Backyard astronomy in the suburbs

Observing large open clusters

In the last few months I have been observing some large open clusters with binoculars. On Saturday november 20 last year I observed and sketched Melotte 20 in Perseus, also known als the Alpha Persei Moving Cluster. This huge starcluster has a diameter of almost 5 degrees. The observation was don with a 10x70 Fujinon binocular mounted on a mirror mount. The careful observation and the sketch took me about 1.5 hours. Later I scanned the pencil sketch into photoshop and made a more "realistic" version. Due to the mirror I use for observing, south is up and east is to the left.

Alpha Librae and Jupiter through binoculars

This year I started working on the Astromical League's Binocular Double Star Observing Program. I hope to complete this list, including sketches, within a year or two. Its about 120 double's so that should be something nice to try with my 10x70 and 15x80.

Here is a sketch of one of them, Alpha Libra, together with Jupiter and three of its moons. The sketch was made on the 7th of May 2018, at 2.20 local time. South is up, and east is to the left. Alpha Librae is the double star near the rim on the right. Jupiter is visible with Callisto, Io an Europe. Ganymede is to close to Jupiter to be split with the Fujinon 10x70. The yellowish star to the southeast of Jupiter is Nu Librae. You only can get these beautiful wide angle fields in binoculars. The Fujinon 10x70 has a 5.3 degree field of view.

Show more posts