Are there any easily resolvable, binary star, observing targets visible from ~N40°?

I'd like to be able to show, in one observing session, Mizar and Alcor (naked eye resolvable), another with binoculars, and finally one in a small (say, 4 to 6" reflector) amateur scope.

  • $\begingroup$ One suggested improvement to get more and higher-quality answers: phrase your question more like a full question. Right now for example it's tough to discern whether you're asking about amateur targets or from an amateur viewer's perspective. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 24, 2013 at 19:16
  • $\begingroup$ Not sure what the community here will want, but this is basically a "give me a list" question, and those tend to be frowned upon in other SE sites. I suppose that's a meta discussion. $\endgroup$
    – GreenMatt
    Commented Sep 24, 2013 at 19:21
  • $\begingroup$ Agreed. It would be nicer to have this question be "What resources are there on easily observable binary star systems?". $\endgroup$
    – Arne
    Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 8:42
  • $\begingroup$ ...i'm not looking for a list, nor resourses. Looking for two targets, one binocularable one small scope, and it would be great to have a summer/winter option. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 12:02
  • $\begingroup$ Do you care if they're true binaries or visual binaries? $\endgroup$
    – astromax
    Commented Nov 1, 2013 at 3:52

2 Answers 2


Okay! Here are some of the popular targets, search for the season of visibility yourself please.

The above list describes the angular seperation between the stars and also the magnification required to resolve it, both explicitly. So, this list is not only for amateurs, but there are some intermediate ones which you can try if you have a good enough telescope.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The link you provided may disappear in the future. Short of pasting everything into your answer, maybe you can select a few candidates from you list that match the users question? $\endgroup$
    – Arne
    Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 8:43

I advise you to use this form (appropriate for professional astronomers also) from Washington Double Star Catalog (WDS): http://ad.usno.navy.mil/wds/request.html

Observing List Request

If you would like to have an observing list custom made to your specifications please enter that data in the box provided. Pertinent data include what portion of the sky you can observe (RA and Dec limits), what separation you can observe (lower and upper limits), and what magnitudes are observable by you (both primary, secondary, and delta-mag). In addition, if no magnitude information is provided should we include the selected object? Also, do you wish to observe infrequently observed (N = ?) objects, or those which have not been observed for a long time (DATE = ?)? Please make the subject line "Data Request".


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