BINOCULAR HIGHLIGHTS


Winter has taken over and the constellations Gemini and Orion dominate the frigid night skies. Unless you're looking through a big picture window from within your house, you don't want to spend too much time scanning the cold night cosmos. Scan the dimmer outskirts of the Milky Way where you'll find open star cluster M35 above left of Castor's foot. Getting too cold looking for M35? Well then! Shift your scan to Orion and marvel at the grandeur of The Great Orion Nebula (M42) which represents the hilt of the sword hanging below (right) Orion's 3 bright blue belt stars. Practically all the bright winter stars are visible in this image starting with yellow-red Aldebaran (top center). Move down from Aldebaran and slightly left to see bright orange-red super-giant Betelgeuse, the armpit of the great one! Move up and right to Orion's other armpit Bellatrix. Continue right and down to bright blue Rigel, then down and slightly left to Saiph. Super bright blue-white Sirius rides the mountaintops of the ESE horizon and Procyon is slightly left and above due east. Round it out with Castor and Pollux and you've pretty much seen all the bright stuff!