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Pillars of Creation 1995, via Hubble

The awesome beauty of the Eagle Nebula

Here is the famous Pillars of Creation photo taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. It’s one of the features within the Eagle Nebula.

Red star Antares, right, and nearby star cluster M4 via StargazerBob.com@aol.com

Find M4 near star Antares

In a dark sky, look for a fuzzy object near bright Antares in the constellation Scorpius. It’s M4, one of the closest globular star clusters.

Omega Centauri in infrared, via Spitzer Space Telescope via Wikimedia Commons.

Giant star cluster Omega Centauri

All globular star clusters are impressive, but Omega Centauri’s in a class by itself. Sparkling with 10 million stars, it’s the Milky Way’s largest globular.

Crab Nebula

Crab Nebula was an exploding star

The Crab Nebula, located some 6,500 light years from Earth, marks the remains of a massive star observed to explode as a supernova in AD 1054.

Coma Cluster of galaxies by Justin Ng.

Coma Cluster of galaxies

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?

Photo Credit:  Wil Milan

Beehive: 1,000 stars in Cancer

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.

Photo Credit: zamb0ni

Orion Nebula where new stars are born

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.  Copyright Jerry Lodriguss/ AstroPix.com

V-shaped Hyades star cluster easy to find

The Hyades star cluster represents the Face of Taurus the Bull. The cluster is easy to spot and beautiful in binoculars.

large_magellanic_cloud2

The spectacular Large Magellanic Cloud

From tropical or Southern Hemisphere latitudes, the Large Magellanic Cloud is easy to see. Look for it in the evening from December to April.

Image Credit: NASA

Small Magellanic Cloud, a nearby dwarf galaxy

The Small Magellanic Cloud resembles a luminous cloud, but it’s really a nearby dwarf galaxy, orbiting our Milky Way.

Photo Credit: Bob Star

Double Cluster in Perseus: Two star clusters

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.

Great galaxy in Andromeda

Andromeda galaxy is Milky Way’s next-door neighbor

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.

Photo Credit:  coliwabl

M6 and M7: Deep-sky gems in Tail of Scorpius

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.

M5, via HST/NASA/ESA.

M5, your new favorite globular cluster

Sure, M13, the Great Hercules cluster is wonderful. But some amateur astronomers say this cluster, M5, is even better.

Photo Credit:  Richard Hammar

Triangulum galaxy, aka M33, second-closest spiral galaxy

It’s 2.7 million light-years away, and the third-largest member of our Local Group, after the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies.

Pleiades star cluster, aka the Seven Sisters.

Pleiades star cluster, aka Seven Sisters

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.

M8  via ESO/S. Guisard/S. Brunier

Messier 8 is the Lagoon Nebula

The Lagoon Nebula aka M8 is the largest and brightest of a number of nebulosities in and around Sagittarius.

M17 via the Very Large Telescope

M17 is the Omega Nebula

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.

Trifid Hubble via Hubble Space Telescope

The Trifid Nebula, or M20

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.

Trifid Nebula, aka M20, by Martin MacPhee

Exploring the Trifid Nebula

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 …