Best Monoculars for Stargazing

Do you ever see something fascinating in the night sky and wish you could take a closer look? Perhaps you’re out camping or just looking out the window in your house. A monocular can come in handy at such times.

It’s compact and lightweight so you can take it along wherever you go and as long as you select one of the best monoculars for stargazing, you will enjoy an enhanced view of astronomical phenomena.

A good one can reveal the craters on the moon, larger star clusters, the moons orbiting Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, and more celestial objects.

To help out, we’ve compiled a list of the best monoculars for astronomy below. Also, be sure to check out the specs to look out for so you can choose a monocular that will serve you well in your study of the universe.

The Best Monoculars for Stargazing

Gosky 12×55 Monocular Telescope

Thanks to the excellent light gathering capability of a 55mm objective lens diameter, the Gosky monocular telescope is one of the best monoculars for stargazing.

Featuring fully multi-coated optics and BAK4 Prism, it brings the distant heavens closer and reveals a lot of detail you usually can’t see with your naked eye.

The Monocular is sealed and 100% nitrogen filled to keep out water, dust, debris, and prevent fog build up. A rubber armor protects the monocular against impacts while also providing a sure grip.

A long eye relief and twist up eye cups mean you can use it whether you wear glasses or don’t. And it comes with a tripod mount and smartphone adapter.

Pros

  • Rubber armor provides an anti-slip grip
  • Has a smooth focusing mechanism
  • Great for even glass wearers
  • Rugged and weatherproof construction
  • Tripod and smartphone holders included

Cons

  • The objective lens is a little narrower than the stated 55mm

Model Specs

  • Objective Lens Diameter: 55mm
  • Magnification: 10X
  • Lens Coating: Multi-Coated
  • Prism: BAK4
  • Dimensions: 2.19 x 3.25 x 5.45 inches
  • Weight: 15.85oz

Wingspan Optics Explorer 12X50 Monocular

The Wingspan Optics Explorer is one of the most powerful hand held monoculars available on the market today.

Looking through it, you can see not just the texture of the craters on the moon but also star clusters and constellations. It has a built-in tripod mount and comes with a small tripod.

Though it’s a tad more expensive that the typical monoculars you will come across, both the clarity of optics and quality of construction are superior. And it comes with a lifetime warranty to boot.

Pros

  • Wide field of view and very precise focus
  • Delivers stunning clarity
  • Easy to hold and adjust one handed
  • Has a tripod mount integrated
  • Comes with a pouch, lens cap, and small tripod
  • Works great with glasses on

Cons

  • A bit bulky but this speaks to the quality of the unit
  • The included tripod is flimsy

Model Specs

  • Objective Lens Diameter: 50mm
  • Magnification: 12X
  • Weight: 11 Ounces
  • Prism: Bak4

Vortex Optics Solo Monocular 10×36

You can’t make a mistake with the Vortex Optics Solo Monocular 10×36 for amateur astronomical observations. It’s known for amazingly sharp and clear optics and shows the moons of Jupiter nicely.

This is thanks to the generous 36mm objective lens diameter, 10X magnification, and fully multi-coated lens.

Nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed, the Solo is waterproof and fog proof. A rubber armor provides durability and a non-slip grip. Plus you can’t beat the lifetime warranty for everything but intentional damage.

Pros

  • Superb viewing experience
  • Adjustable eyecup great with or without glasses
  • Comes with a utility clip and neck strap
  • Great quality with a lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Does not come with protective lens covers and there’s no screw hole for tripod
  • Focus ring is on the stiff side at the beginning

Model Specs

  • Magnification: 10X
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 36mm
  • Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated
  • Dimensions: 4.88 x 2.17 x 2.36 inches
  • Weight: 9.9 ounces

Orion 10×42 Monocular

With a nice 42mm wide objective lens and a 10X magnification, the Orion 10×42 monocular offers an up close view of the moon. You can also see the stars and the planets in much more detail than you can make out with the naked eye.

You will find it comfortable to use whether you wear glasses or not. It boasts a long 17mm eye relief and twist up eye guards. As any reliable monocular should be, construction is moisture, fog, and shock proof.

Pros

  • Generous objective lens diameter
  • Great quality optics
  • Great for glass wearers as well
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Waterproof and shockproof

Cons

  • The included case and strap are not of very good quality

Model Specs

  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
  • Focus: Center
  • Lens Costing: Fully multi-coated
  • Prism: BAK-7
  • Length: 6.1 inches
  • Weight: 11 ounces

Pankoo 40X60 Monocular Telescope

At 40X60, there’s no doubt that the Pankoo monocular is a reliable instrument for amateur astronomy.

With specs like a 40X magnification power, 60mm objective lens, fully multi-coated (FMC) lens and BAK4 prism, you can expect that this monocular will reveal some great details of the night sky.

Reviews attest that it shows details of the features on the moon, opens up stars we can’t see with our naked eye, shows comets, Jupiter’s moons, and even the rings of Saturn.

However, this kind of magnification power requires that you attach the monocular to a tripod. Good thing that the Pankoo already has this covered. It comes complete with a tripod and a smartphone adapter allowing you to capture photos of what you see.

Pros

  • Incredible quality of optics
  • Easy to carry in a backpack or purse
  • Robust, waterproof and anti-fogging
  • Comes with tripod and smartphone holder
  • Ability to take pictures with your smartphone

Cons

  • High power magnification means it’s hard to hold still in the hand
  • Not really a night vision monocular

Model Specs

  • Magnification: 10X
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 60mm
  • Focus: Center System
  • Prism: BAK4
  • Lens Coating: FMC
  • Weight: 14 oz.
  • Dimensions: 6. 7 x 3. 6 x 3. 1 inches

Emarth High Power 10-30X50 Zoom Monocular

The best thing about the Emarth zoom monocular is that you can adjust the magnification power from 10x to 30x depending on what you’re viewing.

It features a 50mm fully multi-coated lens and BAK-4 crystal prism, enabling you to see the surface of the moon, the red planet (Mars), the rings of Saturn, and the Galilean moons.

It is both fog proof and waterproof and boasts a rugged external armor.

Pros

  • Portable zoom monocular
  • Variable 10x to 30x magnification
  • High-quality optics
  • Focusing is easy
  • Excellent value for money
  • Comes with a protective carry case

Cons

  • A little on the heavy side

Model Specs:

  • Objective Lens: 50mm
  • Magnification: 10x-30x
  • Focus: Zoom
  • Lens Coating: FMC
  • Prism: BAK-4
  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 3.14 x 2.4 inches
  • Weight: 15.7 ounces

Eyeskey HD 10-30×50 Zoom Monocular

The Eyeskey HD 10-30×50 will allow you to take a closer look of the universe. The 50mm lens let’s in plenty of light, which is great for astronomy targets such as Jupiter’s satellites and the zoom comes in handy.

It’s also equipped with fully multi-Coated lens and BAK-4 prism so the optics are top-notch. It’s nitrogen gas purged and O-Ring sealed to prevent moisture, dust, and fogging.

Pros

  • Easy to focus with one hand
  • Wide lens and ability to zoom
  • Features twist-up eye cups
  • Rubber exterior provides anti-slip grip

Cons

  • Costs a little bit more but the performance is worth it

Model Specs

  • Objective Lens Diameter: 50mm
  • Magnification: 10-30x
  • Prism: BAK-4
  • Focus: Manual
  • Lens: Fully Multi-Coated
  • Prism: BAK-4
  • Weight: 0.95 Pounds

Xgazer Optics 10×42 Point View Monocular

With a power of 10×42, the Xgazer Optics 10×42 Point View monocular is powerful enough to serve the needs of an amateur astronomer.

With a steady hand, you can get a clear view of larger night sky objects such as the Pleiades, the Hyades, the Andromeda Galaxy and the moon.

With an 18.4 eye-relief and twist up eye cup, it’s also one of the best options for glass wearers. It’s weatherproof and well made with a rugged rubber armor that also provides a great grip.

Pros

  • Anti-reflective lens coating
  • Great quality and outstanding value
  • Very fine adjustment
  • Small enough to fit in a coat pocket
  • Large enough to be easy to handle
  • Fantastic eye relief for eyeglass wearers
  • Wrist strap and case provided

Cons

  • A little heavy but this makes it easy to hold steady

Model Specs

  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42mm
  • Prism: BAK4
  • Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated
  • Focus: Diopter
  • Dimensions : 6 x 2 x 3 inches
  • Weight: 1.25 pounds

Starboosa 12×50 Monocular Telescope

The Starboosa monocular telescope has the magnification power and light gathering capability required for casual stargazing.

12x zoom brings long distance objects closer while the 50mm aperture lets in a lot of light to deliver bright images in low light settings.

Very good build quality too. The body of the monocular is protected by a hard rubber armor and the monocular is waterproof and nitrogen purged.

Pros

  • Provides clear and bright images
  • Unique twist-up eyecup
  • Waterproof Oxford cloth backpack
  • Easy to focus with one finger
  • Attaches to a tripod and smartphones

Cons

  • The powerful magnification means it can be hard to hold steady without using a tripod

Model Specs

  • Objective Lens Diameter: 50mm
  • Magnification: 12x
  • Lens Coating: FMC
  • Prism: BAK-4
  • Dimension: 6.4 x 3.22 x 2.4 inches
  • Weight: 12.8 ounces

Opticron BGA 8×42 Monocular

The Opticron BGA 8×42 monocular has just the right combination of specs for stargazing. The 8X magnification is powerful yet easy to hold steady while the 42mm let’s in plenty of light for viewing objects in the night sky.

This monocular is well built and comes with a thirty years guarantee. It’s waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, and nitrogen gas filled to keep fog at bay. It’s easy to use with and without glasses.

Pros

  • Easy to hold steady
  • The wide lens delivers bright images
  • Full field of view while wearing glasses
  • Lens and eyepiece cover and pouch included
  • Backed by a thirty-year guarantee

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a tripod mount

Model Specs

  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42 Millimeters
  • Magnification: 8X
  • Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated
  • Dimensions 5.4 x 1.8 x 1.7 inches
  • Weight  9.9 ounces

Celestron Nature 10×25 Monocular

The name Celestron is astronomy-related so it’s a good thing that the Celestron Nature monocular doesn’t disappoint when it comes to stargazing.

Adjust it right and keep your hand steady (or attach it to a tripod) and you will be able to study the craters on the moon in more details. The multi-coated lens delivers clear and bright optics.

With Celestron’s reputation for quality telescopes, there’s nothing to worry about when it comes to durability. It’s waterproof, fog proof, protected by a rubber covering, and backed by a lifetime warranty.

Pros

  • Easy to hold and use
  • Fairly easy to bring into sharp focus
  • Great view with or without glasses
  • Came with a nice case and lanyard
  • Backed by a lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Focusing isn’t very easy as the focus ring is stiff and the lanyard mount gets in the way.

Model Specs

  • Magnification Power: 10X
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 25mm
  • Lens: Multi-Coated
  • Focus: Diopter Dial
  • Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 6 inches
  • Weight: 6 Ounces

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10×42 Monocular

The Bushnell Legend Ultra HD is truly a legend in the world of monoculars. It utilizes Bushnell’s top tier technologies such as ED Prime Glass and PC-3 chemical coating to eliminate chromatic aberration and color-fringing and deliver exceptional optics in low light conditions.

You can also mount it on a tripod or attach your smartphone and capture photos of the night sky. Beyond this, it comes with a mil-dot reticle for estimating range or size of objects.

The construction quality is reassuringly robust. It’s O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged to keep out moisture and fogging.

Pros

  • Comfortable twist-up eyecups
  • The precise and fluid focusing ring
  • Can also estimate size and range
  • Easy to hold and manipulate with one hand
  • Compatible with tripod and smartphones
  • Retail box, lanyard, and holster included

Cons

  • A little bulky and the included accessories are not very good quality

Model Specs

  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42mm
  • Magnification: 10x
  • Prism: BAK-4
  • Focus: Manual
  • Lens Coating: Fully Multi-coated
  • Weight: 0.83 Pounds

What Makes A Good Monocular for Astronomy?   

Magnification power

At least 7X magnification power is required for stargazing. The highest magnification power isn’t always good though. It can be hard to hold a high powered monocular steady with your bare hands.

High powered monoculars with magnification powers above 12X require a tripod or monopad to stabilize the monocular.   

Accessories

A protective pouch, a neck strap, and a cleaning cloth are all good. Also good are a tripod mount and a smartphone holder as they give you more options when studying the sky.

You can set up the monocular on a tripod to keep it steady and use your smartphone to capture photos of what you see.

Build Quality

A monocular is bound to get dropped or knocked every once in a while. It should have a solid build and a rubber armor to enable it to withstand impacts. It should also be sealed to keep out moisture and dirt and nitrogen purged to keep fogging at bay.

Objective Lens Diameter

The larger the objective lens, the more light that enters the monocular, and the brighter the images you can see.

Also look for BAK4 prism and multicoated lenses as they let in more light resulting in brighter and crisp clear images.

Can You Stargaze with a Monocular?  

Monoculars with a wide objective lens diameter and a magnification power of at least 7X are good for stargazing.

The optical quality of a good monocular is comparable to that of standard binoculars.

What Can You See In Space Using A Monocular?

Looking through a monocular, you can see the craters on the moon, planets such as Mars and Jupiter, star clusters and comets.

If you have a really good monocular, you might even be able to spot the Galilean moons, Saturn’s rings, galaxies, and nebulae.

Are binoculars or monoculars better for stargazing?

As long as they have a magnification power of at least 7X and a wide objective lens, both binoculars and monoculars can be used for stargazing.

The advantage a monocular has over a binocular or telescope is that it’s more compact and lightweight thus easy for use on the go.

Both are not sufficient for in-depth study of objects in the night sky though. You will need a telescopes for that.

Wrapping Up

Most people think that only binoculars and telescopes are suitable for astronomy observations but they are wrong.

With one of the best monoculars for stargazing, you can see the night sky in impressive details and even make out stars you’ve never seen before.

What good is the best telescope or binocular if you don’t have it exactly where and when you need it. Investing in a compact and waterproof monocular can cut down on missed observation opportunities.