Turn your binoculars to the night sky for the Beehive Cluster

March 22, 2017, 2:12 p.m.

Some stars you need a telescope to see, but others you can spot with just a set of binoculars. The Beehive Cluster is one of them. This cluster of stars is visible on dark nights using 10X50 binoculars, and your view through your bins will be similar to what you see here, with the cluster featured at the center of the image.

Project Nightflight writes:

"It is a remarkable celestial object in many ways. For example, it is visible to the naked eye under dark sky conditions, where it looks like a faint nebulosity within the constellation Cancer. It is even possible to gaze some of its brightest component stars. Under the dark, protected skies of La Palma we were able to identify some three to five individual stars in the Beehive Cluster with unaided eyes one amazingly crisp night.

Another noteworthy detail about this star cluster is that it has been known since ancient times and can be found in numerous early records of ancient Greek and Roman astronomers. Most interesting, however, is probably the fact that it was one of the first objects studied with a telescope - by Galileo Galilei himself."

The vision of the Beehive Cluster underlines the importance of protecting dark skies, something Project Nightflight advocates. Clear night skies, free of light pollution and full of stars, is an environmental necessity for a wide range of species from moths to turtles. And it is good for our own minds and bodies to be able to look up and see something truly amazing, such as this beautiful collection of stars on a crisp night.