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5 Must See Night Sky Objects With Binoculars

Updated on March 24, 2013

When I owned my first binoculars, I still remember the very first night sky object I looked at. It was the Pleiades. It was my first target instead of the moon because it was a moonless night. Further more Pleiades is an easy object to find in the night sky.

When seen using the naked eye, it looks like a blur patch but sometime you can detect the stars in it. However once viewed with a binoculars, the beauty of this star cluster just stands out majestically. Thus I start the 5 must see nighttime object with Pleiades.

Pleiades

Well known since ancient times, the Pleiades star cluster is also known as the Seven Sisters and Messier 45. This star cluster consists of a small number of stars and is also a birthplace for new stars. It is easy to find with the naked eye as mention earlier but it look totally different with binoculars.

However do not expect it to look the same as photographs taken using time lapse where the nebulosity can be seen. Nevertheless it is still a beautiful sight to behold using a binocular. Furthermore as it is too large to fit into most telescope fields of view, this makes it a choice to be view with binocular.

The Moon

Who can miss the moon? As the brightest and largest object in the night sky it is easily visible with the naked eye, but many details are revealed when view with a pair of binoculars. Look at the moon when it is s crescent or half moon because this is when shadows of the moon craters can be seen.

Also get hold of a map of the moon to identify the many craters and other features on the moon. There are some very prominent features on the moon like the crater Tyco, Copernicus and Kepler, all names of famous astronomers. Don’t forget to look for the Sea of Tranquility, which is where men first landed on the moon. Now do not expect to see Neil Armstrong’s famous first set foot print thought.

The Planet Jupiter

Let’s follow Galileo foot steps here. When Galileo had his first telescope, he peered into night sky and looked at Jupiter. Not only he saw this giant planet but its moons (4 numbers) too and over many days of observation and taking notes, he concluded that the moons revolve around Jupiter. This observation cause the belief that Earth is the center of the Universe, widely held at that period come crashing down.

Modern binoculars are, if not better than what Galileo had. Observing the planet Jupiter and its four moons is not a problem with our modern day binoculars. The problem is locating Jupiter itself. As a guide, it will be a bright object, yellowish in color and do not twinkle like the stars. So go out during a clear night sky and look for the brightest objects yellowish in color. Then using your binocular and look at it. If you can see tiny objects close to it, and that is Jupiter. Observe Jupiter for a few nights and note the changing position of its moons.

Get Started with Astronomy with the Orion Stargazer"s Toolkit

Orion Beginning Stargazer's Toolkit
Orion Beginning Stargazer's Toolkit

This is an excellent package for the beginning star gazer, and the toolkit is an appropriate companion to binoculars and first telescopes. The Moon page is highly detailed and educational in so far as locate the Moon's viewing treasures. The Discover the Stars book offers much foundation material and information for any beginners. Too bad, binoculars not included.

 

Nebulas in Constellation Orion

Orion is the famous constellation of the winter sky. It is also known as the hunter. It is easily identifiable and once this is done, look for the famous nebula found on Orion’s sword. The sword is just below the Orion’s belt.

The belt is make up of 3 stars in a straight line. The nebula is known as M42, it is the middle star of Orion’s sword. By the way nebulas are stars factories. Hence when peering into M42, we are looking at the birth of stars in progress.

The Double Cluster

These clusters  (NGC 884 & NGC 869) are located in the constellation Peruses. It is actually two star clusters very close together. The Double Cluster makes a good binocular target because it is quite a large object in the night sky. Again if a telescope is used, you won’t be able to see the double together as a telescope’s field of view is too narrow. So to enjoy the view of both clusters together, use a pair of binoculars. Binoculars have fields of view wide enough to fit the entire Double Cluster.

Well, there you have it, the 5 must see objects in the night sky using a pair of binoculars. Beside your binoculars, here are some essential tools you should have for observation.

Essential for Binoculars observation

#Red flash or LED light

#Sky Atlas/Map for binoculars

#Sky events – Go online and check any particular sky events to take note during you observation night.

Finally, enjoy your view of the night sky beauty.

Top 3 Basic Items To Start Your Night Sky Exploration

Orion 04110 Star Target Planisphere (Black)
Orion 04110 Star Target Planisphere (Black)

This is essential for finding your way around the night sky, there's no better tool than a star wheel, or planisphere. Whether you're skywatching with just your eyes, with binoculars, or with a telescope, it's essential for learning constellations, identifying bright stars, and planning observing sessions.

 

Springtime Observing with the Naked Eye and Binoculars

The Moon Through Binoculars

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    • SecretMae profile image

      Melody Wilson 

      4 years ago from Millsboro, Delaware, Usa

      I actually have the Orion's Stargazer Toolkit. It came free with a telescope my husband bought me from a website called Telescope.com. The telescope I'm still getting use to. It was a good one that could be used for day or night, but it didn't come with really high zoom lenses. I've yet to buy better ones, but I think the most awesome thing to watch in the night sky with binoculars or a telescope is the moon! Its so amazing! To look at all the craters and stuff. Wow!

    • philabustah profile image

      Philip 

      6 years ago from Boston, MA.

      Nice article! The suggestion for starting with a pair of binoculars. Good read for us neophytes.

    • twinklingskies profile image

      twinklingskies 

      7 years ago from Zagreb

      Great hub!

      I think everyone should start their way in with binoculars. With telescope there are just too many stars, and it is very easy to get lost in the sky.

    • jamterrell profile image

      jamterrell 

      7 years ago

      That were great objects to look at. Amazing binoculars.

    • commanderx profile image

      commanderx 

      7 years ago

      I think Mars is more visible than Jupiter. anyway Jupiter looks more interesting ..

    • RussellLHuey profile image

      RussellLHuey 

      7 years ago

      Great idea! Using binoculars aside from telescope is a unique twist.

    • profile image

      dave 

      7 years ago

      thanks

    • profile image

      Binoculars 

      9 years ago

      Yeah most think you have to use a telescope to gaze the stars, but a good pair of binoculars is a great way to enjoy the cosmos. I think they are better for novice as they are more versatile than a telescope.

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