Great Targets in the Night Sky – August

Comments Off on Great Targets in the Night Sky – August
DesignationNameDifficultySizeMagnitudeIdeal Focal Length
M22Messier 22Beginner32'5.2400-1200mm
NGC 6946 Fireworks GalaxyIntermediate11.2' x 9.8'8.81200mm+
M15Pegasus ClusterBeginner18'6.31200mm+
IC 1396Elephant Trunk NebulaAdvanced1.5º3.5400mm+
M13Hercules Globular ClusterBeginner20'5.81200mm+
IC5070 and IC5067Pelican NebulaAdvanced1º x 50'8.0135mm+
M92Cluster in Hercules Beginner14'6.51200mm+

M22- Messier 22

Messier 22, colloquially known as the Sagittarius Cluster, is a captivating globular cluster residing in the constellation Sagittarius. Positioned approximately 10,000 light-years from Earth, it graces our night sky with its luminous presence, boasting an apparent magnitude of around 5.1, making it visible to the naked eye under dark conditions. This tightly packed congregation of stars spans roughly 100 light-years in diameter and offers a glimpse into the ancient history of our galaxy, with its stellar members formed over 12 billion years ago. Its location near the center of the Milky Way gifts observers not only with the spectacle of its densely packed core but also with the celestial backdrop of interstellar dust and faint nebulous features, creating a celestial tableau that captivates both amateur and professional astronomers alike.

Telescopius Page

NGC 6946- Fireworks Galaxy

Nestled within the constellation Cygnus, the captivating NGC 6946, affectionately known as the Fireworks Galaxy, commands attention. Positioned about 22.5 million light-years away, this spiral galaxy gleams with an apparent magnitude of roughly 9.6, revealing its splendor through telescopic observation. Its illustrious nickname stems from its frequent and brilliant supernova displays, adding a dynamic flair to its cosmic presence. As a canvas of ongoing creation, NGC 6946’s spiral arms are adorned with regions of active star formation, giving rise to a mesmerizing interplay of stellar birth and celestial artistry. Its accessible distance invites both astronomers and enthusiasts to delve into its details, gaining insights into the captivating journey of galaxies across the universe.

Telescopius Page

M15- Messier 15

Messier 15, a celestial gem in the night sky, resides within the constellation Pegasus. Positioned at a distance of around 33,600 light-years from Earth, this globular cluster emanates a luminous glow with an apparent magnitude of about 6.2, rendering it a visible target for binoculars and telescopes. Its compact core, home to a multitude of ancient stars, spans roughly 175 light-years in diameter. As one of the oldest known globular clusters, Messier 15 offers a glimpse into the universe’s distant past, with its stars formed over 12 billion years ago. This captivating cluster is a prime subject for deep-sky enthusiasts, revealing its intricate structure and individual stars under higher magnification. Its location away from the galactic plane allows observers to appreciate its beauty without the interference of foreground stars and dust, making Messier 15 a celestial treasure in the tapestry of our night sky.

Telescopius Page

IC 1396- Elephant Trunk Nebula

IC 1396, an enchanting nebula, resides in the constellation Cepheus. Situated around 2,400 light-years away, this emission nebula showcases its beauty through an open star cluster association. With an apparent size of about 3 degrees, IC 1396’s celestial glow is observable under clear conditions.

Telescopius Page

M13- Messier 13 Hercules Globular Cluster

M13, a captivating globular cluster, can be found in the constellation Hercules. It sits at a distance of around 25,000 light-years from Earth, shining with an apparent magnitude of about 5.8. Spanning approximately 145 light-years in diameter, M13’s core contains a dense collection of ancient stars, offering a glimpse into the distant past of our universe. As one of the brightest globular clusters visible in the Northern Hemisphere, M13 presents a striking arrangement of stars, making it an attractive target even under less-than-optimal viewing conditions. Positioned away from the galactic plane, this cosmic marvel provides a clear and intriguing subject for both astronomers and sky enthusiasts to explore and appreciate.

Telescopius Page

IC5070 and IC5067 – Pelican Nebula

The Pelican Nebula, an awe-inspiring emission nebula, graces the constellation Cygnus. Positioned at a distance of approximately 1,800 light-years from Earth, this cosmic cloud of gas and dust showcases its intricate structures with an apparent size of about 60 arcminutes. Resembling the shape of a pelican in flight, this nebula offers a captivating canvas for stargazers and astrophotographers to explore. Its vibrant hues and delicate details tell the story of ongoing star formation, where dense regions give birth to new generations of stars. The Pelican Nebula’s distinctive form and celestial location make it a striking subject in the night sky, revealing the intricate tapestry of the universe’s creative forces.

Telescopius Page

M92- Messier 92

M92, a remarkable globular cluster, resides in the constellation Hercules. Situated at a distance of about 26,700 light-years from Earth, this cluster shines with an apparent magnitude of around 6.4, making it a splendid target for backyard telescopes. Spanning approximately 109 light-years in diameter, M92’s densely packed core is home to a multitude of ancient stars, offering insights into the history of our galaxy. As one of the brightest globular clusters visible in the Northern Hemisphere, M92 captivates observers with its spherical arrangement of stars, even under less-than-ideal viewing conditions. Its location above the galactic plane provides a clear perspective for stargazers to explore this celestial treasure, which continues to intrigue both amateur astronomers and skywatchers alike.

Telescopius Page


Saturn, a mesmerizing gas giant, orbits the Sun within our solar system. Positioned at an average distance of about 1.4 billion kilometers from the Sun, this ringed planet shines with an apparent magnitude that varies between around +1.5 and -0.2, making it one of the most prominent objects in the night sky. Saturn’s iconic rings, composed of icy particles and dust, encircle its equator, creating a breathtaking spectacle visible through telescopes of various sizes. Its diameter of approximately 120,500 kilometers makes it the second-largest planet in our solar system. Saturn’s distinctive rings, along with its array of moons, including the intriguing Titan, inspire wonder and exploration as they provide insights into the dynamic nature of our cosmic neighborhood.

Telescopius Page

Comments are closed

Litchfield Hills Amateur Astronomy Club