BinoSky - best bets for stargazing with binoculars
[Up to the BinoSky contents page]

The Pleiades, an open cluster in Taurus, M45
A map of the star field. Magnitudes are given without a decimal point, e.g. 67 is to be interpreted as magnitude 6.7.

How to Find It
Start from Orion's upper right shoulder, move diagonally up and to the right through the bright star Aldebaran, and continue on about an equal distance to the Pleiades. The cluster is easily visible with the naked eye, even under poor conditions, so you can find it by eye and then point the binoculars at it.

Dazzling enough from the city, this brightest of all open clusters will knock your socks off from a dark-sky area. It even looks pretty around sunset when the sky is still blue! Counting fifteen stars or so is like falling off a log -- under good conditions at least thirty are visible. This is one of the few cases where the view through binoculars is as good as the photos you find in books.

Telescopic photos show a reflection nebula visible as a cloud surrounding each of the bright stars, but these are not visible through ordinary binoculars under typical conditions.

RA=03 47, dec=+24 07
integrated magnitude=1.2

60-degree field of view

[Top of page | Up to the BinoSky contents page ]

(c) Copyright 1998 Benjamin Crowell. All right reserved.
Photos from the Digitized Sky Survey,
Sky maps created by Your Sky,