Chapel Hill Astronomical and Observational Society

Facing South, look to your left (East), and you will see the bright star Vega. The really bright star in front of you (South) is Arcturus. To its right, more to the West and lower in the sky, you’ll see another bright star, Regulus. And further to the right, the twin stars of Gemini. With those bright stars as markers, you should be able to make out the rest of their constellations. Note the difference in color between Arcturus (red) and Vega (blue).

Here is a list of things you should be able to see in Winter with just ordinary binoculars (7 x 35).

You can use this diagram as a guide. It can be downloaded at The orientation for the map is set for South, with the middle of the circle representing straight overhead. Turn the map upside down when looking North.

The larger the blob on the map, the brighter the object will appear in the sky–note the magnitude legend at the bottom right of the map. Contrary to intuition, the higher the magnitude number, the dimmer the object appears.

ISS (International Space Station passes)

Will the ISS make a pass over Chapel Hill tonight?