© 2014

Binocular Astronomy


Part of the The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series book series (PATRICKMOORE)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxv
  2. Binoculars

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Stephen Tonkin
      Pages 3-8
    3. Stephen Tonkin
      Pages 9-41
    4. Stephen Tonkin
      Pages 43-61
    5. Stephen Tonkin
      Pages 63-76
    6. Stephen Tonkin
      Pages 77-94
    7. Stephen Tonkin
      Pages 95-118
    8. Stephen Tonkin
      Pages 119-127
    9. Stephen Tonkin
      Pages 129-139
    10. Stephen Tonkin
      Pages 141-145
  3. Deep Sky Objects for Binoculars

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 147-147
    2. Stephen Tonkin
      Pages 149-192
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 391-435

About this book


Binoculars have, for many, long been regarded as an “entry level” observational tool, and relatively few have used them as a serious observing instrument. This is changing! Many people appreciate the relative comfort of two-eyed observing, but those who use binoculars come to realize that they offer more than comfort. The view of the stars is more aesthetically pleasing and therefore binocular observers tend to observe more frequently and for longer periods.

Binocular Astronomy, 2nd Edition, extends its coverage of small and medium binoculars to large and giant (i.e., up to 300mm aperture) binoculars and also binoviewers, which brings the work into the realm of serious observing instruments. Additionally, it goes far deeper into the varying optical characteristics of binoculars, giving newcomers and advanced astronomers the information needed to make informed choices on purchasing a pair. It also covers relevant aspects of the physiology of binocular (as in “both eyes”) observation.

The first edition of this title was praised for its suggested objects for observation and especially for the finder charts for each object. In this second edition, this section is expanded in three ways. There are new objects, more information on each object, and a re-organization of the objects for binoculars for easier selection. 

Binocular Astronomy 2nd Edition puts an emphasis on understanding binoculars and their use. The additional content reflects the latest developments in technology, new testing techniques, and practical ideas for binocular use. It also responds to the substantially positive reviews of the first edition, and is now even better suited to its target readership.


Binocular Accessories Binocular Maintenance Binocular Mechanics Binocular Observing Techniques Binocular Optics Choosing Binoculars Hand-held Binoculars Objects for Binocular Observation Observing with Binoculars Using Binoculars with Constellation Charts

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.FordingbridgeUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Stephen Tonkin, BSc (Hons), F.R.A.S. has been a keen amateur astronomer since childhood and now spends most of his time doing astronomical education and outreach, both as a Lecturer in Astronomy for an adult education college, and independently with his own organization, The Astronomical Unit. He organizes and leads astronomy courses and talks, public observing, and astronomy-related storytelling for children and adults. In 2000, he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. 


He has been using binoculars for astronomy for over forty years, initially under the pristine African skies under which he grew up, and as his main observing instrument for the last decade. He actively promotes and encourages the use of binoculars within the amateur astronomy community and publishes a monthly e-zine, The Binocular Sky Newsletter, for binocular astronomers. He also writes the monthly Binocular Tour in Sky at Night magazine.


He now lives on the edge of the New Forest, which has some of the darkest skies in southern England. On clear moonless nights when he's not working, he can usually be found at one of these dark sites, exploring the night sky with his binoculars.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Binocular Astronomy
  • Authors Stephen Tonkin
  • Series Title The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series
  • Series Abbreviated Title Patrick Moore Pract.Astron.Series(formerly:Practical Astronomy)
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy Physics and Astronomy (R0)
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-4614-7466-1
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-4614-7467-8
  • Series ISSN 1431-9756
  • Series E-ISSN 2197-6562
  • Edition Number 2
  • Number of Pages XXV, 435
  • Number of Illustrations 201 b/w illustrations, 115 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Popular Science in Astronomy
    Astronomy, Observations and Techniques
  • Buy this book on publisher's site