M 45

Photo by Pittendreigh


It's like finding Superman -- Look! Up in the sky! I know I gave this a difficulty level of 1, but maybe a difficulty level of NONE would be more appropriate.

If you can find Taurus, you can spot this easily. For many, it looks like what non-astronomers expect the Little Dipper to look like. I wish I'd kept track of the number of people I've taken outside for a look through the telescope who have tried to impress me with their knowledge of the stars by pointing to the Seven Sisters and saying, "At least I know where the North Star is." If that happens to you, be gentle as you show them the true location of Polaris, the North Star.


Forget the telescope or even the binoculars for this one. At most, use the lowest viewfinder you have. This is a wonderful object for the unaided eye.

M45 is often ignored by amateurs, but don't. You should especially take time to look at it on one of those rare nights when the sky is absolutely clear and dark. That would be a good time to use the telescope of a small power. It is impressive how many stars are really in this cluster. On such a night, it might be possible to see some hints of nebulosity often seen in photographs.

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