BINOCULAR HIGHLIGHTS


Here's the position of Venus in mid June. It will continue to rise a bit higher each night until it reaches maximum elongation east on Friday August 17.
The southern horizon is the center of attraction in June. In mid June at 10:45 PM MDT we can see (from left to right) Saturn, the middle of our Milky Way Galaxy, Antares, and Jupiter. Scan your binoculars slightly above and to the right of Antares to find Globular Cluster M4. It will look like a large foggy star. It will take a telescope with a medium to high power eyepiece to see the hundreds of thousands of individual stars in this celestial spherical ball.
The Little Dipper stands up on its handle in June. You can use the relatively bright "pot" stars of the Big Dipper to locate Polaris and scan the rest of this relatively dim constellation from there.
The Summer Triangle of Vega (upper center), Deneb (middle left), and Altair (lower right) help usher in the new season. Note how the Milky Way runs parallel to the horizon. It's fun to scan your binoculars along this rich dense star and dust band. Don't forget to get a look at the optical double star, Alberio, to see the two beautiful contrasting colors of this heavenly pair. Also note the tiny but relatively bright constellation Delphinus The Dolphin jumping out of the "mountain waves" just above and to the left of due east.
Now that we're returning to the Summer months when nights are relatively warm, it's time to resume what I call, "Lazy Astronomy." Find a comfortable lounge chair and a clear area to set it up. Lay down flat with your feet facing North and prop your binoculars over your eyes while you scan the heavens above. This is what you'll see: The Coma Star Cluster, the curved tiara of stars that make up Corona Borealis, the double star in the curved handle of the Big Dipper, and the bright yellow/orange star Arcturus that the handle arcs toward.