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Utah Women Astronomical Society
Three essential binocular sky targets:
What are some of your favorites?
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.
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
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