Not only of surpassing interest historically, zeta Ursae Majoris (UMa), or Mizar, the middle star in Ursa Major’s famous Plough asterism, is also one of the finest double stars in the sky for a small telescope.
The April Lyrids meteor shower makes its very welcome annual return this week, as always breaking the roughly 15-week hiatus since the maximum of the past significant shower, the Quadrantids back in January.
Lurking close to the centre of the massive agglomeration of galaxies which straddle the boundary between Virgo and Coma Berenices lies a circular, ninth-magnitude spot of light seen through binoculars and a small telescope on the Virgo side of the border.
Local Group member Leo 1 is a dwarf spheroidal galaxy that’s a distant satellite of our own Milky Way Galaxy. It’s one of a number of observing challenges that Leo offers up, though it presents unique difficulties.