If you're just starting out in astronomy then you may be thinking about getting a telescope in time for the new season. But before you make that jump, have you considered buying a pair of binoculars? You might think, Ah, but they can't show me much,' but you'd be wrong. Binoculars are a simple and relatively inexpensive way to explore many objects in the night sky, from star clusters to the brighter nebulae and even a few bright galaxies. They're perfect for those times you want to just get out under the stars and observe. Even if you go on to get a telescope at some point in the future, we can assure you there'll always be those nights when you just want to sit back with a pair of 'bins' and take it all in.
The finest nebula to see •
with a telescope in the northern hemisphere: the Orion Nebula, M42 •
► which is a magnificent sight stretching across the sky. It's particularly good between the months of September and December.
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