - Wide Field of View 7x Magnification
Improved beginners option
Celestron 71008 SkyMaster 25x70 Binoculars (Black)
Powerful viewing
Barska 25x100 Waterproof Cosmos Binoculars
High-quality
Orion 9326 Giant View 25x100 Astronomy Binoculars
Crystal clear viewing
Celestron 71454 Echelon 20x70 Binoculars (Black)
Make & Model
Celestron - Cometron 7x50 Bincoulars - Beginner Astronomy Binoculars - Large 50mm Objective Lenses - Wide Field of View 7x Magnification
Celestron 71008 SkyMaster 25x70 Binoculars (Black)
Barska 25x100 Waterproof Cosmos Binoculars
Orion 9326 Giant View 25x100 Astronomy Binoculars
Celestron 71454 Echelon 20x70 Binoculars (Black)
Magnification
x 7
x 25
x 25
x 25
x 20
Lens diameter
50 mm
70 mm
100 mm
100 mm
70 mm
Item weight
2 lbs
4.39 lbs
8.13 lbs
10 lbs
4.12 lbs
User rating
Reviews
367 Reviews
3,150 Reviews
8 Reviews
29 Reviews
5 Reviews
Price
$25.99
$65.64
$324.24
$360.49
$879.95
Best for beginners
Preview
Celestron - Cometron 7x50 Bincoulars - Beginner Astronomy Binoculars - Large 50mm Objective Lenses - Wide Field of View 7x Magnification
Make & Model
Celestron - Cometron 7x50 Bincoulars - Beginner Astronomy Binoculars - Large 50mm Objective Lenses - Wide Field of View 7x Magnification
Magnification
x 7
Lens diameter
50 mm
Item weight
2 lbs
User rating
Reviews
367 Reviews
Price
$25.99
Check availability
Improved beginners option
Preview
Celestron 71008 SkyMaster 25x70 Binoculars (Black)
Make & Model
Celestron 71008 SkyMaster 25x70 Binoculars (Black)
Magnification
x 25
Lens diameter
70 mm
Item weight
4.39 lbs
User rating
Reviews
3,150 Reviews
Price
$65.64
Check availability
Powerful viewing
Preview
Barska 25x100 Waterproof Cosmos Binoculars
Make & Model
Barska 25x100 Waterproof Cosmos Binoculars
Magnification
x 25
Lens diameter
100 mm
Item weight
8.13 lbs
User rating
Reviews
8 Reviews
Price
$324.24
Check availability
High-quality
Preview
Orion 9326 Giant View 25x100 Astronomy Binoculars
Make & Model
Orion 9326 Giant View 25x100 Astronomy Binoculars
Magnification
x 25
Lens diameter
100 mm
Item weight
10 lbs
User rating
Reviews
29 Reviews
Price
$360.49
Check availability
Crystal clear viewing
Preview
Celestron 71454 Echelon 20x70 Binoculars (Black)
Make & Model
Celestron 71454 Echelon 20x70 Binoculars (Black)
Magnification
x 20
Lens diameter
70 mm
Item weight
4.12 lbs
User rating
Reviews
5 Reviews
Price
$879.95
Check availability

Last update on 2019-11-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

2. Best astronomy binoculars – detailed reviews

1. Celestron Cometron 7×50 Beginners Astronomy Binoculars

Best Beginner Astronomy Binoculars

Celestron Cometron 7×50 Binoculars (Click image for pricing info)

If you are looking for a good pair of beginners binoculars for astronomy then this model is a great option.

They are made by manufacturer Celestron, who are one of the leading manufacturers of telescopes and other high-quality astronomy equipment.

The 7×50 magnification is about the minimum you will need for astronomy, but these binoculars have a good wide field of view and you will be able to see the moon in more detail, some of the planets of our solar system, satellites (and the ISS) passing overhead, meteors and comets, and many more stars in the night sky.

Given the light weight and lower cost, these would also make great astronomy binoculars for kids to use in your backyard or on trips.

Optional extras to go with these binoculars are a tripod adapter – although these are light enough for most people to use just by hand.

You can also get a smartphone adapter that enables you to take photos with your phone’s camera through the binoculars (you will need a tripod and the tripod adapter to get good images).

Last update on 2019-11-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

2. Celestron SkyMaster 25×70 Giant Astronomy Binoculars

stargzing Binoculars

Celestron SkyMaster 25×70 binoculars (click image for pricing)

Another great model from Celestron offers a step up from the basic beginner’s option above.

“Giant” binoculars are defined as those that magnify the view 10 times or more and have 70-mm or larger front (objective) lenses.

Celestron’s SkyMaster binoculars are one of the leaders in the low-price giant astronomy binocular arena.

They are available in three different models:

Celestron has designed this binocular range to meet the demands of extended astronomical or terrestrial viewing sessions and the 25×70 version is one of the most popular models in the Skymaster series.

They offer large aperture light gathering and so open up more stargazing opportunities and are relatively light but include an adapter so they can be used with a standard camera tripod.

Eye relief on these Celestron binoculars (the distance you hold your eyes away from the eyepieces to see the full field) is 18mm, which is a good distance for higher power binoculars and compatible for glasses wearers.

These are great value for the price with the only downside being that the outer 25% of the field of view can be a little blurry.

The trade-off from the above model is a smaller field of view which is greater with the 7×50 binoculars when using by hand, but with these you’ll be able to see much more and using a tripod will make sense.

This model needs a tripod adapter to attach to a standard camera tripod – just make sure your tripod is high enough for your height so that you don’t need to stoop too much when using.

Sale
Celestron 71008 SkyMaster 25x70 Binoculars (Black)
3,150 Reviews
Celestron 71008 SkyMaster 25x70 Binoculars (Black)

Specifications:

  • 25 x magnification
  • 70mm lens diameter
  • 3.25 lbs weight

Last update on 2019-11-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

3. Barska 25 x 100 Cosmos Astronomy Binoculars

Best binoculars for astronomy

Barska 25×100 Waterproof Cosmos Binoculars (Click image for pricing info)

These are premium astronomy binoculars offering serious stargazing power. They are powerful with 100mm objective lenses and 25x magnification.

With binoculars at this level they are offering as much as top-quality telescopes and will bring galaxies and deep-sky objects into view.

They have BaK-4 prisms and multi-coated optics as well as individual eyepiece focus to ensure optimal focus position.

The body of these Barksa binoculars is water-resistant and they come in a padded carrying case for travel and safe storage.

These binoculars are really heavy at more than eight pounds and so handheld use is not really an option.

They have a tripod adapter inbuilt – so no need to buy that separately – but you need to make sure your tripod can handle nearly 9 pounds of weight.

Barska 25x100 Waterproof Cosmos Binoculars
8 Reviews
Barska 25x100 Waterproof Cosmos Binoculars

Specifications:

  • 25 x magnification
  • 100mm lens diameter
  • 8.13 lbs weight

Last update on 2019-11-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

4. Orion Giant View 25×100 Astronomy Binoculars

orion astronomy binoculars

Orion Giant View 25×100 Astronomy Binoculars (Click image for pricing)

Orion are also a renowned manufacturer of astronomy equipment like Celestron.

These 25x magnification astronomy binoculars with 100mm aperture lenses are high-powered astronomy binoculars and at this power, the planets and their moons are viewable as well as star clusters and deep sky objects.

These Orion binoculars have fully multi-coated optics and BAK 4 Porro Prisms.

Eye relief is 17mm which makes for comfortable viewing (even for glasses wearers).

They are heavy and so will need to be used with a tripod and the adapter to fit a camera tripod is in-built. They also have the tripod adapter in-built, so no need to buy separate accessories.

Orion 9326 Giant View 25x100 Astronomy Binoculars
29 Reviews
Orion 9326 Giant View 25x100 Astronomy Binoculars

Specifications:

  • 25 x magnification
  • 100mm lens diameter
  • 10.1 lbs weight

Last update on 2019-11-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

5. Celestron Echelon 20×70 Binoculars

best advanced astronomy binoculars

Celestron Echelon 20×70 Binoculars (click image for pricing)

The Celestron Echelon binoculars are the premium option and the best overall for astronomy.

What separates them from the much more affordable Celestron Skymaster model (or the other high powered options above) is the quality of the lenses.

They offer crystal clear viewing of a higher level than the other models (and this is reflected in the price).

They come packaged in a quality, hard carry case, which is great for transporting or otherwise taking care of them.

Like the other models they can be (and should be) used with the Celestron tripod adapter as they are fairly heavy (although much lighter than some of the other options) and will enable more precise viewing of the far off objects that they will bring into view.

Celestron 71454 Echelon 20x70 Binoculars (Black)
5 Reviews
Celestron 71454 Echelon 20x70 Binoculars (Black)

Specifications:

  • 20 x magnification
  • 70mm lens diameter
  • 4.12 pounds lbs

Last update on 2019-11-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

3. Astronomy Binoculars FAQs

3.1 Can you use regular binoculars for astronomy viewing?

For stargazing and night sky viewing specialist astronomy binoculars are best.

They don’t have to be expensive (see the Celestron Cometron 7×50 model above), but the most popular regular binoculars are generally compact binoculars.

These are great for birdwatching and similar daytime pursuits but don’t have the light-gathering ability for dark skies and astronomy.

 

3.2 What is best for astronomy? Binoculars vs Telescopes

If you are a beginner getting into stargazing, a good pair of astronomy binoculars will increase the number of stars you can see from a few thousand with the naked eye, to several hundred thousand and even planets and deep-sky objects.

Binoculars make a great alternative to telescopes for astronomy and in many ways are easier to use whilst offering similar viewing capabilities as they are generally smaller, more portable, easier to use and cheaper. 

Many recommend starting out with binoculars before investing in a telescope if you are a beginner getting into stargazing but there are also many great telescopes available for beginners.

If you want to also consider telescopes, then check out our article on the best telescopes to buy.

 

3.3 What do the binocular specifications mean? What do I need for stargazing?

Binocular specifications are based on the magnification and aperture of the model. So “20×70” binoculars means a twenty times magnification and 70mm aperture.

Magnification

Magnification in binoculars refers to how many times closer the object you are viewing is.

So, 20×70 binoculars means you will be viewing objects twenty times closer.

Aperture

Aperture refers to the light gathering capacity of the binoculars.

It is measured in the diameter of its lenses in millimeters. So, 20×70 binoculars have 70mm diameter lenses.

Essentially, the larger the aperture, the greater the light gathering. This is especially important for viewing far off astronomical objects.

Field of view

The field of view refers to how wide the span of sky you will see and relates to magnification.

The wider the field of view, the lower the magnification. So you can see more of the sky, but you are further away from viewing far off objects.

Therefore, low magnification binoculars, like the 7×50 Celestron Cometron binoculars featured above are best for using by hand to scan the sky and look out for astronomical events like comets.

High magnification are better for zoning in on far off objects with precision but you will need to use a tripod.

Lenses quality

The quality of lenses also has a factor in the clarity of the images you will view through the binoculars.

For instance, with the Celestron SkyMaster vs Echelon binoculars, there are models that offer the same magnification and aperture, but the difference is in the lens quality that results in crisper, clearer images with the Echelon range.

Overall

Overall, the higher the magnification, the closer objects will be, the higher the aperture, the brighter and clearer they will be.

Higher magnification does result in a narrower field of view though – so more suitable for focussing in on specific objects (planet, galaxies etc), rather than scanning large swathes of the sky. For most users of astronomy binoculars, high magnification and large aperture will be what you want. The trade-off is that the higher these are, generally the more expensive they will be.

Other factors to look out for are whether they are waterproof – really useful for outdoor sessions. And having an in-built tripod adapter – if not you’ll need to buy a separate adapter (they are generally not expensive though).

 

3.4 What can you see with astronomy binoculars?

A good, basic pair of binoculars for astronomy (for example, with 10 x magnification) will enable you to see hundreds of thousands of stars, the moon and the planets of the solar system.

A premium pair of specialist astronomy binoculars (for example, with 20 or 25 x magnification) should give you the capability to go beyond this and see deep sky objects (far off galaxies and nebulae).

This will require some practice and learning though.

 

3.5 How to use astronomy binoculars?

When you get a new pair of astronomy binoculars, there is a certain amount that you need to do to get them set up properly for your own eyes.

All the models above include instructions that describe how to do it, and you can find more info online if you need it.

There are a number of good books available to help you lean how to go about astronomy with binoculars:

This video from Orion also includes a good, brief overview of using binoculars for stargazing:

 

3.6 Do I need a tripod for astronomy binoculars?

To get the most out of heavier, specialist astronomy binoculars then you will need to use them with a tripod.

This is because you will be using them like a telescope – targeting objects in the night sky with the binoculars staying fixed in one place.

Orion and Celestron manufacture their own tripods but a regular camera tripod should work with your astronomy binoculars.

Some binoculars have the adapter to fix them to a tripod built-in, but for others you may need to buy an adapter.

You can get a Celestron tripod adapter for binoculars here, and from Orion here.

astronomy binocular tripod

The Orion heavy-duty tripod for astronomy use (Click image for pricing)

See also our article on the best tripods.

 

3.7 Can I take photos through astronomy binoculars?

Astrophotography with binoculars can be done with an adapter to attach your smartphone to the eyepiece of the binoculars.

In this situation, you will need to be using the binoculars on a tripod to keep them steady when the image is being taken, especially since you may need to take a long exposure to get the picture.

Smartphone adapters for binoculars are available for sale. For example, see the universal adapter in the box below:

 

4. Vote: Which brand makes the best binoculars for astronomy?

 

5. Conclusion: What are the best binoculars for stargazing?

When thinking about buying binoculars for astronomy you should consider how much use you will get out of them, as well as issues such as the weight, which might not be that obvious but will have an impact on how you use them.

If you are after some low-cost stargazing binoculars that you can use by hand then the first Celestron Cometron option in this list are your best bet. They provide good stargazing power at good value and can be picked up and transported with relative ease.

However, for most people looking to make a serious purchase, the Celestron SkyMaster range of binoculars will be most suitable.

They offer great value in terms of viewing ability compared to price.

For the more serious astronomer that wants more power, is prepared to invest more and use a tripod then the Barska Cosmos Binoculars and the Orion Giant View Binoculars will be suitable

For those that want the very best, the Celestron Echelon Binoculars are the ones to go for.