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. How to find it in your sky.

Giant star cluster Omega Centauri

All globular star clusters are impressive, but Omega Centauri’s in a class by itself. Sparkling with 10 million stars, it’s the Milky Way’s largest globular.

Meet M13, the Great Cluster in Hercules

Many stargazers call it the finest globular cluster in the northern half of the heavens. It’s M13, also known as the Great Cluster in Hercules.

The Beehive Cluster imaged by Fred Espenak.

The Beehive: 1,000 stars in Cancer

On a dark night, look for it as a smudge of light, with 3 times the moon’s diameter. It’s really a wondrous cluster of stars called the Beehive, or M44.

Crab Nebula

The Crab Nebula was an exploding star

The Crab Nebula, about 6,500 light-years from Earth, is the scattered fragments of a supernova, or exploding star, observed by earthly skywatchers in the year 1054.

A celestial cloud of swirling gases.

See Messier 8, the Lagoon Nebula

The Lagoon – aka M8 – is the largest and brightest nebula, or cloud in space, in the vicinity of the Teapot asterism in the constellation Sagittarius.

Meet the Andromeda galaxy, the closest large spiral

The Andromeda galaxy is the closest big galaxy to our Milky Way. At 2.5 million light-years, it’s the most distant thing you can see with the eye alone. Now is the time to look for it.

Dark Rift in the Milky Way

Standing under a dark sky in late July or August? Look up! You’ll notice a long, dark lane dividing the bright Milky Way. This Dark Rift is a place where new stars are forming.

M17 is the Omega Nebula

The Omega Nebula – M17 – is visible through binoculars and glorious in a low power telescope. It’s one of our galaxy’s vast star-forming regions. How to find it.

Triangulum: 2nd-closest large spiral galaxy

The Triangulum galaxy, aka Messier 33, is 2.7 million light-years away, and the 3rd-largest member of our Local Group, after the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies.