This month we will visit the area of sky just west of the Southern Cross. We will still be looking at objects that are visible in binoculars.

Once you have found the Southern Cross move about 24 degress West (to the right) where you will find NGC 3372 (the Eta Carina Nebula). Near its centre there is a very bright orange star - this is Eta Carina. In 1843 this star was the second brightest star next to Sirius.

Moving about 4 degrees East and slightly North (left and up a touch) to find NGC 3532, an open cluster of about 60 stars called The Wishing Well Cluster. This object can be seen as a fuzzy patch to the unaided eye but very impressive through binoculars.

Go back to the Eta Carina and then move 5 degrees South down to another unaided eye fuzzy patch I.2602 (Southern Pleiades, but also known as the Theta Carinae Cluster). When viewed through binoculars you will find a bright central star and 4 less bright ones surrounding it. There are several duller stars as well. Concentrating on the five brighter stars you will find a resemblance to a playing card the five of diamonds.

Moving back to Eta Carina and about 3 degrees North-West to NGC 3293. This is an open cluster where the stars are grouped very closely together. When viewed through binoculars it will appear as a very bright spot, but later when viewed through a small 'scope it will reveal its true shape.

Back to Eta Carina again then 10 degrees West (to the right) to NGC 3114, another open cluster. This one appears as a patch of light to the unaided eye but through binoculars is a nice grouping of about 30 stars.

Now move about 15 degrees South West to NGC 2808, a globular cluster, which will appear as a bright point of light in binoculars but will start to resolve its stars in a small telescope.

For the last object, move about 20 degrees West and slightly North (to the right and slightly up) to find NGC 2516. This is a very nice open cluster consisting of about 100 stars.