From the December 2005 issue

Phil Harrington’s binocular universe (February 2006)

Other binocular sights in the constellation Orion are sure to draw you out into the cold winter night.
By | Published: December 21, 2005 | Last updated on May 18, 2023
Paul Gardner
Mintaka, the western star in Orion’s belt, is a wide, bright double star that seems tailor made for binoculars. Most binoculars will unveil a 2nd-magnitude primary paired with a 6th-magnitude companion.

M78 is the brightest tuft in a patch of nebulosity right along the celestial equator about 3.5º due east of Mintaka. M78 looks like a tiny, dim comet surrounding two faint stars.

Collinder 69 is an open cluster that surrounds 3rd-magnitude Lambda (l) Orionis, the northernmost star in the Hunter’s triangular “head,” and includes several fainter stars ranging from 5th to 9th magnitude.

Collinder 65 is a large, bright open cluster found in extreme northern Orion, about a binocular’s field north of the Hunter’s triangular head. Most of the stars in Collinder 65 shine between 6th and 8th magnitude and are set in a bent-arrow pattern.

To see a sky chart of Orion, click here.