|Winter: Orion Canis Major Canis Minor Monoceros Lepus Eridanus Taurus Auriga Camelopardalis Lynx Gemini Cancer|
|Spring: Hydra Sextans Crater Corvus Leo Leo Minor Ursa Major Ursa Minor Canes Venatici Coma Berenices Virgo Bootes|
|Summer: Draco Corona Borealis Hercules Ophiuchus Serpens Libra Scorpius Sagittarius Scutum Aquila Sagitta Vulpecula Lyra Cygnus|
|Autumn: Andromeda Perseus Pegasus Cassiopeia Cephus Cetus Lacerta Delphinus Equuleus Capricornus Aquarius Pisces Aries|
|Southern Skies: Centaurus Crux Lupus Corona Australis Piscis Australis Sculptor Tucana Fornax Dorado Columba Puppis Carina Vela|
In the northern sky there is a small constellation that is too often overlooked. The stars that make up the constellation may be dim, but it contains some of the finest objects in the sky for viewing through a small telescope. The name of the constellation is Canes Venatici, which is Latin for "hunting dogs". They are the dogs of Bootes, the herdsman, and their names are Chara, and Asterion.
To find Canes Venatici, start with the Big Dipper. Follow the arc of the dipper's handle to the bright golden star Arcturus, the fourth brightest star in the sky. From there you can trace out the form of Bootes, and just in front of the herdsman, nipping at the heels of the great bear Ursa Major, are the dogs.
The first object to point your telescope at is M3, the third of over 100 mysterious nebulous objects catalogued by the famous Charles Messier in the 18th century. The only thing Messier knew about it at the time was that it was not a comet, because it didn't move. Now we know that M3 is a globular star cluster, over 100,000 light years away, one of about two hundred mini galaxies that surround the Milky Way. M3 is one of the biggest and brightest of these clusters, containing over 500 million stars, making it a splendid sight in a small telescope. At magnitude 6.2, it is at the very edge of naked eye visibility.
The next object to look at is M51, the famous Whirlpool Galaxy. A large bright galaxy just beyond naked eye visibility, M51 is 35 million light years away with a magnitude of 8.4. The fact that it is tilted 90 degrees to our line of sight makes it one of the best galaxies to view in a small scope.