Beginners Escort to View Stunning Astronomical Objects

“Beginners Escort to View Stunning Astronomical Objects” -written by Saikiran

New to stargazing? Don’t know how to start and where to target your telescope or binoculars? We got your back. Get into your backyard with a clear sky and sky chart or an app as a guide. Here are some astronomical objects with which you can kick start your journey.


Sun is the best but most Dangerous astronomical object to start with. To prepare for solar viewing, remove the finderscope from the telescope and secure it with a proper full aperture solar filter. The filter renders the sun’s light and it appears as a bright white disk. You can watch sunspots and during a total solar eclipse, watching the solar corona is the best viewing you can do.



Moon is the jewel of the night sky and has been fascinating the stargazers for centuries. For better viewing of the craters and lunar landscape, try viewing during the phases other than the full Moon and if you are going to watch the full Moon, use lunar filters as the intense light from the Moon can damage your vision.



Sometimes when you’re out gazing at the brightest astronomical objects in the night sky, you’re seeing the planets unknowingly. There are five planets that can be viewed without optical aid: Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. These classical astronomical objects have been mentioned by many ancient civilizations in their scriptures and texts. The word planet is derived from the Greek word ‘planete’ meaning wanderer as they watched these planets wander the sky, unattached to the stars and constellations.
Hints to watch:

  • Venus: It is the brightest planet visible to the naked eye. Look for it within a few hours of sunset in the western sky or a few hours before the sunrise in the eastern sky.
  • Mars: The most distinctive feature of Mars for the unaided eye is its reddish hue. Binoculars will get you the round disk shape and the planet red colour. To watch the surface features of the planet you need to get a telescope.
  • Jupiter: After Venus, Jupiter is the brightest planet visible for the unaided eye. With binoculars, you can get a glimpse of one or two moons and a telescope will get you its four largest moons: Io, Callisto, Europa, and Ganymede.
  • Saturn: It is the faintest of all the planets visible to the naked eye and is easily recognized by its distinct golden hue. You need a telescope to view its magnificent rings.


Star Clusters:

A star cluster is a group of stars that share a common origin and are gravitationally bound for a span of time. There are two types of star clusters:

  1. Open Star Clusters: An open cluster is a bundle of stars, irregularly shaped and loosely bounded by gravitational force. These clusters are much younger and contain fewer stars compared to globular clusters. You can start with the Pleiades cluster (M45) in the constellation Taurus and Beehive cluster (M44) in the constellation Cancer.
  2. Globular Clusters: A globular cluster is a spherical collection of stars tightly bound by gravity with a high concentration of stars towards their centers. These clusters contain several thousand to million stars that are older compared to stars of open clusters. M3 in the constellation Canes Venatici and M13 also known as Hercules Globular Cluster are clusters worth finding out with your telescopes or binoculars.

Binary stars:

Binary stars are one of the interesting astronomical objects in the sky where two stars appear close together as they orbit around each other. Actually, most stars are binary, Perhaps 70-80% !!! Albireo, Mizar, and Capella in the constellations Cygnus, Ursa Major, and Auriga are binary stars that can be easily seen through binoculars or a small telescope.



The next best astronomical object to target is the nebulae. Interstellar clouds of gas and dust where stars and star clusters are born are called nebula. They are further classified as “ Diffused nebula, Reflection nebula, Emission nebula, Dark nebula, Planetary nebula, Supernova remnant.”

  • Diffused nebula: In this nebula, the dust cloud does not have a fixed shape.
  • Reflection nebula: These are the interstellar clouds reflecting the nearby stars’ light.
  • Emission nebula: These are clouds of ionized gas that emit their own light at an optical wavelength.
  • Dark nebula: These are the interstellar dust clouds that are dense enough to obscure the visible light from the background.
  • Planetary nebula: These are the luminous ionized gas clouds expelled from the dying stars.
  • Supernova remnants: These are formed by gaseous debris ejected at the time of the supernova explosion and consist layers of exploding stars and the interstellar medium.

The Orion Nebula (M42) in the constellation Orion and the Lagoon Nebula (M8) in the constellation Sagittarius are the best astronomical object for beginners.
Tip: Use sky charts, sky maps, or apps to find out these astronomical objects.

Here are some apps which you can use for gazing:

  • SkySafari
  • Stellarium
  • Star Tracker



ENJOYED READING THIS ARTICLE? CHECK OUT: 9 Amazing Astronomical Objects you must see with your binoculars

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