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Viewing The Constellations With Binoculars: 250...


We think the best binoculars should provide observers with bright, sharp views, be appropriately priced for your budget and be reliable to use in all weathers and temperatures. It doesn't matter if their purpose is for stargazing or tracking wildlife, or even spotting planes and other automotive vehicles at sports events, the best binos should give excellent viewing no matter the subject.

Why would anyone buy a pair of binoculars with such a low magnification If your goal is to glimpse deep-sky sights such as galaxies or even get a close-up of Jupiter's largest moons, then the Vixen SG 2.1x42 are not for you. However, if sussing-out constellations and generally getting a super steady, wide-eyed view of the cosmos is what you're after, then you'll adore the Vixen SG 2.1x42.

As if a mad scientist had blended a pair of telescopes using an experimental teleporter, touring the heavens with these is like viewing the night sky using two four-inch (100 mm) refractors, with added 25x magnification.

They are nitrogen-filled and sealed so you can be confident they can perform in all weathers without condensation and fogging, giving you more viewing time. The eye relief is a generous 18mm, comfortable for eyeglasses wearers. The field of view of 5.8 degrees is satisfactory, although not outstanding.

Each pair of binoculars is carefully tested by either our expert staff or knowledgeable freelance contributors who know their subject areas in depth. This ensures fair reviewing is backed by personal, hands-on experience with each binocular and is judged based on its price point, class and destined use.

We look at how easy they are to operate, whether eye relief can be adjusted for spectacles wearers, if a binocular comes with appropriate accessories or carry bags and suggest if a particular set of binos would benefit from any additional kit to give you the best viewing experience possible.

With a price tag that's certainly not to be sniffed at, the Orion Monster Parallelogram mount, GiantView 25x100 binoculars are for those observers who are serious about cranking their bino viewing up to 11. They come in an aluminium case and boast a Porro-prism individual-eyepiece focusing design covered with a thin rubber armour. You can instantly adjust your mount for people of different heights, and can work your way around the tripod, moving between different celestial targets to make the most of these big objective lenses.

In this first chapter of a three-part series, we talk about the advantages of binoculars for night sky viewing and discuss the different things you can see with your binoculars. In Part 2, we get into the details of what makes a good binocular for astronomical use and finally, in Part 3, we discuss some recommended binocular sizes for stargazing.

When we think of magnified views of the stars or planets, many of us default to the telescope, and there is nothing wrong with that. I enjoy my terrestrial spotting scope for celestial viewing of some targets and I have shared my thoughts on the advantages of a spotting scope over a telescope for beginners.

Additionally, there is a biological advantage to binocular (two-eye) viewing. Viewing the night sky with two eyes (even non-magnified) gives increased resolution, contrast, and color versus single-eye viewing. Binoculars enhance this advantage.

Binoculars also allow viewing with both eyes. This is more comfortable and natural, and it helps many observers get a perception of depth, though this is an illusion with objects of such large distance. You also avoid the distracting effect of blind spots and floaters in one eye or other. Dim objects actually appear brighter when viewed with both eyes.

The visual appearance of double stars (used throughout to include multiple stars and star pairs) can be among the most striking in amateur astronomy. This is as true for wide groupings, suitable for viewing with binocular and by unaided eye, as it is for close, telescopic systems. The varied co


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