This past Saturday night (9/7), the Binocular Stargazing Program was held for the third time this year at Rancho Canada del Oro. Using binoculars is a great way to to explore star the night sky. You can see the “big” picture – constellations and how they move as the night progresses. Plus you can see asterisms, open star clusters, globular star clusters, binary stars, planets (when viewable) and a galaxy or two.
We encourage folks to bring binoculars, a comfortable chair, warm clothes, and a red lens flashlight. As the sky darkens we explain how to read an all sky map (www.skymaps.com) that is provided to participants. I take a few minutes to explain the advantages of using binoculars and how to select them. We point out the brighter stars and constellations. Using Polaris (the North Star) we show how the sky rotates around it. As the night progresses we point out and explain many of the night sky wonders.
There have been between 25 to 35 folks showing up on average. With quite a few that have returned. Many people stay after the session ends to spend time viewing additional objects and to ask questions. This program is a great way for those who are just starting out to explore star gazing.