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Binocular Astronomy
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Do you own a pair of binoculars?  Maybe you have them for bird watching or sight seeing? They are a great instrument for astronomy too. There are hundreds of objects that you can see with a pair of 7 x 35 or 10 x 50 binoculars. Some of the most spectacular objects are best seen in binoculars: the Pleiades, the Hyades, the Andromeda Galaxy. Although you have to get up early in the morning to see it now, Jupiter, the king of the planets is actually a beautiful binocular object. If you mount your binoculars on a tripod or other steady surface, you can see Jupiter as a disk, and even see its four large moons. Most of the objects that are visible now are small in binoculars, but you can see them, and you can tell that they are not stars, but something special. There are great open clusters of stars, the highlight being the Beehive Cluster in the constellation Cancer. There are also globular clusters of millions of stars (looking like giant snowballs), such as M-4 in Scorpius. All you need is a good star chart, and patience as you navigate through the sky.
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