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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: Famous 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 …

Photo Credit:  NASA

M11: Wild Duck Cluster

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!