Although a telescope provides brighter and higher magnification views of deep-sky objects, binoculars offer several advantages. They provide a much wider field of view, which greatly enhances the views of many objects and can make locating objects easier. They are also much more portable and require much less set-up, if any at all. Even for those of us adept at using a telescope, binocular observing can be a lot of fun. The objects in the list below are easily visible in binoculars of all sizes. They are all brighter than ninth magnitude and larger than 3 minutes in diameter. To receive the OSP Level 0 Observer pin and award certificate, you must observe and record at least 20 of the 25 listed objects while you are at OSP. As an added reference, each object’s page number in the popular Sky and Telescope Pocket Sky Atlas is listed in the right-hand column.
All of the objects listed below are visible between sunset and midnight during the star party. Go-to mounts are not permitted for the OSP Level 0 award. You may get assistance in locating objects on star charts or in the sky, but you must locate the objects in your binoculars yourself. Looking through mounted binoculars, in which an object is already sighted, is not acceptable. While sketches of objects are preferred, they are not necessary to obtain the award. Instead, you may provide good descriptions. When finished, bring your record of observations to the Information Tent to receive your pin for level-0.