Beyond Messier

I have noted a tendency among my fellow observers in our little local club… To observe the same objects over and over.

M6 The Butterfly Cluster
M6, the Butterfly Cluster, 9 x 1min Canon 60D and AT6RC

These are the big, bright, showpiece objects that we observe repeatedly. You know the ones… the Orion Nebula, Andromeda Galaxy, Omega Centauri, Eta Carina, Jewelbox, Etc.

I too visit old favorites in the night, stopping by to enjoy the beauty. I will also make it a point to view some new objects each observing session, something I have not seen before. Our universe has more to offer, there are many beautiful sights to be had that are all too often overlooked.

Those of you who stop by for our monthly club meeting will receive an introduction to observing lists containing new objects, a talk I have titled Beyond Messier. Perhaps I can inspire a few folks to explore further afield.

A few links to get you started are listed here. A few resources that contain observing lists that go beyond the usual telescope targets.

The Saguaro Astronomy Club has published a number of excellent observing lists that go far beyond the Messier catalog. An excellent next step is their 110 best of the NGC. A list of carbon stars and other very red stars can be enjoyed from a less than dark site.

The Astronomical League has a wide range of observing lists. There are options for beginners and experienced observers using instruments from binoculars to large aperture ‘scopes. This includes challenges like the Herschel 400 and the Hershel II.

Next time you have your ‘scope setup under a dark sky, find something you have never observed before, find something new.

Author: Andrew

An electrical engineer, amateur astronomer, and diver, living and working on the island of Hawaiʻi.

2 thoughts on “Beyond Messier”

  1. Isint the butterfly crooked?
    Nice exopsure tho. Wonder if my mount would work just as well with my 100- 400 canon sport zoom? Would be cool

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