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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.

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 …