Binocular Observation Report 07/11/02
The sky was outstanding last night. From my backyard it was ablaze with stars. I can’t imagine how the local dark sights were. I, of course, had to work today so setting up the scope at 11:00 PM was not a good idea. I grabbed my Orion 15x70 Little Giants and was observing by 11:02. I was out for about 45 minutes. It’s amazing how much you can see in a short period of time with a good pair binoculars and a little experience. Once you get know the sky, you can just swing from one item to the next without even taking the binos away from your eyes.
I started in Oph with Globular Clusters M10 & M12. That’s one of my favorite targets. You can see both in the same field of view. Next, over to the beautiful bino target Open Cluster IC4665. Lots of bright stars in a circular area. Then was Cygnes. I can split Alberio hand held, very impressive. Just looking anywhere in Cygnes is a thrill. Stars everywhere. I look at open Cluster M29 which is a small round patch with just 2 or 3 star resolvable. With the binos mounted you can see more, this a hand held observation report. M39 is a wonderful item. Many bright stars resolving in a triangular shape. A few trees were taken down behind my yard for roadwork being done. I can actually see Sagittarius and Scorpius now. It’s not a good view, I’m still looking through electric and phone cables and tree branches. I wouldn’t put the scope up and expect to see much, but with the binos you can of course move around and find almost anything in a clear spot. M4 was my first target in this area. No problem in the 15x70’s. Nice bright hazy spot with no resolution. On to M22, beautiful! Then M8 the Lagoon Nebula is just great. I say it runs a close second to M42. With M20 the Trifid and open Cluster M21 all in the same field, it’s hard to move on. Back over to M25 Open Cluster and straight up to M17 the The Omega. This guy was really bright, sticking out screaming for attention. I just kept swinging around in this area. M24 the Star Cloud outstanding! I saw lots more like M18 and M23. I didn’t bring the charts out, those are the ones I know by heart. Next, I want over to Ursa Major and checked out M51 which is really in Canes Venatici. It was quite visible and companion NGC5195 was right there. It’s one of the few times I’ve see 5195 in the binos. M81 was very bright and easy to spot but M82 was hard. I did see it but just barley. Straight overhead was Lyre. The Ring Nebula M57 is hard to pick out of the stars at only 15x. The ring shape is not visible. I know which one it is so I was able to see it. One more sweep on the Teapot and I called it a night. 45 minutes. Not a bad bunch of items! While I was putting the binos away I remembered all the stuff I forgot to look for. M11, M13, M92, M80, M11, M63, M94, M7, M11, M8, M71, M11, M69, M70, M54, M11, M53, M31, M32, M110….And of course, how could I have forgotten M11!
Like I always say, if you’re into astronomy and you haven’t got a good pair of binoculars, you’re missing half the fun!