View Full Version : What are the top 10 things to see in the night sky?

2013-Dec-20, 09:51 PM
This January I'm planning to do an Intro to Astronomy for schoolkids in my area of Northern Belize. Most of these kids have never even seen a telescope or even binoculars, so it will be quite a sensation for them. Are the any good websites out there that can answer my title question? I have a rinkydink 150X +/- Tasco telescope with about a 2 3/8" objective lens, and some pretty nice binoculars. Looking for maximum impact to give the kids something to remember and talk about. Can anyone chime in with their favs that would be visible next month?

2013-Dec-20, 11:33 PM
Check out http://www.heavens-above.com/ to determine when the International Space Station (ISS) and maybe the Hubble Telescope (HST) are visible overhead. The ISS is something the whole class can see together, with their own eyes, and even wave to.

2013-Dec-22, 01:58 PM
Even the moon is pretty cool in binocs. You could also try for whatever planets are visible. You can see the moons of Jupiter or Saturn's rings with binocs.

Nick Theodorakis
2013-Dec-23, 06:17 AM
Pleiades looks good with binocs or low power. Same with Orion nebula. Jupiter should be a good target too. This assumes you're in the Northern hemisphere.

Normally I don't like to encourage the use of a green laser pointer in public viewings but in this case I will make an exception if you are pointing binocular targets to students.

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2013-Dec-23, 03:35 PM
Jupiter is in a good position now after sunset to view it's moons and the craters of our Moon are eye popping via the scope. But the show stopper is to see Saturn's rings for the first time. If your scope is equipped with the proper solar filter/lens then sunspots are interesting for day gazing.

StarFish AP
2014-Feb-01, 05:33 PM
That sounds like a perfect opportunity to pack a small Dobsonian telescope...that could be fun.

2014-Apr-28, 08:56 PM
When I'm trying to get kids interested in astronomy, I try to pick out things that they'll be able to find again later with the naked eye. Seeing the moon in more detail is fun, since they see it almost every night. The Orion nebula is great, since the constellation is easy to find and you can connect it to something the kids are familiar with. The International Space Station tends to blow kids minds when you tell them to imagine people living up there. If you can do a class on a night with a meteor shower, that can keep the kids interested while they're waiting to use the telescope or binoculars.


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