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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.

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.

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 …