At 2.3 million light-years, the Andromeda galaxy (M31) is the closest spiral galaxy to our Milky Way. It’s the most distant thing you can see with your eye alone.
Clusters Nebulae Galaxies
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 …
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 Great Cluster in the constellation Hercules – also known as M13 – is considered to be the finest globular cluster in the northern half of the heavens.
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?
Between the star Regulus in Leo and the stars Castor and Pollux in Gemini, you might notice a smudge – really a cluster of stars – called the Beehive.
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 latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, where it can be observed, the LMC is best seen in the evening from December to April. From the Southern Hemisphere, it’s easy to see and spectacular!
The Double Cluster is in the constellation Perseus is highest in the northern sky on late autumn and early winter evenings.
Frosty November is often called the month of the Pleiades, because it’s at this time that the Pleiades shine from dusk until dawn.
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.