Clusters of Stars Draw Kids Attention
These children are learning about the lives of stars while playing a game.
(credit: Linda Prince)
of the Amateur Observers' Society of New York.

Look up in a dark sky and you will see from a few to a few thousand stars. Some of these stars, like our Sun, are loners as they move around the galaxy. Many stars are gravitationally bound in pairs, called binaries, and some are caught in a gravitational dance of three or more companions. Others reside in bigger clusters, and these clusters can be some of the most beautiful sights visible in a backyard telescope.

Richard Smith of the Sidewalk Universe of Nevada, told us: "As the sky darkened we were able to move on to Stellar Evolution. We observed Orion's treasures and numerous Star Clusters. We were very well received."

Bill Moutz of the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania had this to say about their public event: "We had over one hundred guests. Those of us with telescopes were kept quite busy and observed the Coathanger, an interesting group of stars."

Jerelyn Ramirez of the Kansas Astronomical Observers has this to say: "Oh, it was a great turnout. Once it got dark enough we has over 15 telescopes to show our guests the mysteries of the night!"

Find out about this month's International Year of Astronomy Featured Observing Object: Clusters of Stars by using this guide.

Locate your local astronomy club and have them show you beautiful clusters of stars too.