Saturday evening May 23rd the waxing crescent Moon will be close to Jupiter, two open star clusters (M-44, M-67), and an asteroid. As this graphic shows, within the field of view of 7×50 binoculars, you can see the Moon, Jupiter, and the asteroid 3 Juno. A slight shift in the viewing brings either of the two open star clusters into the binocular field of view.
M-44, also known as the Beehive Cluster, is a group of around 1000 stars at a distance of 500-600 light years and shining with a combined magnitude of approximately 4.0. To the naked eye M-44 looks more like a nebula but resolves nicely into its component stars with optical assistance. M-67 in comparison is much dimmer at a distance of 2500-3000 light years, and with only around 100 stars this open star cluster shines with a combined 6th magnitude brightness.
Asteroid 3 Juno was the 3rd asteroid to be discovered and is one of the largest asteroids in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter. Juno has an apparent magnitude of around 7-8 so it is within the viewing capabilities of binoculars albeit as a star-like point of light.
Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.