It’s amazing what you can see when you look up!
You can make out features on the Moon with the naked eye, but even a small pair of binoculars reveals craters and ridges.
For the Sun, on the other hand, never look directly at it, especially with binoculars or a telescope. The partial eclipse of June 10th was an ideal opportunity to capture a rare event, with my telescope (and eyesight) protected with very strong solar filters.
M10, so-called because it’s part of the Messier catalogue of objects, is a globular cluster – a group of very old (in this case 11.4 billion years old) stars bound together by gravity. It’s a bit too dim to see with the naked eye, but binoculars and small telescopes will bring it out. Consider that it’s 14,350 light years away, so the light left M10 just as the last Ice Age was ending!
Finally, the Cygnus Wall is part of a large structure called the North America Nebula because it resembles that continent. This really is only visible using a telescope and a camera, but it is virtually next door: just 2,590 light years away, so the light left it the year Pythagoras was born. In astronomical terms, pretty much yesterday!
by Brendan Cooper