Binocular Observing: Saturn

Named after the Roman god of wealth and agriculture, Saturn's reputation has varied dramatically across cultures, being associated with extreme abundance and misfortune alike. Fortunately, antiquated notions of astrology have…

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Binocular Observing: Jupiter

Aptly named after the Ancient Roman king of the gods, Jupiter dominates the other planets in stature. It is roughly 1,300 times bigger than the Earth. Its staggering size makes…

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Binocular Observing: Mars

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From H.G. Wells & David Bowie to Andy Weir & Elon Musk, humans have had an enduring fascination with our neighbouring red planet. Mars has captivated our imagination arguably more than any other planet in the Solar System, constantly surprising us with new revelations about its past – polar caps, magnetic fields, and evidence of liquid water. (more…)

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Binocular Observing: Venus

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Our closest planetary neighbour in orbital proximity and size, Venus, was thought to be Earth’s twin, until probes of its surface exposed a very different reality. Its dense, corrosive atmosphere, a hundred times thicker than our own, conceals a surface shaped by turbulent volcanic eruptions and violent impact craters.

Venus was the first planet to have its path across the sky studied – records of its motions from as early as 2000 B.C. have been found.

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Binocular Observing: Mercury

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Mercury is the smallest planet in the Solar System, and the first planet from the Sun. Its tenuous atmosphere can’t trap the Sun’s heat, so days are fiery at over 400°C, and icy nights drop to nearly -200°C. If you were to stand on the line of shadow separating day and night, you would simultaneously burn and freeze to death.

From our perspective, Mercury is void of any interesting surface details.It’s a tough planet to spot with binoculars, but once you locate it, it’s quite unmistakable.

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