Curious

How do binoculars work?

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Binoculars are like two telescopes held side by side. A pair of binoculars is made of two tubes, one for each of our eyes. Inside those tubes are special pieces of glass that are bent or shaped in a certain way that can stretch or reflect the images that we see through them! It makes them seem bigger! If you have a magnifying glass, you can use it to see how the bulging shape of that glass actually stretches the shapes we see through it.

People like to use binoculars instead of telescopes because they are usually cheaper. Telescopes tend to be made so you can see things really far away, like stars and planets. Binoculars tend to be used for things like bird watching and seeing the stage from the very back row of a theater.

You might say "two telescopes are better than one" too! Our eyes help each other out so we see things more clearly. Using two eyes, we can see shapes and colors in better detail. The same is true using binoculars. We get to use both our eyes. With telescopes we only use one.

by Lauren Orkus (Whyzz writer)

Exploration

Bird Watching!

Binoculars are great for seeing birds in the wild! We have to look at them from far away because usually birds get scared if we get too close to them. Binoculars make it seem like we're a lot closer!

Every state in the United States has a state bird. Massachusetts' is the chickadee. Texas' is the mockingbird. Wisconsin's is the robin. What's your state's official bird? Ask a grown-up to help you look it up if you're not sure. Then, grab a pair of binoculars and see if you can spot that bird around your home. If they're not nearby, ask a grown-up about taking you on a hike or going on a special bird watching trip to try to track them down.