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wulliam

Just starting with bins

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Here in the NE we've had a few very clear nights - it's beautiful tonight. Our new 10x50 bins arrived on Friday morning and my son (6) and I have tonight identified Meissa at the top of Orion. We've also seen the Orion Nebula for the first time, as well as the Pleiades. We've also seen Mizar and Alcor in the Plough - though his eyes are so much better than mine and he can see Alcor without the bins.

I know this is all very basic indeed - but it's also beautiful!

I've been reading up and think I understand the concept of the ecliptic. In terms of learning the constellations, is it best to start with the Zodiac and work out from there?

Also, are there any other nebula visible at the moment even from light polluted areas like ours? - we're on the edge of Newcastle/Gateshead.

Thanks!

William

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Nice to hear. The bins have to be essential as a starting kit and also an aid when you have a scope, so well done.

Something else of which your son will see but you will need the bins is the Andromeda Galaxy. Also the BeeHive cluster is very faint to the eye a little duller than Pleiades.

As to learning constellations, I don;t think it matters in what order, it's a case of finding what is easiest to see. I've know the plough since I was a child, Orion since I took up Astronomy this year and opposite the plough is the W or M of Cassiopea which is another very easy find all year round.

Sounds like you are doing great, pleased to hear your son likes it too.

Oh and for me Pleaides still has to be my favorite site and requires the bins and not a telescope.

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It sounds like you are both off to a cracking start. 10x50 bins really are great for observing. They are the "work horse" of most astronomers.

Starting with the zodiac constellations (when they are visible) is about the best/easiest way of learning to navigate the night sky.

Regarding nebulae visible in 10x50 bins.............i'm sorry to say but i think you are limited to the Orion nebula. Dont worry though, as there are so many other objects which are truly stunning in 10x50 bins. I'm thinking of star clusters. The "Beehive" cluster is totally a binocular object. The double cluster in Hercules also.

I wish i still had the eyes of a 6 yr old.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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Have you tried looking at Jupiter? Even in bins you can see the 4 main moons and over the course of a few hours (or consecutive nights) you'll see them move as they orbit the planet (just like Galileo did centuries ago!). And of course you have the moon (neither should be too badly affected by light pollution).

Whatever you decide to observe, have fun!!

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Thanks - this is all very encouraging! We have looked at Jupiter but can't keep the bins still. We've tried resting them on an upturned broom as some suggest, but no luck yet.

We're off to dark skies in Ireland in a fortnight - hopefully the clouds won't follow us... :)

William

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William, nothing better than your first sessions at the night sky.

The 'bins' will open up a whole new experience with possibly a spiritual aspect.

It is indeed beautiful, but more so because you are sharing it with your son.

As for what you can see with the 'bins', download Stellarium to get your local night sky.

A cyber friend on a AU/US forum regularly posts a Messier report observed with binoculars.

Pleaides are most certainly a favourite taget. Bins or Scope/wide field.

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Thanks - this is all very encouraging! We have looked at Jupiter but can't keep the bins still. We've tried resting them on an upturned broom as some suggest, but no luck yet.

We're off to dark skies in Ireland in a fortnight - hopefully the clouds won't follow us... :)

William

What part of Ireland are you off to?. Clouds could be an issue, but we have had some lovely dry,cold,cloud free nights lately.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher

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If you're struggling to hold the bins steady then the best suggestion is to invest in a monopod with a trigger head - full details on that site that baggywrinkle linked to. Good luck and enjoy.

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We've already been using Stellarium - really excellent - and have started trying to get our teeth into 'Turn left at Orion'. binocularsky.com looks good too - thanks for the link.

As for Ireland, we've booked a cottage on a farm near my in-laws a few miles outside Newtownards, Co Down.

If I keep posting, I'll be able to look at the Classified section eventually :)

William

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As for Ireland, we've booked a cottage on a farm near my in-laws a few miles outside Newtownards, Co Down.

Not familiar with that area(Newtownards), but there should be dark sky locations not far away. You are right by Strangford lough/lake (been there). Yeah, there should be some really nice forest areas surrounding it which will be dark skies.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher

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My favorites in 10 x 50's

The targets you mentioned already.

Andromeda,

M27 Dumbbell Nebula

M13 Hercules Globular Cluster

Double cluster in Perseus

Kemble's Cascade

Brocci's Cluster / The Coat Hanger / Collinder 399

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Thanks for that last list - it gives us a few to go at. I think the clouds are returning for the NE from tonight though :(

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Thanks for that last list - it gives us a few to go at. I think the clouds are returning for the NE from tonight though :(

Welcome to the UK world of Astronomy where we spend more time looking at the weather  :clouds1: than the stars.

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Hey I got my 10x50 Bins many years ago along with "'Turn left at Orion'" and then got a secondhand tripod (I've recently lost the mount section in a house move - Doh!). The really limiting factor was my narrow polluted garden views but I really loved the Moon through my bins but I'd recommend as sturdy a tripod as possible and a chair and then you can relax with the views.

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