Think you need to buy an expensive telescope to spy some astronomical stuff in the night sky? Think Again.
You can see some surprising astronomical stuff with the help of your binoculars. Get a clear dark sky away from the city lights and you are all set to go. Here are some astronomical objects which you can see from your binoculars.
If you are new to astronomy, the Moon is the perfect object to start. With binoculars, you can explore its geography, and it will help you witness its white highlands and blackish-grey maria. Mounting on a tripod will help you to make out some of the bigger craters. To get the best view of the lunar landscape, observe it during the twilight.
Like the Moon, planets are easily spotted in the night sky because of the distinct light they reflect. You can easily spot Mercury and Venus at twilight. Like the Moon, these inner planets appear to have waxing and waning phases and are easier to spot. Mars can be easily distinguished in the sky thanks to its distinctive red color. Use sky charts or sky calendar to locate Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus. Along with Jupiter, look for the four smaller points of light around the planet. These are the planet’s four largest moons: Io, Callisto, Ganymede, and Europa. Saturn can be recognized by its bright golden color. Sometimes the planet’s largest moon Titan is visible. Uranus looks greenish, thanks to methane in the atmosphere.
3. Open Star Clusters
If you are looking for an open star cluster, the Pleiades and Hydes in the constellation Taurus are perfect to start. The dominant V-shape which makes the head of a bull is the Hydes cluster. To locate the Pleiades, follow the brightest star Aldebaran in the opposite of Orion constellation, you will find the Pleiades. The Beehive cluster in the Cancer constellation is easy to find. Take the help of the sky charts to find these clusters.
4. Globular Clusters
Globular Clusters are compact balls, each holding hundreds of thousands of stars. M13 in the Hercules constellation is the biggest, closest and brightest cluster to observe. Another cluster to look at is M4, in the constellation Scorpius. Use the sky charts to locate these clusters.
5. Binary Stars
A pair of stars orbiting each other are called Binary stars. In the Big Dipper, Mizar is a binary star. With binoculars, you will see Mizar’s partner Alcor. Capella, in the constellation Auriga and Antares in the constellation Scorpius are some of the binary stars easily distinguished.
Stars and star clusters are born in clouds of gas called Nebula. With binoculars, you can explore some of these star mothers. The Orion and Lagoon Nebulas are the easiest to spot. Look for Orion’s sword below its belt. You will find the Orion Nebula between the sword. The Lagoon Nebula in the Sagittarius constellation is visible with the naked eye, although just as a small smudge. With binoculars, we can have a detailed look.
Galaxies appear to be small, fuzzy objects when seen through binoculars. Andromeda, M81, and M82 are some of the galaxies which are visible through the binoculars. We are not able to see detailed structures with low resolution but can outline these galaxies through binoculars.
8. Comets and Asteroids
Comets tend to be distinctive objects in the night sky. They look like fuzzy blobs of light, often with glowing tails. They are best observed through binoculars because they provide a broad field view compared to telescopes.
Asteroids can be seen with the known location on a clear night sky.
9. Milky Way Galaxy
Your eyes can’t gather enough light to see the Milky Way. Telescopes are too narrow to observe our galaxy. Binoculars offer a broad field view easily to detect several stars, gas clouds in the Milky Way.