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Binary object in south sky

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bridgwater

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Hola amigos. I started "star-gazing" recently in more detail, and I found a binary object with my binocs (everyone keeps saying "Don't get a scope until you know the sky, so I am starting out more slowly). I am sure it is in any good sky atlas, but I am currently without one. I am in OKC, OK, and the object is due south at about 70 degrees above horizon. I will get some books soon, but in the meantime...
 
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CalliArcale

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Not knowing where you're located, it's a little hard to guess at which binary object you saw. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> There are quite a few. Most aren't truly binary systems, but rather two stars that happend to look close together, with one far behind the other.<br /><br />A couple of famous double stars:<br /><br />Alcor/Mizar - this pair is visible with the naked eye; it's the middle star in the "handle" of the Big Dipper (Ursa Major). Legend has it that some ancient peoples used this double as a vision test; if you could see both of them, you passed.<br /><br />Albireo - the "head" of Cygnus the Swan (or the foot of the Northern Cross; same constellation). This is not visible to the naked eye, and I'm not sure whether you can see it with binocs, but it's very pretty. One star is distinctly blue and the other is distinctly yellow.<br /><br />If you want to get starmaps for free, I recommend two sites: Heavens Above (the definitive site for satellite pass predictions; very fun) and Your Sky, a surprisingly fast and absolutely free online custom starmap service. Just plug in your location and the desired time and it will churn out a starmap for you. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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bridgwater

Guest
Oops, I've been away from Minnesota too long-- "OKC, OK"= Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Thanks for the links. It has been fun looking at things with binocs-- Tycho, Aristarchus, etc. The moon does indeed come to life... Yes, I wondered about simply seeing two objects that were not actually binary-- would the two objects in a binary be VERY close to each other when viewed with binoculars?
 
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heyscottie

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I don't know of any of the more popular binaries in that region of the sky -- you seem to be looking in Hercules or Ophiuchus based on your information.<br /><br />But there are binaries ALL over the sky!<br /><br />Some true binaries would be easily split by binoculars, whereas others would not. There is a very wide range in how far apart members of binary systems can appear to us. But in most binoculars, even the widest binaries would almost appear to be touching.
 
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eosophobiac

Guest
Another good free star map site is http://skymaps.com/ <br />They say you can download one map/month, although sometimes I do more than one (shhhh!) if something happenes to the first one I printed out, (i.e. leave it on the roof of the vehicle, and drive home). And they have maps from previous months for downloading/printing too.<br />I also am using bino's, still becoming familiar with the sky. There is a lot to look at though, and I'm really enjoying myself. Now if it'd just cool off a bit, and some of this $%&*! humidity would go away.... <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p> </p> </div>
 
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bridgwater

Guest
Ok, using a map from www.skymaps.com I have tracked it down. It is north of Open Star Cluster 6124 (about 16 degrees), southeast of Antares, and west of Scorpius. It is not labeled on the map (though they are shown), so I am assuming they are just two stars sitting near each other. Anyway, it is helping me learn the sky!
 
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heyscottie

Guest
Antares is the brightest star IN Scorpius. Maybe you are talking about the label where it is written on the map you are looking at, and not the constellation itself?<br /><br />Incidentally, there's no way that is 70 degrees from the horizon for you -- I'll assume you made a typo. That's why I suggested your object was in Hercules or Ophiuchus.<br /><br />Scott
 
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