Deep Sky Objects: 

Here is a guide to locating and finding star clusters, nebulas, and galaxies by constellation name. 

SPRING: Canes Venatici  Coma Berenices Hydra  Leo  URSA Major  Virgo

SUMMER: Cygnus Delphinus  Draco  Hercules  Lyra Ophiuchus Sagitta Scorpius  Serpens Vulpecula

FALL:  Andromeda  Cassiopeia  Cepheus   Cetus  Pegasus  Perseus  Pisces   Triangulum

WINTER:  Auriga   Cancer   Canis Major   Gemini  Lepus   Monoceros   Orion  Puppis


 Andromeda is best known for the most distant object in the sky that can be seen with the unaided eye.  M31, or the Andromeda galaxy is about 2 million light-years from us, yet it can be seen with the unaided eye from a dark location.   With a moderate size telescope, the galaxy shows quite a bit of detail.   With a medium telescope, M32 can also be seen just northeast of M31.  With larger telescopes, M110 can also be easily seen.  It is locate just southwest of M31.  M110 is fainter than the other two galaxies.  Sometimes it takes adverted vision or tapping the telescope tube to locate this object.   

NGC 404 is another galaxy that can be seen in an six inch telescope.  It is located less than 1/2 degree from beta Andromeda. The galaxy will form a triangle with beta Andromeda and another 8th magnitude star.  It may be hard to find because of the glare from beta Andromeda.  To locate this galaxy, place beta Andromeda just out of your field of view.  Using a higher power eyepiece and adverted vision also helps with seeing this galaxy.

NGC 7662 is a planetary nebula that often gets overlooked.  It is also known as the 'Blue Snowball Nebula", due to its blue color.  This planetary is very bright and easily spotted once it is in the field of view of the eyepiece.  Higher magnification helps with identifying it.  NGC 7662 is located about 14 degrees west of M 31.  


Auriga is a very prominent Winter constellation.  There are three Messier objects located within the boarder of this constellation, all open clusters.  M36 is a sparse cluster.  M38 is a little brighter, and the brighter stars of this cluster form a cross.   M37 is the open cluster that is the brightest of the three.  The stars are more concentrated than the other two Messier objects in this constellation, and it contains more individual stars than the other two Messier objects in the constellation.    


The constellation Cancer is dim, but contain a couple of pretty open cluster.  M44 is visible with the unaided eye, and covers about one degree or more. It is locate near the center of the constellation.  M67 is located south-west of M44.  It is fainter than M44, but is more compact.  Both these objects are worth looking at.

Canes Venatici

This constellation has five bright Messier objects, four galaxies and one globular cluster.

M3 is one of the brighter globular clusters in the sky.  It reminds me of M13 in Hercules.  M3 can be difficult to find if you are star-hopping because there are no bright stars nearby, but it is well worth the search.

M51 can be found by starting at the end star of the handle of URSA Major.  Move your telescope about five degrees south-east.   Once there, you should also spot the galaxy NGC 5195 in the same field of view.

M63 lies just about six degrees northwest of alpha Canes Venatici.  It is fairly bright and easy to spot.  M94 lies just about 3 degrees north of alpha Canes Venatici, and three degrees west of beta Canes Venatici.  It is brighter than M63, and the nucleus of the galaxy is well defined.

The last Messier Object in Canes Venatici is M 106.  It can be difficult to find, as it is in a region of the sky that has no bright stars.  First locate beta Canes Venatici, then move the telescope about 5 degrees north-east, then move your telescope again about 4 degrees  north.  M106 will be in between an eight magnitude star and 3 dimmer stars that form the tip of an arrow.  This galaxy is the brightest of the 4 galaxies, and appears larger in size than the others galaxies in Canes Venatici.

Canis Major

Canis Major, also known as the Major Dog, is another constellation that is very rich in both stars and deep sky objects.  Sirius is the brightest star in this constellation, and in the night-time sky.  The phrase 'dog days of summer' was coined in ancient times by the Egyptians who thought the reason that the summer was so hot was because of the extra heat provided by Sirius, which was overhead in the daytime sky.  

This constellation also has several nice deep sky objects.  M41 is a large open cluster that is visible with the unaided eye.  NGC 2362 is a beautiful cluster that also includes Tau Canis Majoris.  This cluster is well worth spending time viewing with medium size telescopes.  Overall, Canis Major has 11 open cluster that are magnitude 9 or brighter.  This alone makes it worth you time to study this constellation.


Depending upon the season, Cassiopeia is seen as a 'W' or a 'M'.  This constellation has only two Messier objects, but has at least ten to fifteen deep-sky objects that can be seen in small to moderate telescopes.  

M103 is a rather dull open cluster, just about a degree away from delta Cassiopeia.  It is made up of primarily three or four bright stars when seen through the eyepiece.  On a good night, even more fainter stars can be seen within the object.   M52 is a better object. It is more concentrated, and a little more brighter.  It is located about 6 degrees north-west of beta Cassiopeia.

NGC 663 is a brighter and prettier open cluster than M 103.  It is just just about 1 degree west of M 103.  It can be seen in a 8X50 finder on clear nights.  Thru the eyepiece, it has more stars than  M 103. 

NGC 457 is a open cluster that resembles the figure of a person.  Sometimes called the "Owl Cluster" or the "ET Cluster",  it contains over 80 stars that can be seen on a clear, moonless night.  It is located about 2 degrees south-southeast of delta Cassiopeia.  The star phi Cassiopeia makes up one of the 'eyes' of the cluster.  It is easily seen in 6" or larger telescopes.

Cassiopeia also makes for a good binocular viewing, since the Milky Way galaxy runs through this constellation.


Cepheus is a constellation that often gets overlook.  It is the house-shaped constellation that is upside-down.   It contains several open clusters, a nice galaxy, and one of the most famous type of variable stars.

NGC 6939 is a open cluster that is about 3 degrees southwest of eta Cepheus.  It is fairly bright, but rather compact and small.   Within the same field of view at about 58X,  NGC 6946 should also be seen.  It is a very dim and small galaxy.  Try using averted vision to see this galaxy.  

NGC 7160 is another open cluster that is in Cepheus.   It is located about 4 degrees northeast of alpha Cepheus.  It is a very pretty cluster that should be easily spotted in a 6 inch telescope.

Delta Cepheus is one of the most famous of all types of variable stars.  It was discovered by Henrietta Leavitt in 1912 that there was a direct relationship between the period of these types of stars and the actual luminosities of the stars.  With this type of relationship, Edward Hubble was able to determine that the Andromeda galaxy  was located outside of the Milky Way galaxy.   For more information about these types of stars, please read the lengthy article in the first volume of Burnham's Celestial Handbook.  


 The constellation Cetus is not very bright compared to the other constellations, it does have one nice Messier object.  M77, a spiral galaxy can be seen through a 4 inch or larger telescope.  With larger telescopes, it looks very bright and well defined.

NGC 1055 is a dim galaxy that is located just 1/2 degree North of M 77.  An eight inch telescope, along with very dry and clear nights, may be needed to locate this galaxy.  

Coma Berenices

Coma Berenices is a rather dim constellation that has a large open cluster, several Messier objects, plus quite a few other deep-sky objects.  This constellation is the only one that is named after an actual person.

The Coma Berenices Star Cluster, also known as Melotte 111,  covers over 4 degrees of the sky, and can be best seen in binoculars.  It wasn't known until 1938 that these stars are actually part of the same cluster. There are 37 stars that belong to this cluster.

M 53 is a globular cluster that is located about one degree northeast of alpha Coma Berenices.  It is fairly large and easy to spot.

M  64 is a galaxy that is easy to spot.  It is also know as the 'Blackeye Galaxy' because of the dark portion in the center of the galaxy.  It is located about 5 degrees northwest of alpha Coma Berenices.   

M 85 is locate about 10 degrees west of alpha.   It is a galaxy that can be hard to spot sometimes.

M 88 and  M 91  are two galaxies that are best located  from first locating the other galaxies in Virgo.   First locate rho Virgo, then move the telescope north about 4 degrees. M 88 the brighter and larger of the two galaxies.  M 91 is about one degree east of M 88.   

The last three Messier objects in Coma Berenices are all within a two degree field.  First locate beta Leo, then move the telescope east to a rather large 'T' asterism.  M 98 will be located on the west side of the 'T'.  Being an edge-on galaxy, it is the dimmest of the three.   M 100 is a face-on galaxy, which is located on the east side of the 'T'.  It is the largest and brightest of the three.   Finally, M 99 can be located on the southern part of the asterism.  It is a little fainter and smaller that M 100,  but brighter than M 98.

NGC 4565 is an edge-on galaxy that can be seen in medium size telescopes.  It is located about three degrees southeast from gamma Coma Berenices.  

NGC 4725 is another galaxy that can be located with a 6 to 8" telescope.  It can be found about 5 degrees southwest from beta Coma Berenices.


One of the most recognizable constellations, it is sometime know as the Northern Cross.  It brightest star, Deneb, makes up one point of the 'Summer Triangle' that also include Vega in Lyra, and Altair in Aquila. One of the prettiest double stars in the sky can be seen with any telescope is beta Lyra, or Albireo.  It is yellow star, with a bluish companion.  

M29 is an open cluster that is just south of gamma Cygnus.  It can be hard to find, since the Milky Way runs through this constellation.  M39, another open cluster, can be seen  about eight degrees northwest of Deneb.  It is easier to spot, and contains more stars than M29.

The Veil Nebula can be spotted with a medium to large telescope.  If you have an O-III filter, it will enhance this nebula.  I've seen it without any filter in a 17 inch reflector, and could just seen it with a 10 inch  with a filter.  Good sky conditions make all the difference with this nebula.  It is locate just south of 52 Cygnus.


Delphinus is a small constellation, but well worth looking for.   It contain several double and binary star systems within its borders.  It has a couple of  globular clusters, but they are not particularly bright.    

NGC 7006 is located about 3 degrees east of gamma Delphinus.  It is very small.   NGC 6934 is a little bigger than NGC 7006.  It is located about 3 1/2 degrees south of epsilon Delphinus.


Draco is a constellation that winds its way around the end of URSA Minor.  It starts near the star Dubhe in URSA Major, then winds towards the constellation Hercules.  It contains several nice deep sky objects.

NGC 5907 is another bright galaxy that is located about 3 degrees south-southwest from iota Draco.  On a clear night, it can be spotted quite easily in a medium sized telescope.

NGC 5866 is sometimes listed as the 'missing' Messier object, M102.  It is about 10th magnitude, and located about 1 degree south-southwest from NGC 5907

NGC 5982 is a faint galaxy that requires a medium sized telescope.  It is located about 1 1/2 degrees east of iota Draco.  The galaxy NGC 5985 can also be seen in the same field of view as NGC 5982.  Both galaxies are around 11th magnitude.

NGC 6543 is a planetary nebula that is also know as the 'Cats Eye Nebula'. It is located about 7 degrees west of delta Draco.  It is best view with a larger telescope at higher magnification. With a 16 inch telescope under high magnification, the nebula's two lobes that stick out on either side can be seen.


Gemini is another constellation that is worth looking into.  It only contains one Messier object, M 35, but has several other NGC objects also.  It also contains one of the best double stars.

M 35 is a very large open cluster.  It can be seen in binoculars or an 8X50 finder scope.  In the eyepiece, use a lower power eyepiece to see the whole cluster.   Just to the south west is the faint open cluster NGC 2158.  It can just be seen in a 6 inch telescope, but an eight inch will be needed to view this small open cluster.  It takes a 10" telescope to resolve the stars in the cluster.

Another faint open cluster that will take a medium size telescope to spot is NGC 2129.  It is locate about 2 degrees southwest of M 35.  It is very dim and small.

 The bright planetary nebula NGC 2392 is known as the Eskimo Nebula.  It is located about two degrees southeast of delta Gemini.  At low magnification, it appears to be the same size as the 8th magnitude star that is right next to it.   It is easy to over look it if you don't know its exact location.  Once found, use higher magnification on the object.   The higher the magnification used, the larger the nebula appears.  It is a very nice object.

Castor, alpha Gemini, is a very close double star.  Its secondary star appears about 2 arc seconds from the primary.  The secondary is only one magnitude dimmer than Castor, and also a different color.  Use high magnification to cleanly separate these two stars.


Hercules contains two Messier objects, M13 and M92.  M13 is perhaps the finest Globular cluster in the Northern sky.  Locate the western edge of the 'Keystone'  portion of constellation.  M13 is about 2 degrees south of eta Hercules.  With a 6 or 8 inch reflector, the individual stars of the cluster can be seen.  The bigger the telescope, the more impressive this globular cluster becomes.  Even at high magnification, this cluster really is very spectacular.

Often overlooked because of M 13 is the globular cluster M 92.   It is located about 7 degrees northwest.  This globular cluster is very bright, and with medium size telescopes at higher magnification will start to show the individual stars.   


Hydra is a long, winding constellation that starts just south of Cancer, and ends up south of Virgo. It is the longest and largest of the constellations.  It's stars in effect cover three seasons: Winter, Spring, and Summer. There are three Messier objects in Hydra.   M 68 is a globular cluster that is south of the constellation Corvus.   M83 is a bright galaxy locate about 10 degrees west of M68.   M48 is an open cluster that is on the very eastern edge of the constellation.   Use the two bright stars in Canis Minor to help locate M48.


This constellation is easy to spot because its primary star, Regulus, marks the bottom of a backward question mark.  Just off the end of this lies NGC 2903, which is about 1 1/2 degrees south of lambda Leonis. It is a very bright galaxy, which in larger telescopes (8 to 10") show the disk and starts to show some arm structure.   

M105 and NGC 3384 can both be seen in the same field of view.  They are located about two degrees south of a 8th magnitude star ( 52 Leo) that lies between alpha and gamma Leo.   M95 and M96  can be found by first finding M105, then moving the telescope southeast another two degrees. 

M65, M66, and NGC 3628 are three galaxies that can be seen in the same field of view for moderate to large telescopes.  M65 and M66 are more face-on galaxies, and NGC 3628 is an edge-on galaxy that sometimes is best seen with averted vision.   


The constellation Lepus is located just south of Orion.  It contains one Messier object, M79.  This object is a globular cluster.  With a 10 inch telescope, it is very bright.  


One of the most famous double star resides in Lyra.  Epsilon Lyra is a 'double-double' star, where both stars can be split into separate stars.  Lyra also contains two Messier Objects.  M57 is also known as the 'Ring Nebula'.  It looks like a little smoke ring.  It can be found between beta and gamma Lyra.  

M56, a globular cluster, is often overlooked in this constellation.  It can be found located about halfway between Alberio in Cygnus and gamma Lyra.  It is fairly bright.


The constellation Monoceros is a dim constellations, but contain some of the best star clusters.  

M50 is a very large and populated open cluster.  To locate it, find theta Canis Major, then go northeast about 4 degrees.  It should be visible in 8X50 finder or a pair of binoculars.

NGC 2232 is an interesting open cluster.  It should be visible in a pair of binoculars.  Locate about 2 degrees North of beta Monoceros, this cluster is almost chain-like in its appearance.

NGC 2244 is an open cluster that is inside of the Rosetta Nebula. The nebula itself is very hard to spot, due to the size of the nebula.  This cluster appears to be two triangle-shaped asterisms that meet each other.  Move North from NGC 2232 about 10 degrees.  

NGC 2264 is a cluster that resemble a Christmas Tree, hence its name.  It is about five degrees South of gamma Gemini.  This cluster is very bright and easy to spot with binoculars.  NGC 2264 also contains the Cone Nebula, which is very hard to spot visually, even with medium-sized telescopes.



This constellation is the second most recognizable constellation in the sky. It rises in the East on its side, but then tends to right itself up as it crosses the sky.   Orion has three Messier object, several double stars, one dim planetary nebula,  and a couple of open clusters. 

M 42 is the show piece of the constellation, perhaps in the entire sky.  With any size telescope, the Orion Nebula can be seen.  With a 10 inch telescope, the blue-greenish color of the nebula can be seen.  On a good clear night, the wisps of the nebula can be seen extending on either side of the nebula.   Inside of the nebula are 4 closely group of stars known as the Trapezium.  All four should be seen with a 6-inch telescope.

M 43 is located just north of M 42.  It is a much smaller nebula, often overlooked.  It is also very bright.

M 78 is the third Messier object in Orion.  It is located about 2 1/2 degrees northeast of zeta Orion.  There should be two dim stars that show through the nebula, reminding one of a pair of eyes.  

All three of the stars that form the 'belt' of Orion are double stars.  Rigel is also a double star.  The primary star is listed as 0.1 magnitude, and the secondary star of this system is listed as 6.8 magnitude.  The separation between these two stars is only 9.5 seconds.  This double can be split with a 6 inch reflector, but good, steady seeing conditions and high magnification, at least 250X, will be needed.  

NGC 2022 is one of  this constellations planetary nebula.  It is very small, and it is best seen in a 10 inch telescope.  It is located about 1 and 1/2 degrees from phi Orion.  Use high magnification to see this planetary nebula.

NGC 2169 is an open cluster that is located about seven degrees north-northeast of Betelgeuse.  This cluster is best view at higher magnification, where it forms the numbers '37'.  

NGC 2194 is another open cluster that is locate just over one degree southeast of NGC 2169.   It is a tighter group of stars that will need a good clear night to locate.


Ophiuchus is a large constellation, just to the north of Scorpius.  It contains 7 Messier objects, all globular clusters.  It also contains one open cluster that is very bright.

M10 and M12 are two of the globular clusters that are located towards the center of the constellation, and are about 3 degrees apart.  Both are about the same size and brightness.

M14 is the dimmest of the globular clusters in Ophiuchus.  It is located about 7 degrees south of Beta Ophiuchus.  It is dimmer and smaller that M10 or M12. 

M107 is located just 3 degrees south-southwest of Zeta Ophiuchus.  It appears more spread out than M10 or M11.

M62 and M19 are located about 6 degrees south east of Antares, while M19 is 7 degrees east of Antares. M19 appears brighter and larger than M62.  Both of these clusters are very nice.

M9 is located about 4 degrees south east of Nu Ophiuchus.  It appears smaller and dimmer than either M10 or M11. 

The one bright open cluster, IC 4665 is located just north of Beta Ophiuchus.  It is easy to spot in the finder.  This object looks best in a pair of binoculars.


Pegasus is a very large constellation that 'shares' a star with Andromeda to form a large square.  It has several galaxies, and one very bright globular cluster.

M 15 is a very bright globular cluster.  It is located about 4 degrees northwest of epsilon Pegasus.  M 15 is bright enough to be seen in a pair of binoculars, or in a 8X50 finder scope.  At lower magnification, a 6th magnitude star and a 7th magnitude star are on either side of the globular cluster.  With 8-inch or larger telescopes, the stars in the cluster can be partly resolved.  This cluster looks better in bigger telescopes at higher magnification.

NGC 7331 is a bright galaxy that can be seen in medium or larger size telescopes.  It is located about 4 degrees north-northwest of eta Pegasus.  It is a medium size galaxy that needs a moonless night to locate.  It is quite bright in a 10" or larger telescope.


The famous 'Double Clusters' set, NGC 884 and NGC 869, are located in Perseus.  Both of these open clusters are very pretty and easy to find.  They are best view in binoculars or a rich-field telescope. Use your eyepiece that allows the largest field of view to view these clusters.   

Perseus also has two Messier objects.   M34 is an open cluster that is visible in an 8X50 finder scope. It is very bright and excellent viewing in a wide-angle eyepiece.   M76 is a planetary nebula that is often called the 'Little Dumbbell Nebula' due to its similar shape to M27.   It is the smallest of all the Messier objects in size.  

Algol (beta Perseus) is  one of the most famous variable stars in the sky. The two stars revolve each other every 2 days and 21 hours. During the eclipsing phase the brightness varies from 2.2 magnitude to 3.5 magnitude.   Watch this star over a period of a week to observe the changes in brightness.   It was know in ancient times as the Demon Star.


Pisces is another dim constellation that holds one of the dimmest Messier object.  M 74 is another face-on galaxy that can be hard to find.  It is located about one degree east  from eta Pisces.   To find this galaxy, you will need very clear and dry conditions.   Even though M 74 is fairly bright, it isn't very large, and this also hinders people from finding it.   Of all the Messier objects, this could be the hardest one to locate.  


Puppis is a constellation that was created when the very large constellation Argo was split up into four different constellations.   It contains three  Messier objects, several very nice open clusters, and a planetary nebula within an open cluster.

M 93 is an open cluster that is very bright.  On a clear night, it can be spotted in an 8X50 finder scope or a pair of binoculars.  It is located just 1 and 1/2 degrees northwest of Xi Puppis.  It is a very tightly grouped of stars.

M 47 is another bright open cluster.  It is more spread out than M 93.  It is located about eight degrees East of gamma Canis Major.  This open cluster can also be seen in an 8X50 finder scope or a pair of binoculars.  

The other Messier object in Puppis is M 46.  It is also an open cluster, but is is quite dimmer that M 47.  It is located just over one degree East of M 47.   M 46 is more concentrated than either M 47 or M 93.   

On a very clear night,  the planetary nebula NGC 2438 can be seen.  It is located towards the northern part of M 46.  It is small and round, and appears white or grayish in color.  An eight-inch telescope will be needed to see this planetary nebula.



Sagitta is very small constellation that is in the shape of an arrow.  Two fourth magnitude stars forms the 'feathers' of the arrow, and a third and fifth magnitude stars form the shaft of the arrow.  This constellation has one Messier object, M71.  It is about one degree southwest of gamma Sagitta.   The globular cluster is around third magnitude.


Toward the southern part of the sky, Scorpius is starting to dominate that part of the sky.  Antares is the brightest star in this region.  It is a double star, but a very large telescope is needed to spot the secondary star.

M4 is a loose globular cluster that is located about two degrees west of Antares.  It shines at magnitude 6, and is very nice to view through any size telescope.

M80 is a smaller globular cluster that is about 3 degrees north-northwest of M4.  It is very compact, but very pretty to view at any magnification.

M6 and M7 are both open clusters that can be spotted with the unaided eye from a dark location.  These two clusters are north of the 'tail' of Scorpius.   M6 is more compact, and has more stars that M7.  Both are best viewed with the lowest powered eyepiece.


Serpens is the only constellation that is split in half by another constellation, Ophiuchus.  

Serpens Cauda is to the East of Ophiuchus, and it contains one Messier Object.  M16, also know as the Eagle Nebula, is actually a bright star cluster.  It gets its name from long-exposure photographs, which shows the nebulosity associated with the cluster.  This is the cluster that the Hubble Space Telescope is best know for.

Serpens Caput is located to the West of Ophiuchus.  It contains a very bright globular cluster, M5.  It shines at magnitude 5.8.  It is one of the brightest globular clusters in the Northern sky.  It is about 11 degrees north of Alpha Libra.  It is visible in a 5X80 finder scope.


Triangulum is a very small constellation that has three fairly bright star that actually forms a triangle.  It has one Messier object, M 33.

M 33 is a very bright and large galaxy, but can be hard to see because it is a face-on galaxy.   It is located about 4 degrees west from beta Triangulum.   If the air is calm and dry, this galaxy is visible in a 8X50 finder scope.    Sometimes the view is better in a finder that an eyepiece since this galaxy covers more that 1/2 of a degree of the sky.  When the sky is dry,  this galaxy is one of the best galaxies to view at any magnification.  The center of the galaxy is very bright, and the surrounding areas of the galaxy is well defined.  On other nights, it is nearly impossible to detect. 


URSA Major

Probably the most recognized asterism is the seven stars in URSA Major that make up the Big Dipper.  One  of the most famous double stars, Alcor and Mizor,  mark the location of the bend of the handle of the asterism. A sign of excellent seeing conditions can be the ability of the unaided eye to see both stars.  

This constellation has one of the brightest and sometime one of the hardest Messier objects to spot.  M101 can be difficult to pick up in any telescope if the sky conditions are not favorable.  When sky conditions are good and the larger the telescope,  the views are spectacular.   

If you have clear skies, try finding M81 and M82 in Ursa Major.  These two galaxies will fit in a wide-angle eyepiece.   M82 is a spiral galaxy, while M81 is a cigar-shaped galaxy.  Both galaxies should be visible in a small telescope under good seeing conditions.

The Owl Nebula, M97, is a bright planetary nebula that can be seen in six to eight inch telescopes.  It is circular in shape, and is a light gray color.  It is located just about two degrees south of beta URSA Major.  Use high magnification to see this nebula better.


Virgo contains only one first magnitude or brighter star, Spice, but it has 11 Messier objects, all of them galaxies.  Most of them are located within a 10-degree area of the sky.  The problem is not locating the galaxies, it is identifying them.  

M104, also called the Sombrero Galaxy, is located by first finding delta Corvus, then extending a line north-northwest from this star about five degrees. M104 show a distinct bulge, and a very prominent dark lane that runs through the middle of the galaxy.

M61 can be located by finding nu Virgo, then moving the telescope north about 2 degrees to two 9th magnitude stars that are about one degree apart from each other.  These two stars are running in a north-south direction.  M61 is fairly bright and can be easily seen.   From here, move the telescope  north-northwest about 2 and 1/2 degrees.  M49 will be just northeast of  a ninth magnitude star. M49 is oblong, and a little dimmer than M61. 

The heart of the Virgo Cluster can be found in a couple of ways.  The easiest way I've found is to first locate 3rd magnitude epsilon Virgo (Vindemiatrix). From this star, move 5 degrees west to pick up 5th magnitude rho Virgo. This star forms the center of an upside-down 'Y'.  Once you have found this, then locating the Messier objects are easier.  Call this asterism your 'home base'.

From 'home base', move your telescope about one degree north.  M59 and M60 should be visible. If these two galaxies are clear and distinct, then the rest of the Messier objects should be easy.  Move west about one degree to locate M58. It is located near a 8th or 9th magnitude star.  It will be a little dimmer than M60.

From M58, move your telescope northeast about two degrees.  M89 should be visible.  It is around 10th magnitude.   It should be located at the southeast end of a row of three stars.  This Messier object is not the easiest one to see.  Adverted vision works best to initially spot this object.    Move you telescope northwest about one degree to M90.   It is much larger and brighter than M98, and it is a more face-on galaxy.  

To find M87, first return to M58.  Then move east about two degrees.  M87 is very large and bright.  This is one galaxy that can usually be seen if the others can't.  It shines at magnitude 8.6, and is very close to a 8th magnitude star.  

M86 and M84 can be found by locating M87, then moving the telescope about two degrees northeast.  These two galaxies fit easily into a wide angle eyepiece.


Vulpecula is another dim constellation that is just north of  Sagitta.  It contains one of the brightest planetary nebula in the sky.  M 27 is also known as the 'Dumbbell Nebula'.   It should be visible in small and medium size telescopes. M27 is a very large planetary nebula, and makes a great object to view, even at high magnification. 

 This constellation also contains an asterism of  stars that resemble a coat hanger.  Brocchi's Cluster is best seen in binoculars or thru an 8X50 finder scope.  Rich field telescopes should show this cluster very well.

NGC 6885 and NGC 6882 are two open clusters that look like they overlap each other.  NGC 6882 surrounds the 6th magnitude star, and NGC 6885 is more open.  It's hard to tell where one open cluster ends and the other one starts.  They are located about 4 degrees northeast of M27.