The Northern Hemisphere
Now well into autumn, the darkened skies bring some astronomical favourites
Cassiopeia (the Queen) and Cepheus (the King) lie in the dusty path of the Milky Way, offering not just a rich star field but impressive deep-sky objects. In particular, the Owl Cluster (NGC 457) is easy to pick out with decent binoculars, its 75 to 100 bright stars forming the shape of an owl with spread wings, while its bright double star Phi Cassiopeiae forms the celestial bird’s eyes. Double star Alpha Cassiopeiae can easily be split, resolving a bright yellow primary and faint blue secondary and providing delightful view.
Use the constellations of Pegasus, Aquarius and Pisces and you’ll be able to locate Cetus (the Sea Monster), which contains the remarkable variable star Mira, as well as a wide selection of galaxies.