"I Spy"

Now that you have a telescope what can you look at?

Find the Big Dipper, look at the middle star in the handle, this is Mizar. In the telescope you will see that it is a double star. If you have good eyesight you may be able to see this double star by eye.

Big Dipper
The middle star in the handle of the Big Dipper is actually a pair of stars, Mizar and Alcor.

Find Cygnus the Swan, AKA the northern cross

Look at the head star of Cygnus the swan, Albireo, It is a double star. One of the stars is yellow the other is blue. Stars have different colors because they have different temperatures.

The head of cygnus the swan is a double star, Albireo, with each star a different color, one yellow and one blue.

Find Orion.

Look at the middle "star" in the dagger that hangs from Orion's belt. It is actually the Orion Nebula, not a star at all, but a nursery where stars are born.

prion's belt
The three stars of Orion's belt and his sword with the Orion Nebula in the center of the sword.

Find Cassiopeia, the W, and the great square of Pegasus, the baseball diamond.

Draw a line from the nearest point of the W to the nearest point of the baseball diamond, search this line for a white smudge. This is the Andromeda galaxy. When you are looking at it you are seeing some of the oldest light your eye can detect without a telescope. The light left Andromeda 2 million years ago. The Galileoscope will collect more light and give you a brighter view of Andromeda.

Check out the Pleiades.

Look up the list of objects created by Messier. Try to find them in your telescope.

If a comet shows up in the night sky the galileoscope will give you a great view.

Scientific Explorations with Paul Doherty

© 2009

17 November 2009