Astronomy journal, star atlas, reference book, and binoculars.
Stephenson 1 Star Cluster

Stephenson 1 Star Cluster

Stephenson 1 is a star cluster in the constellation Lyra. It is about 1200 light years from our solar system and more or less centered on Delta 2 Lyrae, which ironically has been found not to be a cluster member. Nearby Delta 1 Lyrae is a 70% probable member. Also...

A Late, Late Spring Galaxy Night

A Late, Late Spring Galaxy Night

Sunday and Monday nights (18 and 19 June 2023), just days before the summer solstice (21 June), were some of the best skies we have had here in months, following rain Saturday night and a temporary respite from Canada wildfire smoke. I had a Sunday evening meeting so...

Venus and the Beehive

Venus and the Beehive

I observed at Lewis Young Park in Louisburg, Kansas Tuesday evening, June 13, 2023 with ASKC friend Bill Barlow, who motivated me to get to a darker site for the first time in months. I had qualms about the sky conditions, but Bill (a retired meteorologist) said it...

Oberwerk 120XL-SD First Light

Oberwerk 120XL-SD First Light

A long anticipated arrival has occurred, and the Oberwerk 120XL-SD binocular telescope has returned to my Team BT, which now includes the full Oberwerk XL line-up (70XL-ED, 82XL-SD, 100XL-SD, 120XL-SD, and 127XL-SD). I evaluated the proto-type 120XL-SD several months...

Binary Bounty in Boötes

Binary Bounty in Boötes

Following up on a conversation about SHY double stars in the Cloudy Nights binocular forum, I decided to observe the double star STTA 122, which includes the "E" component of SHY 247, a comoving stellar companion to what is arguably the most famous of all double stars...

Further Adventures with Comoving Stellar Companions

Further Adventures with Comoving Stellar Companions

Noting that Leo Minor contains four SHY binary stars, I decided to seek out the other three after observing SHY 552 in my first adventure with very wide binaries and other comoving stellar companions. 😉 SHY 552 has a relatively cozy separation of 106.9 arc-seconds. My...

A Shy Double Star in the Little Lion

A Shy Double Star in the Little Lion

A few weeks ago I was consulting Sky Safari and StelleDoppie to identify objects of binocular interest in Leo Minor and found a likely double star in the upper northwest corner of the constellation boundary with Ursa Major, near Tania Australis. Only a WDS code (no...

Double Duty with Phil Harrington

Double Duty with Phil Harrington

April and May suburban skies lack bright bounty for binoculars because the Milky Way is mostly out of sight as we look upward out of the spiral disk of our galaxy, rather than into it as we do in winter and summer when it is high overhead. The Milky Way is the visible...

The Bear and the Gazelle

The Bear and the Gazelle

Perusing constellation boundaries is one of the pleasures of binocular astronomy for me. I'm reminded of the waggish remark on the golf course when a ball has been driven well off the fairway and the helpful comment is made, "A person should really play the 'whole'...

A Carbon Night in Hydra

A Carbon Night in Hydra

Hydra is the largest constellation in the night sky (1302.84 square degrees). It can be challenging for suburban observers in mid latitudes (like Kansas 😉) because its northern border is at 7 degrees of declination, well to the south, and neighboring houses and trees...