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.

Pleiades star cluster, aka Seven Sisters

The Pleiades star cluster – aka the Seven Sisters or M45 – is visible from virtually every part of the globe. It looks like a tiny misty dipper of stars.

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.

What appears to be a densely populated star field with a few galaxies visible.

The Coma Cluster of galaxies

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?

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.

Small Magellanic Cloud orbits Milky Way

You need to be in Earth’s Southern Hemisphere to see the Small Magellanic Cloud. It looks like a luminous cloud, but it’s really a dwarf galaxy, orbiting our Milky Way.