The Small Magellanic Cloud resembles a luminous cloud, but it’s really a nearby dwarf galaxy, orbiting our Milky Way.
Clusters Nebulae Galaxies
Charles Messier didn’t include the Double Cluster in his famous catalog. That’s probably because there’s nothing like this magnificent cluster anywhere in the sky.
At 2.3 million light-years, the Andromeda galaxy is the closest spiral galaxy to our Milky Way. It’s the most distant thing you can see with your eye alone.
They may well be the finest star clusters visible at this time of year, and they’re easy to spot near the Scorpion’s Tail, if you have a dark sky.
In a dark sky, look for fuzzy object near bright Antares in the constellation Scorpius. This is M4, one of the closest globular star clusters to our solar system.
Sure, M13, the Great Hercules cluster is wonderful. But some amateur astronomers say this cluster, M5, is even better.
Omega Centauri is the largest globular cluster known in the Milky Way galaxy. You can spot it soon after sunset on these June evenings.
The Coma Cluster is one of the richest galaxy clusters known. How many suns and how many worlds might be located in this direction of space?
You might notice it a smudge in a dark sky, with three times the moon’s diameter. It’s really a wondrous cluster of stars called the Beehive, or M44.
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 Hyades star cluster represents the Face of Taurus the Bull. The cluster is easy to spot and beautiful in binoculars.
From tropical or Southern Hemisphere latitudes, the Large Magellanic Cloud is easy to see and spectacular! Look for it in the evening from December to April.
It’s 2.7 million light-years away, and the third-largest member of our Local Group, after the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies.
Frosty November is often called the month of the Pleiades, because it’s when this star cluster – sometimes called the Seven Sisters – shines from dusk until dawn.
The Lagoon Nebula aka M8 is the largest and brightest of a number of nebulosities in and around Sagittarius.
Barely visible to the unaided eye on a dark, moonless night, the Omega Nebula (Messier 17) is best seen through binoculars, or low power in a telescope.
The Trifid is a famous summertime binocular object. Its name means “divided into three lobes.” If you view this nebula through a telescope, you’ll see why.
It’s a stellar nursery, a cluster of young stars, a bright red emission nebula, a lovely blue reflection nebula, and an interesting dark nebula divided into three …
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!
Here is the famous Pillars of Creation photo taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. It’s one of the features within the Eagle Nebula.
Outside on a dark summer night, looking edgewise into our galaxy’s disk, you’ll notice a long, dark lane dividing the bright starry band of the Milky Way. This is the Great Rift.