Australian Sky & Telescope

A tourist’s guide to the summer sky

WITH THE ARRIVAL OF THE SUMMER MONTHS, I make sure I don’t waste a minute of the easy viewing, great weather and endless array of sights to see in the sky. And even though there are plenty of faint fuzzies available for study, I also often like to take the time to enjoy some of the biggest, boldest, brightest and most beautiful targets I can find.

Here are some of those glorious targets guaranteed not to waste your time.

First off, of course, is , the famous Orion Nebula. If you had to choose only at one item to look at in the summer sky, this would be it. The middle of the sword hanging from Orion’s belt, this emission nebula is arguably the best in the sky (although some would rightly argue for Eta Car). It’s visible to the naked, a tight group of four stars, named A through D as shown at left. C, the brightest, is the powerhouse that makes the entire nebula glow.

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