Astronomy journal, star atlas, reference book, and binoculars.
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...

The Epic of Algieba

The Epic of Algieba

On the evening of Wednesday, May 3, 2023, I was seduced outside by mildly crappy skies (instead of the forecast 100% cloud cover and rain) and a spanking new Nikon 18x70 IF WF binocular begging for starlight. Here is a shout out to my Cloudy Nights friends...

Close Double Stars for 10x Binoculars

Close Double Stars for 10x Binoculars

A misperception exists about the capability of 10x binocular to resolve closer double stars. The actual limit is much closer than often believed. The closest double star I have resolved with a 10x binocular is 100 Herculis, which has a separation of only 14.3...

Wasat Star Field in Gemini

Wasat Star Field in Gemini

The starfield around the star Wasat in the constellation Gemini (also named Delta Geminorum, 55 Gem, STF 1066) first attracted my notice years ago because of its marque denizen, the planetary nebula, NGC 2392 (the Eskimo Nebula) which is a fine object for high...

Oberwerk XL 7mm Eyepieces

Oberwerk XL 7mm Eyepieces

I recently added Oberwerk 7mm XL eyepieces to my equipment collection for the purpose of doing comparisons with the 7mm eyepieces I customarily use – Pentax 7mm XWs. A collimation issue has been reported concerning the XL 7mm eyepieces, such that the eyepieces have to...

Wasat Star Field in Gemini

Gemini — Seldom Seen Star Fields

The most observed object in the constellation Gemini is the rich open cluster Messier 35. Its faint companion cluster, NGC 2159, is better known to the astronomical cognoscenti than more casual observers. The excellent double star Castor, STF 1110, and the planetary...

A Colorful Quartet in Lepus

A Colorful Quartet in Lepus

The multiple star HJ 3780 is a colorful and pleasing binocular object in the somewhat neglected constellation of Lepus, crouching just south of Orion. The blazing star in the Simbad image above is Arneb, a 2nd magnitude class F0 1b supergiant, the brightest star in...

A Colorful Quartet in Lepus

How to Find Hind’s Crimson Star

This post is for a special friend who recently had trouble locating Hind's Crimson Star, aka R Leporis. R Leporis is a famously red carbon star of spectral class C7,4e in the constellation Lepus, the hare. It's a Mira-type variable 1300 light years from Earth, ranging...