Target: Constellation Scorpius

After that thrilling India vs. Pakistan cricket match, my friend Amjad Nizamani came to my home. I immediately decided to have a little observing session because the sky was clear. Amjad agreed with my idea and I pulled out the binoculars.

For testing the focus of the binocular, I pointed it towards the moon.

It was almost half disk. The sky was very clear after days of haze.

After the moon, I decided that Constellation Scorpius was the best target for the session.

Constellation Scorpius

Constellation Scorpius is the same as my zodiac. My birthday falls in the month of November. Its a summer constellation which is rich in deep sky objects and has a prominent shape.

It has 15 main stars. 12 stars of Scorpius are known to have planets.

First I observed the globular cluster Messier 4. Its a very beautiful sight even with the least powerful magnification and one can easily resolve individual stars in it.

Globular Cluster M4 in the Constellation Scorpius

It was 10:47 when I observed μ Scorpii (Meu Scorpii). Its a very lovely double star. I enjoyed observing it.

Meu Scorpii - A double star in the Constellation Scorpius

Mr. Ali Khan was continuously in contact with me. I was updating him in real-time with my observations and he was very excited to listen all that.

Since I didn’t have the laser pointer, it was a troubling experience to direct Amjad bhai to locate the stars. To direct Amjad bhai to locate the Meu Scorpii I asked him to first look at my neighbour’s water tank, then move the binoculars straight up from there and he too found Meu Scorpii. We were on terrace and my pc had Stellarium turned on, so I was locating all the stars with the help of that.

Now it was the turn of Messier 7, an open cluster which is the 7th in Messier catalogue and also known as Ptolemy Cluster since it was first discovered by Greek Astronomer Ptolemy in the 1st Century.


Messier 7 - An open cluster in the Constellation Scorpius

The time was 11:00 PM. I had some more objects to be observed. Now I decided to find NGC 6231 which is an open cluster.

Amjad bhai also observed all these objects with me. He was looking so happy, his face was sparking with happiness.

NGC 6231 - An open cluster in the Constellation Scorpius

Locations of all observed objects

Then I tried very hard to find the CoatHanger. Its a beautiful collection of stars which appears like a Coat Hanger.

The CoatHanger

Ali Khan told me that you can find CoatHanger between Altair (Alpha Aquila) and Vega (Alpha Lyrae). I easily located its location in the Stellarium, but I couldn’t find it in the sky, because by that time it was so high, I was having neck pain while trying to observe it. So I left it until  next time. 

My sister had prepared two cups of Kadak Doodh Patti for me and Amjad. Amjad bhai said “nooooo I want to sleep, I can’t have it at this time of night”, but upon my insisting, he agreed to have it. There were some discussion between us regarding the Milky Way’s Arm, Double Stars and other Astronomical things.

It was a great observing session, Ali Khan said that it was bag full of observations 🙂

Good Night Folks, Wish You Clear and Dark Skies.


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    • Rafia on June 21, 2010 at 12:07 am
    • Reply

    Bilal I don’t know but at times it’s too distracting to follow the whole write up over here like what do you mean by “..pc had Stellarium turned on..” and things like that.
    I would suggest you to kindly define such terms in brackets for the layman to enjoy your posts 🙂

    Have a clear, full of Messier 7 sky!!

    P.S. I hope you dint mind anything. cheers!

      • AstronomerBilal on June 21, 2010 at 5:18 pm
      • Reply

      Oh I didn’t mind anything Hermana, actually such comments help me in improving my writing, I will take care in defining such terms next time InshaAllah.

      Stellarium is a software which generates a full map of sky in real-time right on your computer screen. 🙂

      Once again, thanks for pointing out the deficiency.

        • Rafia on June 24, 2010 at 8:44 pm
        • Reply

        Ohh you mean i can download it and it will show the real time sky..?? the portion right above my head ??

          • AstronomerBilal on June 24, 2010 at 10:12 pm
          • Reply

          Jee sister. Download it, set ur location to Hyderabad. There are many options to choose, you can check all planets, nebulae and many galaxies, double stars, constellations etc. Zoom in to a maximum level. Amazing software

      • Amjad Nizamani on June 25, 2010 at 12:03 am
      • Reply

      Sister Rafia I would like to add that even I was able to predict the sighting of the Moon for this very month using Stellarium 😀
      So this software is really easy to use.

        • AstronomerBilal on June 25, 2010 at 12:35 am
        • Reply

        Sister! using this software Stellarium, I made a prediction of Eid ul Fitr moon two years back and this software’s calculation is amazingly accurate, You can use this software to go in past or future timings too and generate sky maps for any date in past or future (up to some limit ofcourse)

        • Rafia on June 27, 2010 at 1:47 am
        • Reply

        Oh That’s great then….I’ll try to predict this year’s Eid moon then..
        and you two please keep quiet and don’t announce it before I do..I want some limelight for myself!

        Kidding, just few light words 🙂
        Both of you Thanks a ton..keep searching the sky!

        1. 🙂

  1. Wonderful night Bilal! I liked reading your account.

      • AstronomerBilal on June 21, 2010 at 5:23 pm
      • Reply

      Thanks Omer bhai, Scorpius is a jewel box. I loved it a lot. So many celestial wonders in one place.

      By the way, you got a nice avatar right there on the left 😀

    • Nazim Khan on June 21, 2010 at 9:56 am
    • Reply

    well written.
    keep it up.

    • Amjad Nizamani on June 22, 2010 at 1:11 am
    • Reply

    It was a nice experience to observe all those objects. Though I had trouble observing the clusters 🙂 but it was nice to observer them. And your method to point to the stars was very good.

    I loved observing the double stars. And I don’t remember observing the M4 😀

    Wish you clear and dark skies day and night!

      • AstronomerBilal on June 23, 2010 at 11:20 pm
      • Reply

      Well I tried hard to show you M4, but maybe you couldn’t find it, thanks to a slightly bad sky and lack of laser pointer. But I am sure you observed Doublets.

  2. Salam bilal bhai very nice observation, research..
    Beside Astronomer i think you are also a very good writer as well.
    keep it up.
    Wish u clear sky so that you can enjoy ur activity very well.

      • AstronomerBilal on June 23, 2010 at 11:30 pm
      • Reply

      Thanks A Lot Shafqat Bhai

    • khushbakht on June 26, 2010 at 10:59 pm
    • Reply

    well observed and well written
    observation of two stars is very much interesting. 🙂

      • Astronomer Bilal on June 26, 2010 at 11:06 pm
      • Reply

      Thank YOUU 😀

    • gd130174 on October 25, 2012 at 6:13 am
    • Reply


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