Deep Sky

Finding your way around deep space can be rather daunting. And it’s likely that once you do find an object, the small fuzzy thing you see in your telescope will almost completely different from deep space pictures you imagined. But there is really nothing like observing deep sky objects. The first time you catch a planetary nebula or realize a blurry patch in the sky is actually a globular cluster is an experience not to be missed. And just wait until you start long exposure imaging them!

The staff here at Sky & Telescope simply can’t get enough of observing these amazing phenomena. We continue to marvel at the grey hue of the Orion Nebula — a vast stellar nursery nearly 1,500 light-years away — and gasp at the more distant Triangulum Galaxy. Sure it might look like a faint fuzzy blob, but the photons falling on your eye have traveled roughly 3,000,000 years to do so.

Simply extraordinary

Explore the Veil Nebula

The Veil Nebula, the tattered remains of an ancient supernova explosion, is one of the most spectacular objects in the night sky. Did you know it has two dozen parts visible in amateur telescopes?

NGC 7331: Odd One Out

Can you spot September's Binocular Highlight from Mathew Wedel — spiral galaxy NGC 7331? Grab your binoculars and find a nice dark sky spot.

Digging Deep in M33

The Triangulum Galaxy shows more detail through backyard telescopes than any other galaxies except the Magellanic Clouds and our own home, the Milky Way. But M33's treasures don't just jump out and grab your eye. To see them, you need dark skies, patience . . . and this guide from the December 2004 issue of…