Looking Up: Buy-noculars

Mar 27, 2017

Jeepers, would ya look at those peepers!
Credit Hal Bidlack

This week on Looking Up Dana Bidlack regales us with her wide appreciation of the night sky.

Over the past two years, you’ve heard my husband Hal go on and on about the amazing things in the night sky that you can see through a telescope. But I’m here to tell you that you don’t need a fancy telescope or any expensive equipment to enjoy a star party or even just an evening in the back yard. An inexpensive pair of binoculars will reveal hundreds of wondrous objects, from the comfort of a lawn chair.

One of my favorite things to do is to get comfy in a reclining outdoor chair with my binoculars, and sweep them slowly across the night sky, looking for interesting things.

Like, for example, globular clusters, which are tight balls of stars that orbit around our own Milky Way Galaxy. In binoculars, you see these objects as lovely puff balls of light, and in some you can even resolve individual stars.

Other fun things to look at, such as the Andromeda Galaxy, may actually appear better in binoculars than in most telescopes, because binoculars have a wider field of view. You may find that a tripod to steady your binoculars can be helpful, but you don’t have to have one.

And don’t forget to look at the Moon. You can see remarkable details, especially at the dividing line between light and shadow, such as crater walls and mountain peaks and more!

You can enjoy star parties without hauling around big bulky things, be they telescopes or husbands.

If you’d like to take a closer look at any of the wonderful and amazing things in the sky, please visit CSASTRO.org for a link to information on our monthly meetings and our free public star parties! 

This is Dana Bidlack for the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society, telling you to keep looking up, Southern Colorado!