Are Monocular Telescopes Good For Stargazing

Are Monocular Telescopes Good For Stargazing?

Many people  try to stargaze with Monoculars. Monoculars are also used to watch wildlife and view landscapes.

Hunters use them too. Its magnification capacity is 8×. Objects that very far look very near.  Monoculars are very strong and have less weight.

Are Monocular Telescopes Good For Stargazing
Are Monocular Telescopes Good For Stargazing

Have you thought of using monoculars for stargazing? In this article, we would discuss and answer questions about the use o monocular telescopes.

Are  Monocular Telescopes Good For Stargazing?

You can use it for stargazing under certain conditions. First, if the diameter of the objective lens is wide enough to catch enough light.

Second, if the magnification is not too large for portable astronomical observations. One good thing about monocular is its small size. You can take it anywhere you go.

Stargazing with monocular is almost the same thing with stargazing with binocular. You use your two eyes to observe with binocular.

However, you use one eye to observe with monocular. Monoculars and normal binoculars have almost the same magnification ratio and objective lens.

Taking monocular 12×55 as an example. The magnification capacity is 12×. This is higher than the optimum performance one can carry for handheld observation.

However, you can still use it, if you can keep your hand steady. 55mm objective lens diameter can be used for deep sky observations. This is because it is wide enough.

Using Monoculars To Watch The Stars.

Looking back to the above paragraph, 10×50 binoculars are the best handheld astronomical observation tool.

They are good for observing the moon. You can also use them to observe the Pleiades, Andromeda galaxy, and many more.

Monoculars with capacity within or a little bit above this range are good. However, be careful with optics. Monoculars are not expensive.

Optics of binoculars perform better than their optics but, not at all times. For example, there are 10×50 monoculars sold for $25 or more.

It is not advisable to use these optics for astronomical observations.

They have an exit pupil of 5mm. It is not all that bad for astronomical observation. Diameter lens of 50mm objective is the best for stargazing.

Go for monoculars with good optics, if you want to buy one within this level.


The Exit Pupil Of Monoculars Used To Stargaze.

Beam of light that passes through the ocular lens into your eyes pupil is known as exit pupil.

You measure exit pupils by, dividing the objective lens diameter by the magnification. For instance, 10x50mm is 5 exit pupils.

That is ( 50mm divided by 10x). Naturally, pupils of human eyes open between 2 to 3mm in daylight. They open to about 7mm in the night. The pupils of a monocular or binocular has to be higher than pupils of human eyes. This is for a maximum low light performance.

For example, for two reasons, monotonous 10×25 are not good for stargazing.

  • They have objective lens that is 25mm in diameter. This will not perform well. The best monoculars for daylight observation should have an objective lens above 42mm in diameter.
  • Their exit pupil is low at 2.5mm. Exit Pupil of human eyes in the night is 7mm. This means they have lost a lot of light.

Going by the above instance, a 10×50 monocular will be good for stargazing. It has an exit pupil of 5mm.

Are Monocular Telescopes Good For Stargazing
Are Monocular Telescopes Good For Stargazing

The Objective Lens Diameter Of Monocular Used For Stargazing.

We have said this before.  Any optical device with objective lens of less than 42mm is not recommended. Be it binoculars, monoculars or scopes.

Objective lens diameter is, the size of the front glass. This plays a big role on how well the device attracts light in the night. Astronomical observation is better when there is more light.


Monocular Magnification For Stargazing.

Greater magnification is not better observation. Some people think it is the other way round. No, it is not.

If the magnification is above 10x, it is hard to engage in any kind of handheld observation. For this reason, with an objective lens of 42mm diameter,  a magnification range of 8× or 10x is recommended.

With 10x you can watch the moon without stress. You will clearly see the moon craters. However it can never be compared to the power of telescope in moon observation. Though anyone new in stargazing will see it as very wonderful.

For some good reasons, monoculars with zoom, (e.g. 10-30×50) are not recommended.

– Your astronomical observations should  not exceed 10x handheld

– With an active zoom, the monocular’s performance is worse than fixed magnification.

– Multiple optics inside result in low image quality.

– As you zoom, a lot of light is lost.

– The more you magnify, the lower the exit pupils. For example  (30x  on a 10x-30x 50) has an exit pupil of 1.66mm. This is not bright enough, even for a daylight observation.


Monoculars Vs Binocular For Stargazing.

It is a common knowledge that binoculars are the best in performance for astronomical observations.

With it, you can observe with both eyes. It will give you a good observation. In market,  there are more binoculars created for stargazing than monoculars.

However, you can use monoculars with zoom to look at far objects or distance.  The choice of using a monocular or binocular depends on usage and what you want to achieve.

Can You See Planets With A Monocular?

You can but, they will resemble cooler stars. Your hand may not be still as you observe them. You will have a better experience if you use tripod.

However, you will not be able to see the rings of Saturn clearly.


Can You See The Moon With A Monocular Telescope?


The best monocular for moon observation is Celestron Outland 20x 50. It has a high magnification capacity of 20x and a large lens of 50mm. Observing stars and planets with monoculars is difficult.

The reason is that its light gathering ability is low. Its magnification capacity is low. Most do not have a provision for tripod mount.

You can use professional telescopes to make your view. You can never tell what you would see with your monocular telescope.

Before you pick your monocular, ensure that you have done your research. This would help you pick the right gadget.