One of the easiest objects to see in the winter sky is M42, the Orion Nebula (also known to its friends as NGC 1976). Located in the middle of the "sword" which hangs off of the three-star "belt" in the constellation of Orion, the nebula is actually a star-forming region, some 1350 light years from the Earth. It is also a part of the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, which is a name given to the larger formation in the general area of Orion's belt and sword that also includes the well-known Horsehead Nebula. Orion makes for great winter-time viewing, as it's simple to find and visible even in small binoculars. In a six-inch telescope, it becomes truly impressive, and is well worth the time spent by any amateur astronomer.
Part of the fun of astronomy, of course, is that we continue to learn new things, even about old, familiar friends. In this case, news today is that a new, and highly-detailed image of M42 has been created, showing in even greater glory the features of this close interstellar companion (yes, it's 1350 light years distant, and yes, I call that close).
Take a look at the images of the Orion Nebula, and maybe go hunt for your own around the net. Then, if you have a free evening in the next few months that isn't too cold, have a look up into the winter sky, even if you just have your eyes to rely on. Find M42, and realise not only that the light you were seeing left before English was a language, but that we're very lucky to live in a time when some of these puzzles of the universe can be solved, enriching all our lives.