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Thread: What are some good objects to show small kids when the Moon is not visible?

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    Default What are some good objects to show small kids when the Moon is not visible?



    My 3 grandchildren (5,8,10) are coming for the weekend and are anxious to look out of my fairly new scope (Orion StarSeeker IV 150mm GoTo Mak-Cass). Unfortunately, neither he Moon, Jupiter or Saturn will be visible at night, and I think they will be disappointed viewing Venus and Mars. I'm not even sure that they can appreciate M42, M45, etc. but I'll try.

    Any suggestions or is this just a bad time of the month?
    Equipment: Orion StarSeeker IV 150mm GoTo Mak-Cass Telescope, Celestron 8x42 binoculars, Canon Rebel T1i
    Lenses: Orion 32mm Sirius Plossl , Orion 12.5mm Sirius Plossl, (Svbony 23mm wide-field eyepiece, Svbony 10mm eyepiece - came with scope), Accessories: Orion Shorty 1.25" 2x Barlow, 1.25" Orion Variable Polarizing Filter

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    Default Re: What are some good objects to show small kids when the Moon is not visible?

    Your field of view is quite small, so M45 can be a bit disappointing as you'll not be able to get the whole extent in the eyepiece.
    M42 should be worth looking at though.

    In the summer/autumn, I would suggest checking out Albireo, as the two stars shows clearly that they have different colours. At this time of year, the alternative star for this is Almach in Andromeda, which is moderately high early in the evening.
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    Default Re: What are some good objects to show small kids when the Moon is not visible?

    Orion Nebula,Jupiter, Saturn, The ring Nebula and globular clusters like m13.
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    Default Re: What are some good objects to show small kids when the Moon is not visible?

    M42 in Orion, M35 in Gemini, M41 in Canis Major, M36, M37, and M38 - all in Auriga. A bit heavy on open clusters but all offer beautiful views.
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    Default Re: What are some good objects to show small kids when the Moon is not visible?

    Quote Originally Posted by helicon64 View Post
    M42 in Orion, M35 in Gemini, M41 in Canis Major, M36, M37, and M38 - all in Auriga. A bit heavy on open clusters but all offer beautiful views.
    The small field of view with a 1800mm f/12 scope will tend to diminish the 'wow' factor of OCs in my opinion.
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    Default Re: What are some good objects to show small kids when the Moon is not visible?

    Look at Sirius the disco star as well! Fun stuff.
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    Default Re: What are some good objects to show small kids when the Moon is not visible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leveye View Post
    Look at Sirius the disco star as well! Fun stuff.
    Sometimes Sirius reminds of a disco ball, too, especially on nights of poor seeing.
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    Default Re: What are some good objects to show small kids when the Moon is not visible?

    A couple of my favorites that should be nicely viewed in your scope are the Beehive Cluster (M44) and Christmas Tree Cluster (NGC2264).

    Here is a helpful tool for determining how various objects (e.g. Messier) will be framed in your telescope: Field of View Calculator | BBC Sky at Night Magazine.
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    Default Re: What are some good objects to show small kids when the Moon is not visible?

    I like the Sirius idea, perhaps after visiting Aldebaran and Betelgeuse - they can experience the color difference and the brilliance! When my granddaughter was 5 she liked the Moon and the planets. Now (she's 9) we are having more fun tracking satellites passing over.

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    Default Re: What are some good objects to show small kids when the Moon is not visible?

    The attention span of the younger two will probably expire before you have too much eyepiece time. Whatever you pick out, I'd try to give them something to look for within that object, making it sort of like a hunt. I'd show them a double star naked eye and then ask them what they see in the scope that is different. Make it a game, having each keep their answer secret until all have looked. Then they tell you what they saw. I'd also be sure they knew a little more about what they were looking at. Knowing that it's M44 isn't going to amount to much, but asking them to tell you why it's called the Beehive cluster might make it more fun. See if they can find the Christmas tree in the C.T. cluster, etc.
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