I have won numerous awards for science writing. Being very young, they have an average brightness that's over 100 times that of the Sun; the cluster is as bright as 160,000 Suns combined. Antares marks the celestial scorpion’s heart, while Shaula is one of the two stars at the tip of its curved tail. – Other designations: NGC 7293, C63, Also known as the Eye of God, no doubt because it looks like a celestial eye, the Helix Nebula is not only one of closest planetary nebula to Earth, being only about 700 light years away, it is also one of largest, spanning about 2.5 light years. Also known as the Owl Cluster, or the Kachina Doll Cluster, this open cluster is one of many in the constellation Cassiopeia, but what makes this particular cluster so inviting to view is its close resemblance to the famous movie character E.T. It’s only 27 light-years in diameter, but is an impressive 13,000 light-years away. 3.) Some of the natural highlights of our night sky are easy to overlook. The Sagittarius constellation has an interesting history, and also contains some of the most popular deep-sky objects in the night sky. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. – Coordinates: RA: 22h 57m 17.14s | Dec: 62° 28’ 33.4” – Coordinates: RA: 07h 38m 08.51s | Dec: +38° 52’ 54.9” Right now, Comet NEOWISE is still visible with binoculars, Jupiter and Saturn brightly grace the post-sunset skies, Venus is brilliant in the east before dawn, and the peak of the Perseid meteor shower — arguably the year’s best — arrives on August 12/13. The Summer Triangle. Spanning nearly 145 light years, M13 is just at naked eye visibility in good seeing conditions, but a small telescope will reveal a tightly packed ball of stars that at 11.65 billion years old is nearly as old as the Universe itself. Even though this perennial favorite of amateur observers is located almost 30 million light years away, a small telescope will easily reveal the dark dust lane that encircles the galaxy, and which gives it the appearance of a Mexican sombrero hat. Globular cluster Messier 56. 5.) This part of the Veil is illuminated by an unrelated star, 52 Cygni, but for those observers who want to investigate the entire structure with scopes of 8-inch aperture, other parts of the Veil are close by, sporting names such as the Eastern Veil, and Pickering’s – (or Fleming’s) Triangle, depending on the source consulted. 2.) – Distance: 275,000 light-years Unlike most planetary nebulae, its color differences can be seen even in small telescopes, as it contains a diffuse spheroidal shape with a “double-wedge” shape in a different color, as though someone is well on their way to winning a cosmic game of Trivial Pursuit. Its fiery-red splendor lights up the nighttime well past midnight. The central core of the open star cluster Messier 29 reveals a small number of very bright stars, ... [+] but overall there are some ~1000 stars inside. Once you’ve found Messier 71, it’s only a short hop to the next object. If you go about 40% of the way from Albireo to Sulafat and point your telescope there, you’ll find an enormous “ball” of stars: that’s the globular cluster Messier 56. Hercules Cluster, M13 – Globular Cluster. It’s about 9 billion years old, even more diffuse (at Class XI) than Messier 56, and without a bright, notable core. It’s one of the night sky’s greatest examples of what our Sun might look like in the distant future, and it’s visible all summer long. – Object type: Open cluster The Ring Nebula. It is 85,000 times brighter than our sun and is located 863 light-years away. Double Cluster , NGC 869 & NGC 884 – Close Open Clusters. Although the 18th century catalog was originally compiled to help Messier identify new comets from static deep sky objects uncovered in his searches, the list has become a favorite of amateur astronomers. Deep-sky objects to observe this winter Three areas of winter sky hold surprises for hunters of clusters, nebulae, and galaxies. The table appears on the next three pages (click below on Next Page). And it very, very much looks like a hanger for your coat. Earth, but these stars are not related to one another and only create this apparent shape by random chance. The three bright stars of the Summer Triangle: Vega (at top), Deneb (at left), and Altair (at ... [+] right), contain seven fascinating and easily visible deep-sky objects from our perspective. It’s an object that puzzled astronomers for centuries: was it a very dense, distant, bright, and old open star cluster? These are the brightest and most interesting nebulae listed in the Messier Catalog. Altair in Aquila. – Other designations: NGC 3031, M81. It's known as the California Nebula because its shape, recorded on long-exposure photographs, is similar to that of the western state. – Magnitude: 9.06 Draco is found overhead in the northern hemisphere in the evening. It’s Sirius, a bright, blue star that this weekend becomes briefly visible in the predawn sky for those of us in the northern hemisphere. In fact, looking through a 6-inch telescope you will see M81 as a halo of low-level nebulosity surrounding a bright core. – Constellation: Lynx – Magnitude: 8.98 They are approximately 9 billion years old, and are spread out over a diameter of just 27 light-years. From the Southern Hemisphere, Mars is seen high in the northern sky at nightfall. – Constellation: Hercules At a distance of 13,000 light-years, you won't be able to see Messier 71 with the same resolution as ... [+] the Hubble Space Telescope, but this image should nevertheless give you a remarkable idea of how dense and brilliant the stars inside are. The second brightest star in the sky after Sirius is 40 degrees below its brighter companion, so while rarely visible to stargazers in the northern hemisphere (it can be glimpsed from equatorial latitudes), both stars are often seen together in the southern night sky. Up there, in the northern hemisphere, they do have their vacations and it's summer. Moreover, all the objects in this list are in prominent constellations, making them easy to find should an opportunity to scan the heavens with a pair of binoculars or a small telescope present itself. With a very small telescope, you can still see the ring-like feature, though it will likely appear either monochrome (white) or greenish to the naked eye. the locations of the naked-eye planets in the night sky. The Dumbbell Nebula (M27) M27, also known as the dumbbell nebula, is an easily identified object in the summer skies, especially visible in August. – Other designations: NGC 2360, C58. I have won numerous awards for science writing since 2008 for my blog, Starts With A Bang, including the award for best science blog by the Institute of Physics. Its brightest stars form an asterism known as the Northern Cross, which is prominent in the evening sky in the summer months. – Distance: 700 light-years Messier objects are easiest to find using the stars and asterisms in different constellations. This planetary nebula is relatively young, estimated to be just ~1600 years old. Although the Veil Nebula should really be viewed as a completes structure, it is so large that some parts of it have been given their own names and designations, one of which is the Western Veil Nebula, arguably the most beautiful part of the larger structure. The Andromeda Galaxy (or M31, its catalogue number) and open star cluster, the Pleiades, M45, are the most observed deep-sky objects with the naked eye. Conventional wisdom has long held that the surface brightness of NGC 1499 is too low to be seen against the background sky visually in any telescope. The neighbouring Scorpius can also be observed during summer and is home to many interesting stars and deep sky objects too. By Stephen James O'Meara | Published: Friday, December 14, 2018 It will then reach its highest point in the sky at 02:59, 61° above your southern horizon. The Summer Triangle, which it forms with two other first-magnitude stars, Vega and Altair, is the larger of the two and contains most of the Northern Cross, formed by the brightest stars in Cygnus.Deneb marks the tail of the celestial Swan and the top of the Northern Cross. Albireo. ... all the deep-sky objects visible with the naked-eye and 7x35 ... America and am a resident of the Northern Hemisphere. 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