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If you are looking to get started with amateur astronomy, binoculars are the ideal instruments for the beginner. Binoculars are low cost which makes them affordable to almost anyone and most of us have a pair for bird watching or nature walks. Binoculars are available in a variety of sizes and magnifications. Because of their wide field of view, they are also a necessary and popular tool for the experienced astronomer as well. Binocular sizes are expressed with two numbers, such as 7x35 and 10x50. The first number is the power, or magnification. A pair of 7x35 binoculars will magnify the image 7 times. The second number represents the aperture size, or diameter of the objective (front) lenses in millimeters. When selecting binoculars for astronomical viewing, larger apertures are always better. Choose the largest aperture you can afford and comfortably hold on to. This is true for all astronomy equipment regarding the largest aperature you can afford and transport. Larger apertures will yield brighter images, but they will also be heavier. If the binoculars are a bit too heavy to support for long periods, most can be mounted onto a camera tripod. Make sure you get a pair with a tripod mount. As far as magnification goes, smaller is usually better, believe it or not. Binoculars with high magnifications will be shakier when held in the hands. This can become annoying during an evening of observing. Again, sturdy tripod will help to alleviate this problem. Some astronomy suppliers carry devices that can help stabilize the binoculars by propping them up against your body. Lower magnification will also provide a wider field of view. The best advice for choosing a pair of binoculars is to get what you feel comfortable with. Remember you may want to use them for bird watching or camping as well.