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?
Clusters Nebulae Galaxies
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.
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.
At a distance of 2.3 million light-years, the Andromeda galaxy (Messier 31) is the closest spiral galaxy to our Milky Way. It’s the most distant thing you can see with your eye alone.
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.
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!
Although long-exposure photographs show the Triangulum galaxy (Messier 33) in a beautiful pinwheel shape, this face-on spiral galaxy looks relatively lackluster in binoculars or even the telescope. The Triangulum galaxy has a low surface brightness that makes this faint object a major challenge, with or without binoculars.
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.