Antares Globulars for Binoculars

Finder chart

Early summer is a great time to use binoculars to view a real odd couple: M4 and M80 in Scorpius. As the image above suggests, both globular clusters can be located by keying off golden Antares. That’s why I refer to them as “Antares Globulars.” Use the trio of images presented here to hunt them down.


In the pair of images above, I’ve tried to simulate what each cluster looks like in in 10×50 binoculars used under moderately dark skies. The faintest field stars are about 10th magnitude. North is up.

While M4 is obvious, M80 is a bit trickier to pick out in its portrait. It’s the slightly enlarged “star” in the centre of the field, just southwest of a fainter star.

Of course, no photo is ever going to faithfully reproduce subtle details you’ll see in your binoculars — for that level of realism, you have to go out and actually look!