What can you see with a Telescope? My Top Favorites!

Space is magical! The unsolved mysteries and a vast ocean of stars, planets, galaxies, nebulae, and other celestial objects make it the most spectacular vision for human eyes.

A telescope can help you in exploring these mysteries of space to get a better look at objects that are usually invisible or mere spots in the dark.

If you are interested in having a closer look at outer space objects with a telescope, this article will tell you what can you see with a telescope. Let’s get started.

1. The Moon

what can you see with a telescope

The first thing that will appear on your telescope vision is our nearest celestial neighbor, the Moon. It is the Earth’s only satellite and one of the most fascinating things you can see via a telescope. 

The best part is that even if you are using a small telescope, you’ll be able to witness the grandeur of the Moon and its various craters, crevices, oceans, and furrows.

There are lots of bumpy regions on its surface made after other celestial objects’ collisions on the Moon’s surface. As there is no air on the Moon, every impact is preserved forming craters. Also, there are some popular seas like the Sea of Tranquillity or Mare Tranquillitatis that you can observe on the Moon’s surface.

A few tips to see the Moon with a telescope are – 

  • Watch it when it is slightly more than a quarter.
  • The worst stage of watching a moon is the full Moon.
  • Never use the full magnification power as it would blur the view.

2. The Sun

If you ever wanted to have a closer look at the composition of our sun, you can do it with a telescope. However, you should only observe it through a reliable & professionally made solar filter. Stay away from smoky glasses, floppy disks, and other DIY stuff!

The sun might look like a simple ball of fire with normal eyes but with a telescope, you can observe dark spots on the bright surface of the Sun. If you keep marking these black spots, you can actually observe that the sun is rotating. Plus, it is the only celestial body that you can observe during the daytime.

3. Planets

The other astronomical objects that you can see in our solar system are the planets. If you are excited to see the rings of Saturn or the huge craters of Mars, a telescope can help you with that.

Here are the planets that you can clearly observe with a telescope – 

Mars

The first planet that you can easily recognize via a telescope is our nearest red neighbor, Mars. It is a great object to see through a telescope as you can see a lot of surface details and defined texture.

You should use a red light filter to get the most spectacular view of mars. This will block other lights like green and blue and give you precise details of the Martian polar caps and the Santa Maria crater.

Saturn

Saturn is undoubtedly the most beautiful astronomical object to observe with a telescope. It is a fascinating planet and you can see its rings, satellites, the main division between the rings (also known as the Cassini’s gap), and the cloudy belts.

If the weather conditions are clear, you can also see Saturn’s Ring and seven moons out of Saturn’s 82 moons. 

The best way to see Saturn is using a yellow color filter. It will provide you with a crisp and clear view of the Cassini Division.

Jupiter

Jupiter is the biggest planet in our solar system and is clearly visible with a small telescope. You can see the cloudy belts on Jupiter’s surface i.e. the two bands on the planet’s disk. If you look through a larger telescope, you can also watch five or six bands along with the popular giant vortex.

If you look closely, you can also notice the 4 Galilean Moons or Galilean satellites (Io, Europe, Ganymede, Callisto).

Tip – If you want to get a better view of any planet, make sure you see it during its opposition phase. At this time, you can have the best view of our celestial neighbors. That’s why it is important to learn the opposition phases of planets. For example, Saturn’s opposition happens around two weeks later than the year before, and Jupiter’s opposition occurs about one month later each year.

For Venus, it is clearly visible even in the daytime as a star. But, because of its dense opaque atmosphere, you cannot see its surface details with a telescope. Uranus and Neptune, on the other hand, look like small bluish-green spots.

4. Galaxies

You can imagine galaxies as billions of stars floating in a heavenly combination. They usually appear as white spots with small telescopes, but if you have a powerful magnification telescope, you can see galaxies’ incredible forms and spiral arms. 

One of the closest galaxies (2.5 million light-years away to be precise) to our solar system that you can observe with a telescope, is the Andromeda Galaxy. It is also known as M31 and is a part of the Andromeda constellation. Just like our Milky Way galaxy, it has trillions of stars and other celestial objects. Therefore, it is a spectacular moment when you observe a galaxy for the very first time.

Just remember that this galaxy is visible at different parts of the year from the two hemispheres., i.e. From August to February for the Northern hemisphere and October to December for the southern hemisphere.

5. Nebulas

If you want to observe clear and bright nebulas in the sky, just take your telescope to the countryside area, and you will see live magic with your eyes.

Among various nebulae-related objects that you can see with a telescope, such as the Ring in the constellation of Lyra, the Dumbbell Nebula in the Vulpecula constellation, the most clearly visible is the Orion Nebula.

It is also known as M42 and is located towards Orion’s sword region, just under Orion’s belt. You can find it in the south or southeast direction at sunrise during late September or early October.

6. Other Celestial Objects

Apart from the above-given objects, you can see several other objects such as star clusters and comets in space. Star clusters have all the stars connected with the help of gravity and they move as a single unit within a galaxy. They are found in random shapes and look like a pile of stars or a swarm of bees.

On the other hand, Comets can be seen in outer space if you have a calendar of astronomical events. They are visible as small glowing spots in the wide space, but the most amazing part is their glowing tail.

Final Thoughts

Space is enormous and magical, and observing its grandeur with the help of a telescope can let you dive into its eternal beauty.

It might feel a bit challenging to locate or observe the desired objects in the beginning. However, once you gain some experience, you can observe the mysteries of boundless space and experience something way bigger and majestic than our lives on Earth.

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