The Double Cluster is in the constellation Perseus, quite close to the constellation Cassiopeia. It nearly marks the radiant point of the Perseid meteor shower, which peaks annually around August 12 or 13.
Clusters Nebulae Galaxies
At a distance of 2.3 million light-years, the Andromeda galaxy (Messier 31) is the closest spiral galaxy to our Milky Way. It’s the most distant thing you can see with your eye alone.
On some moonless night, look for the Orion Nebula below Orion’s Belt. Your eye sees it as a tiny, hazy spot. But it’s a vast region of star formation.
The Pleiades or Seven Sisters enjoys worldwide renown for timekeeping, celebration and storytelling.
The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), which is visible to the unaided human eye, is a familiar sight to observers in Earth’s southern hemisphere. It looks like a detached piece of the Milky Way.
If you could view it with your eye alone – in the sky visible from Earth’s southern hemisphere – you would say it does resemble a luminous cloud. Really, though, it is a nearby dwarf galaxy, orbiting our Milky Way.
The Butterfly Cluster (M6) and Ptolemy’s Cluster (M7) may well be summertime’s finest star clusters. They can be seen with the unaided eye on a dark, moonless night.
Even with the best of viewing conditions, the M5 globular star cluster is barely detectable to the unaided eye as a faint star. In binoculars, it still appears as a fuzzy star. Turn a small telescope in its direction to see it at its best.
The Wild Duck Cluster (Messier 11) is found in the constellation Scutum the Shield, just south of the Eagle’s Tail in the constellation Aquila. Unless you have eagle eyes, don’t expect to see this distant star cluster with the eye alone. Starting from the star Altair, star-hop to M11′s general location. Then find it with binoculars!
Omega Centauri is the largest and brightest star cluster visible from Earth. It’s in the southern sky and climbs into our northern hemisphere skies on spring evenings.