“Discover How To Find and Enjoy Nearly 100 Astonishing Deep-Sky Wonders in Even the Smallest Telescope”
by Brian Ventrudo, Publisher, One-Minute Astronomer
As publisher of One-Minute Astronomer, I’m often asked for advice about what to see in a small telescope.
“Show me something good!”, someone will say to me at a star party.
Or, “What else can I see in my little telescope”?
What else can you see? Quite a bit, it turns out.
In fact, I’ve shown many stargazers how to observe things in a small telescope most people never even dream of seeing, and that “armchair astronomers” only read about in books.
In the next few minutes, I’ll reveal to you my favorite deep-sky objects, taken from the pages of my personal observing notebooks…
When you finally see these celestial treasures for yourself, it’s like being let in on a closely guarded secret… and you won’t think of the world (or the universe) quite the same way again.
I’m talking about spectacular deep-sky sights like…
• A blood-red star in the constellation Draco, where the products of billions of years of nuclear fusion are being dredged up from the core
• The dazzling “Ophiuchus Double Cluster”, two distinct open clusters that make the must-see list of many experienced stargazers this time of year
• A dim, “forgotten” globular cluster in the scant space between the bright star Antares and the brighter globular cluster M4 in the constellation Scorpius
• The glittering Small Sagittarius Star Cloud, a small patch of millions of stars in an inner arm of the Milky Way that harbors two dark nebulae easily seen in a small telescope
• Dozens of colorful double and multiple star systems you can see with any telescope, even from hazy and light-polluted city skies
• A chain of star clusters and bright nebulae rising above the “teapot” of Sagittarius like knots of celestial steam (you can spend a dozen nights just on this part of sky, and it’s better than any photograph from a big telescope).
• The ghostly remembrance of two exploded stars in the constellation Cygnus that looks like delicate silver lacework against the velvet blackness of space
• A planetary nebula in the same constellation that disappears when you stare at it for more than a few seconds, then “magically” reappears when you look away
Discover Forgotten Treasures of the Night Sky
These sights (and nearly a hundred more) are revealed in the new guide “What To See in a Small Telescope” from One-Minute Astronomer’s Stargazer University. In this first of an ongoing series, you discover how to find and enjoy dozens of deep-sky objects with a small telescope in the mid-evening hours of July, August, and September.
The guide covers the most famous showpiece sights, for sure, like the Dumbbell Nebula, Wild Duck Cluster, and the “Double-Double” star in Lyra.
But many of the objects in this guide are forgotten jewels that never make the observing lists of most stargazers. Which is a shame, because none are particularly hard to find. Seeing these deep-sky sights is like finding charming attractions only the locals know about in a hidden corner of an old European city.
In this case, I’m the “local” who will guide through the hidden corners of the night sky.
As the publisher of One-Minute Astronomer, I’m often asked for ideas of what to observe with a small telescope. So I’ve dipped into my notebooks and come up with almost 100 stars, star clusters, nebulae and galaxies to observe with a 3 or 4-inch telescope from July through September.
These are my favorites. After more than three decades of stargazing I’ve seen them all many times, yet never tire of their subtle beauty, even in my small 4-inch refractor. And most are easy to find and enjoy, even from light-polluted skies.
The tours in the guide take you to clusters of brand-new stars just emerging from their birth nebulae… blue-green planetary nebulae thrown off by dying stars like our Sun… ancient star clusters nearly as old as the universe itself… even a small satellite galaxy of the Milky Way that’s lost in the star clouds of Sagittarius and wasn’t even discovered until just over a hundred years ago.
Ten Complete Sky Tours for a Small Telescope
“What To See in a Small Telescope” is arranged into ten complete tours of the sky you can take in July through September. From Draco in the far north to Scorpius and Sagittarius in the south, you get all the maps and information you need to find interesting stars, star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies using nothing more than a 3-inch or 4-inch telescope. Each tour includes…
• Maps and instructions to find each deep-sky object using well-known reference points in the night sky
• Tips on how to observe each object to extract maximum detail, including which magnification work best, what structure and color to look for, and which (if any) filters to use
• Whole-sky maps for July, August, and September to help you get oriented to the more detailed maps in each tour
• Names and celestial coordinates for every object listed in the tours so you can find them on your own star maps or punch them into your telescope’s “go-to” computer (if you have one)
• A little science to give you insight into what you’re seeing (it’s amazing how much more interesting even the faintest smudge of an object can be when you understand what you’re looking at)
• A set of 12 enlarged maps from the tours to help you find each object when you’re out with your telescope. You can print out these maps, even have them laminated if you like, and take them along on your observing sessions
The guide also includes a bonus “observing checklist” with all objects listed in each of the ten tours, and room for your own observing notes as you locate and enjoy each object.
And to save you the trouble of juggling notes in the dark, you also get a free audio version of “What To See in a Small Telescope”. You can load each audio file onto your iPod or MP3 player and follow along during your observing sessions. Or you can listen to the audio notes in your car, on the bus, or while going for a walk. It’s an easy way to plan your next observing session!
Build Your “Life List” of Deep-Sky Wonders
So is this course for you?
If you understand the basic layout of the night sky, and you can locate the major constellations, and you’re tired of observing the “same old” objects again and again and want to see something new, then this guide is definitely for you.
And while you don’t need a telescope to enjoy reading through the course, you’ll need access to a small scope to see most of the sights in the tours. A 4 to 6 inch reflector or a 3 to 4-inch refractor with a solid mount is enough to see every one of the nearly 100 objects outlined.
If you have a bigger scope, is this course still for you? Absolutely! What you can see in a small scope almost always looks better in an 8-inch or larger telescope. And I make careful notes about what you can see with larger optics.
But what if you live in the city or the suburbs. Is this course for you? Again, absolutely. By using higher magnification on some objects, and special optical filters on others, you can get still get excellent views of every one of the deep-sky sights listed in the course.
And if you’re lucky enough to have a computerized scope, or a “go-to” mount, that’s even better. Select a named object in the course (like an NGC or Messier object, or a star), punch it into your computer, and let the telescope do the work to find it. For the more obscure sights without “names”, the coordinates of the object are listed in the course, so again, you just have to punch them into your computer and away you go.
A Guide to the Best Sights in the Deep Sky This Season
If you want to see more deep-sky sights with a small telescope, if you’re wondering “what else is out there”, now is your chance to find out. This first volume of “What To See In A Small Telescope” shows you exactly what you need to expand your realm of deep-sky sights and help you enjoy nearly 100 beautiful deep sky objects in the night sky from July through September.
The 75-page guide provides full details on how to find each object, detailed maps for each of the ten tours in this guide, and tips on how best to see each sight in a small scope.
You get an observer’s checklist with each object listed along with room for your own observing notes.
And you get the full course notes in audio format, to help you follow along during your observing sessions.
“What To See In A Small Telescope” is available for immediate download in PDF format from One-Minute Astronomer’s Stargazer University. The cost? Just US$27. And as always, you have a full guarantee of satisfaction. If the guide doesn’t meet your expectations, just let me know anytime and you get a full refund.
So why not give “What To See In A Small Telescope” a try? Click here to get started, then wander outside on the next clear night to see something extraordinary!
Brian Ventrudo, Ph.D.
Publisher, One-Minute Astronomer