Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - 43

e
i
Cr 69
μ
ORION
Betelgeuse
α
γ
φ2
λ
φ1
Binocular Highlight by Mathew Wedel
The Head of the Hunter
B
efitting the constellation's name, Orion, the
Hunter always seems to sneak up on me.
Zenith
Somehow it creeps over the horizon unannounced,
and then I see it soaring in the eastern sky and I
know that winter is upon us.
One winter jewel worth checking on at any mag+20°
Moon
Jan
6
Jupiter
nification is Lambda (λ) Orionis, also known as
Meissa. Together with Phi1 (φ1) and Phi2 (φ2) Orionis
and the open cluster Collinder 69, Lambda forms the
head of the imaginary hunter. Lambda itself is a double
star, but with a separation of only 4.5″ it's too tight
to be split with binoculars. It sits near the visual center
of Collinder 69, a loose open cluster of approximately
100 stars, of which perhaps 10 or 20 are resolvable in
binoculars. The rest contribute to a general brightening
or fuzziness that seems to envelop Orion's head.
In fact, it's that apparent fuzziness that makes
WHEN TO
USE THE MAP
Late Nov
11 p.m.
θ
3h
g Sou
Early Dec 10 p.m.
Late Dec 9 p.m.
Early Jan 8 p.m.
Late Jan 7 p.m.
These are standard times.
Lambda and its neighbors so interesting, especially at
different magnifications. Stars in close proximity can
fool you into thinking that nebulosity is present when
none exists. To the naked eye, the light of Lambda
Orionis, Phi1 and Phi2 Orionis, and the brighter cluster
members combine to make Orion's head almost as
misty as his sword. Binoculars resolve quite a few
stars and dispel much of the unfocused glow in this
area, but take a close look: You might spot some remnant
brightening - the star-forming nebula Sharpless
264 occupies the same region of space. Although
the nebula is generally regarded as too faint for small
amateur optics, veteran observer Stephen James
O'Meara thinks that it might just be possible to catch
in averted vision under extremely dark conditions.
Comparing the view with naked eyes, binoculars, and
a telescope might prove enlightening.
¢ MATT WEDEL finds that exploring the heavens with
binoculars helps clear the fuzziness from his head.
sk yand tele scope .o r g * JANUARY 2022 43
5
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21h
ing
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θ
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SCULPTOR
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α
β
ζ
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α
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ARI ES
Mira
CETUS
u
l
a
Mars
R
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Moon
Jan 9
U A T O
w
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E Q
FORNAX
0h
th
Algol
M34
β
caF
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LYRA
Vega
W
N
γ
β
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ANDROMEDA
β
η
µ
PEGASUS
cin
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α
γ
G r e a t
S q u a r e
α
ζ
θ
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M15
M2
W
e
EQUULEUS
st
Fac
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+60°
+80°
α
δ
L i t t l e
D i p p e r
ζ
γ
β
γ
ν
DRACO
η
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15
gnic
18h
M27
TRIANGULUM
M33
AQUARIUS
P I SCES
η
α
DELPHINUS
CASS IOPE IA
M52
CEPHEUS
LACERTA
M39
61
M29
CYGNUS
N o r t h e r n
C r o s s
Deneb
α
ε
γ
δ
Albireo
M31
α
δ
ε
ζ
µ
α
γ
α
Double
Cluster
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β
γ
ε
γ
β
β
α
C i r c l e t
ε
α
γ
γ
https://skyandtelescope.org/

Sky & Telescope - January 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sky & Telescope - January 2022

Contents
Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - Cover1
Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - Cover2
Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - 1
Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - Contents
Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - 3
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Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - Cover3
Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - Cover4
Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - SA1
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