- A Review of Teeter STS18
- MesuMount 200 Review
- First Light with the Prototype 8x42 Space WalkerTM 3D Binoculars
- INTERSTELLARUM DEEP-SKY ATLAS (FIELD EDITION) REVIEW
- THE BAADER BBHS-SITALL SILVER DIAGONAL
- Explore Scientific AR 102
- Review: davejlec's Paralellogram Mount
- Annals of the Deep Sky, Volumes One and Two
- Discovery 17.5” Split Tube Dobsonian Telescope
- REVIEW OF SUMERIAN OPTICS ALKAID 16” TRAVEL SCOPE
- Astrotrac TP3065 Pier Review
- Apo-tmosphere: Gutekunst ADC Review
- Optolong LRGB Filter Testing and Comparison with Baader LRGB Filters
- First Light Review: Teeter Custom TT Planet Killer 16" f/5.4
- The Baader Planetarium Morpheus
CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.
A lifelong amateur astronomer, Phil Harrington was bitten by the "astronomical bug" when he was assigned to watch the total lunar eclipse of April 1968 as a homework assignment. Since then , Phil has spent countless hours touring the universe through telescopes and binoculars.
Phil is probably most familiar to amateur astronomers for his books, including: TOURING THE UNIVERSE THROUGH BINOCULARS, STAR WARE, and STAR WATCH. Phil is also a contributing editor for Astronomy magazine, where he frequently reviews telescopes, binoculars, and other astronomical equipment, as well as authors observing features. Phil also authored the magazine's monthly Binocular Universe column from 2005-2009. In June 2009, his popular column moved to Cloudynights.com.
Each month, Binocular Universe will visit some of the many wonders of the night sky that are visible through a simple pair of binoculars. Some of the sights may be familiar, while others may be brand new. And if you spot something along the way that you would like to see mentioned in a future column, be sure to drop Phil a line here.
Welcome to the Binocular Universe, where two eyes are better than one.
One look at the beautiful astrophotos posted here on Cloudynights and it’s quite evident that we live in a vibrant and colorful universe. But when we swing our binoculars (and telescopes) skyward, most of what we see visually are varying shades of gray. What's up with that?
Bridging the constellations Coma Berenices and Virgo stands the Wild West for binocular astronomers, where only the brave trod. You may know it as the Coma-Virgo Realm of Galaxies. The Coma-Virgo galaxy cluster is the core of the Coma-Virgo supercluster, which embraces members far and wide. All of the galaxies within autumn’s Sculptor galaxy cluster, as well as our Milky Way as well as the rest of the Local Group of galaxies, are counted among the multitude.
There's light at the end of the tunnel. The moment we've all been waiting for is almost here. Spring. SPRING! As we begin to say farewell to Orion, Taurus, Canis Major, and the rest of the winter enclave for another year, we welcome the stars of Leo, Ursa Major, and the rest of the spring collection. While not as bright as the winter stars, the spring sky carries with it many exciting targets to which we can raise our binoculars.
As you head south, everyday constellations rise higher above the southern horizon. Because their light is now piercing less of our earthly atmosphere, familiar objects take on an exciting, more spectacular appearance. At the same time, new and exotic star patterns begin to appear below. What wonders of the universe do these unfamiliar regions hold?
Each academic semester, I teach a different undergraduate astronomy course at Suffolk County Community College here on Long Island. Often, when I am teaching the “Astronomy of Stars and Galaxies” course, a student will come up to me before the first class and ask me "so, what's this class all about?" My answer is always the same: "Orion!"
Over the last few months, we have explored planetary nebulae and galaxies hidden in the far southern sky. This month, we head back north to tackle others gracing the December sky that are sure test your mettle. Be forewarned, as the title of this installment says, we are going after some big game.
Created by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1756 from stars originally belonging to Eridanus, the faint constellation Fornax, the Furnace, appears to the naked eye as a nearly starless void southeast of the bright star Diphda (Beta Ceti).
The wet quarter of the sky is made up of several constellations that are associated with water in one way of the other. These include Capricornus, the Sea-Goat; Aquarius, the Water-Bearer; Piscis Austrinus, the Southern Fish; Cetus, the Whale; and Pisces, the Fishes. All ride low in the southern sky from the vantage point of most of us living in the Northern Hemisphere. As a result, you may need to travel to a dark sky that is free of terrestrial obstructions, low-slung light pollution, and any horizon-hugging haze in order to see some of the targets explored below.
Sixty-nine years ago this month, the face of amateur astronomy changed forever. A seed was planted in September 1946 that would blossom into a decades-long infatuation with deep-sky observing among amateurs everywhere. Without any fanfare at the time, a man named Walter Scott Houston took over the reigns of a small column in Sky & Telescope magazine called Deep-Sky Wonders.
Would you like a spot of tea? Of course, I'm speaking of the sky's Teapot, Sagittarius. Known in ancient times as an archer, with his arrow aimed tentatively toward Scorpius immediately to the west, Sagittarius is usually portrayed as a centaur: a mythological half-man, half-horse creature.
To modern eyes, however, the constellation's 8 brightest stars form a perfect teapot, complete with lid, spout, and curved handle. And its tea must be ready, judging by all of the steam billowing out of the spout in the form of the Milky Way!