Three essential binocular sky targets:

What are some of your favorites?

The Moon 

  • Look for the terminator line: the dividing line between light and shadow, or day and night, on the moon. This is the line of sunrise, or sunset, on the moon.

  •  Look for rilles; the huge, dark maria (dry lava beds); and craters where brighter debris has splashed across the moon’s surface.

Double stars 

  • Mizar and Alcor: located at the bend of the handle in the Big Dipper. These two stars appear 12 arc minutes apart from our point of view. 

  •  Theta Tauri: At 5 1/2 arc minutes apart

    • Theta Tauri, at magnitude 3.8, is found in the V-shape of Taurus’ head, Can you use your binoculars to spot spot a yellowish color in Theta 1 and a bluish hue in Theta 2?

Open Star Clusters are groups of young stars born together out of the same cloud of gas.

  • Pleiades Cluster (M45) in Taurus, a fuzzy patch of six to seven stars seen with the unaided eye. 1.6 magnitude grouping of 30-70 stars

  •  Beehive Cluster (M44) at the center of Cancer. 3.4-magnitude of more than 40 stars. How many can you see in binoculars?

  • In the Southern Hemisphere, the Jewel Box cluster, in the constellation Crux, is one of the youngest known clusters at 14 million years old. Can you spot a pyramidal shape to the cluster through binoculars?​

For more binocular targets visit: 

Best Observing Targets for Binoculars by Kelly Kizer Whitt at EarthSky.com