This page is my own notes for finding a small number of deep-space objects. This is by no means a substitute for good star maps or a book like the excellent Turn Left at Orion: Hundreds of Night Sky Objects to See in a Home Telescope – and How to Find Them. Instead, it’s a small collection of specific writeups that I have developed for various reasons, usually in response to a request from a beginner or as a supporting document to some other article. I publish it here hoping it may be a useful guide to finding easy objects for beginners.
For beginners, I recommend viewing this list in the format on this page, which sorts them by season and indicates what scopes they can be seen in.
In each of the descriptions that follow, I include images — usually simulations — of what you can expect the objects to look like in a small amateur telescope, omitting the beautiful colour photographs that may set unrealistic expectations and lead to disappointment.
|Object||Name||Type||When Visible in Evening|
|M11||Wild Duck Cluster||OC||Summer|
|M31||Andromeda Galaxy||Gal||Summer – Winter|
|M35||OC||Nov – April|
|M45||Pleiades||OC||Later fall, Winter|
|NGC 457||Owl, ET||OC||Summer & Autumn|
|NGC 869/884||Double Cluster||OC||August – March|
|Summer Triangle||Ast||June – September|
|MS||Multiple Star System|