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To all the beginners with new scopes and binoculars....
The following is a little list of some great looking star clusters to view through binoculars. They can be easily viewed in either 7x50 or 10x60 binos.
They are in the sky at the moment.
The Jewel Box- NGC 4755 (small, compact, sparkling cluster). A telescope will reveal three stars diagonally running thru the cluster in blue, white & yellow. Hence the name The Jewel Box. This is a favourite through scopes.
NGC 2516 (sits very close to Avior - a large and bright yellow star).
A compact, sparkling cluster, very beautiful.
The Southern Pleaides- IC2602 (scattered & bright)
Ptolemy's Cluster- M7 (large & awesome in binos).
NGC 5139 Globular Cluster
Eta Carina Nebula- NGC 3372. The bright yellow star in
the middle of the nebula is Eta Carina, a blue hypergiant star.
Running Chicken Nebula (Lambda Centauri) - IC 2944
Sits alongside the star Lamba Centauri.
Orion Nebula- M42.
For an observation report on many of these clusters through binoculars, have a look at my binocular/telescope report here (http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=71992&highlight=binocular+observations)
I also hope many of you'll will be participating (& submitting reports) in the May/June Observing Challenge. ;) We are focussing on the constellation Hydra! :D
See link here (http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=75649)
Have fun everyone! :)
22-05-2011, 01:20 PM
This is exactly what I need as a newbie, thanks Suzy.
23-05-2011, 09:27 AM
Nice one Suzy, I have three scopes going and I still enjoy my binocular time.
:thanx: Walaa & Brent.
I know how frustrating it is getting a scope or binos and not knowing what's up there. So if I can help anyone at all to get started, that's fabulous.
For the many years that I had binos, I never knew what to look at- until I joined this forum. I only just looked at stars:rolleyes:. Who knew there were all those delights up there :shrug:.
It is indeed so incredible what can be seen out of binoculars - gobsmacking even. On a good clear & dark night, I've even been able to grab Centaurus A galaxy from my light polluted suburb.:D It had taken me a very long time looking for it in my scope without luck (since last year), and when I found it in my 10x60 binos, I knew there was no excuse not to be able to find it.:screwy: I then proceeded to sketch the surrounding star field of bright stars for star hopping to it, confident I had to be able to nab it in my scope. And I did. :D
Scorpius not Scorpio... sorry couldn't help it after the other thread on astrology/astronomy.
Shame to see this list buried & forgotten, especially as many of them are visible in our sky right now. :)
26-02-2013, 10:13 AM
Yeah, I've been scanning the skies with the binos while I've attempted to take pix. Nice to wander down the dust lanes through Eta C to Crux, lots of sights to see in there.
26-02-2013, 09:13 PM
I've recently fallen in love with my binos all over again... :love:
Suzy's list is a fine one. The DSO's noted are excellent targets.
There is another thing that bino's excel in - WIDE FIELD VIEWING!
Binos are a pair of rich field scopes. This means that despite their "stunted" aperture, their fast focal ratio can reveal detail that larger instruments can just fail to show at all. This includes bright and DARK nebulae.
With this in mind, I'll suggest four particular areas to view. A dark sky really brings out the best of the following, making binos a fantastic instrument to take if a scope is out of the question.
1: Suzy noted the globular NGC 5139, Omega Centauri. Note only is the cluster amazing on its own, but it is also surrounded by the most subtle and intricate variation in glow from the surrounding Milky Way. Fingers of dark dust, ghostly glow of unseen clusters, and if your binos are 70mm and more, Omega Centauri itself resolves into the most stunning "firework" of tiny, tiny stars.
2: The Rosette Nebula, NGC 2237, is one of the most challenging objects to view. It is huge, larger than the full Moon. But this size makes the nebula very faint that surrounds a lovely bright cluster that gives it its glow. Binoculars are a great tool to actually see this enigmatic gas and dust cloud. Without the excessive magnification of a telescope, binos concentrate the nebulous glow much more compactly. It is still a challenge, and a dark sky is a must.
3: The Table of Scorpius. This "cluster of clusters" contains some of the most massive stars in the Milky Way, large areas of nebulosity, several clusters that range from compact and super bright to large and faint, and, only seen with binos, the most spectacular patterns of dark nebulosity. The Table is centred around the bright stars Zeta 1 and Zeta 2 Scorpii. Even from light polluted areas, the Table is still a striking vista.
4: Area around M8 and M20. Here we are very close to the direction to the centre of the Milky Way. This area is highly concentrated with bright galactic background glow. Here M8 is a truely amazing object on its own, and from a dark site, can show more extensive nebulosity than a scope can. M20 is a bright small glow that has the cluster M21 very close to it. I did a sketch of this area from memory after picking myself off the ground from the sheer beauty of this area of the sky. Using my 11X70 binos from a dark site, I never imagined the amount of detail that binos can actually reveal.
Binos are a most extraordinary and underestimated powerful astronomical tool. I always take my pair, no matter what scope I may be taking with me. And if I can't take a scope, binos always come with me.
You will be most surprised.
26-02-2013, 10:40 PM
Ngc2516 is excellent , also close by is omicron velorum cluster
I have always found jewel box too small & unimpressive in binos, much better in a s cope, I prefer Ngc 3532 sitting below carina neb
The beehive is also up in the northern part of the sky at the moment
27-02-2013, 10:04 AM
I have a couple of potential imaging targets lined up for in a few weeks when the moon goes away. With the binos last night I was able to confirm location and familiarise myself with what was in the area.
Never discount your binos !!
Thanks Alex. :)
How could I have forgotten about adding M8 (The Lagoon Nebula) to the list- it's simply awesome thru binos even from a light polluted backyard it's just so bright! Wait, just realised, I probably hadn't observed it thru binos when this list was done. I must add that one to my list. :D
And thanks Daniel for the mention of M44- The Beehive Cluster. But I found it un-impressive in binos.:shrug: It was just a faint splodge- I've just been looking at my notes now. I'm sure from a dark site tho, it would look quite beautiful and different.
For my list I've picked the really bright, easily stand out, hit you in the face targets. I'm about to edit my list to add a few more goodies in:
TAURUS: The Hyades,
COMA BERENICES: Mel. 111,
TUCANAE: 47Tuc (NGC 104),
SCORPIUS: M6 (Butterfly Cluster),
LMC: Tarantula Nebula NGC 2070,
VULPECULA: Coat Hanger Cluster/Brochhi's Cluster)
SAGITTARIUS: The Lagoon Nebula & assoc. star cluster (M8)
TAURUS: M45 The Pleiades (A clear night and a dark sky can show up some nebulosity- see if you can spot it next time you travel to a dark site). Thanks for this observing tip, Ron.
If anyone thinks of any other really bright ones that I've missed, please let me know so I can add it in.
Seems I can't edit old posts. Big and bald on these objects will have to do I guess. :sadeyes:
And major *face palm* I've just realised I've called Scorpius "Scorpio". Smack me now.... had a real habit of doing that back then. :rolleyes: Edited!
27-02-2013, 08:56 PM
Suzy, add M45 "The Pleiades" to see if you can see the nebulosity.
I didn't realise you could see the nebulosity around M45 visually. Is that with binocs from very dark site presumably? Is it any more obvious in the 16"?
27-02-2013, 10:24 PM
Hi Rob, On nights of good transparency one can get hints of the nebula.
Obviously a "Dark Sky" helps.
You would be surprised what you can see with binoculars when you try.
I have seen it many times in the 16" a wide field eyepiece is the way to go, such as my 55mm university Optics.
Cool. I made a binocular parallelogram on my original dept store reflector's tripod last year. Its only had a couple of outings, but great for cruising while the imaging rig is ticking away. Have never checked out M45 with binocs, but on the to do list now :thumbsup:
Great list too BTW Suzy.
Thanks Rob :D
And I'm with you- what nebulosity in binos :confused2:
Okay Ron, will try hard and see it from a dark site. Pretty sure I see nothing from my backyard either but will give it a go anyway. Hold on.. come to think of it, nebulosity around it hasn't jumped out at me thru a telescope either :question:
I will add M45 to the list, thanks Ron. Goodness knows why it wasn't on there in the first place- perhaps because it's such an obvious object, but then again the obvious can often be missed, re people looking for things to see and me posting about it here grrrr.
28-02-2013, 11:22 AM
:) After setting up the scope and getting the imaging run under way, I like nothing more than to cruise the night sky with my binos. :)
Near Omega Centauri, you should try and see if you can pick up CentaurusA and NGC4945.
Thanks for your input Nettie.
I've picked up Centaurus A from my light polluted front yard with even a street light in the way, but it was a great night of seeing- those rare times when the sky seems so dark & clear & throws everything at you all at once. That particular night I chose to put my binoculars to use and not my scope. It was a very faint tiny smudge but there it was!
As for NGC 4945 I can't even get it here with my 10" telescope- even after several attempts. :shrug:
01-03-2013, 11:27 AM
I've seen hints of nebulosity around Plieades from my backyard in binos ona really good night. Just a wee softness around the stars. The Scopes haven't been able to get down that far till recently after I modified the pier height but I havn't looked at it to see if any can pick it up. It's already a bit low in the west sky by the time it's dark enough.
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