ASOtitle

Suburban Astronomy Objects

Courtesy, Brian Webb - 2006 May 17

Many amateur astronomers live in the light polluted suburbs. They often limit their observing to a small number of bright objects because they are unaware of the large number of fainter targets visible from the suburbs. In addition, they are also unaware of the large number of lesser known bright objects that are visible.

The following is a list of objects that have been seen from a moderately light polluted location using a typical amateur telescope. This list will be expanded as additional objects are seen and identified.

NameTypeConR.A.Dec.Mag.SizeComments
M 110 Galaxy And 00:40.4 +41.68 +8.0 10' Large, faint, ill-defined. 8-inch schmidt-cassegrain used
M 31 Galaxy And 00:42.7 +41.27 +3.5 160' Andromeda Galaxy. 8-inch schmidt-cassegrain used
M 32 Galaxy And 00:42.7 +40.87 +8.2 3' Faint, star-like, with central condensation. 8-inch schmidt-cassegain used
Eta Cassiopeiae Double Star Cas 00:49.1 +57.82 +3.4 +7.5 --- 12" separation, 480 yr orbital period. 8-inch newtonian used
Beta Persei Variable Star Per 03:08.2 +40.96 +2.2 to +3.5 --- Algol. Fairly bright to the naked eye. 2.87 day period. 93 light years distant
M 38 Open Cluster Aur 05:28.7 +35.83 +6.4 21' Faint, large, fuzzy patch in 10x50 binoculars. 4,200 light years distant
M 1 Nebula Tau 05:34.5 +22.02 +8.2 6' Crab Nebula. Large, ill-defined, and very faint. Orion UltraBlock and Lumicon O-III filters were used to view this object, but they did not improve the view. 8-inch schmidt-cassegrain used
M 42 Nebula Ori 05:35.4 -05.45 +2.9 66' Orion Nebula. Large, bright, with internal detail. Object was viewed with Orion UltraBlock and Lumicon O-III filters. It looked slightly better in the UltraBlock filter than with the O-III filter or no filter. 8-inch schmidt-cassegrain used
M 36 Open Cluster Aur 05:36.1 +34.13 +6.0 12' Faint, medium-sized, fuzzy patch in 10x50 binoculars. 4,100 light years distant
M 37 Open Cluster Aur 05:52.4 +32.55 +5.6 24' Faint, medium-sized, hazy patch in 10x50 binoculars. 4,600 light years distant
M 35 Open Cluster Gem 06:08.9 +24.33 +5.3 28' 8-inch schmidt-cassegrain used
M 41 Open Cluster CMa 06:46.0 -20.73 +4.6 38' Faint, coarse appearance. 10x50 binoculars used
NGC 2392 Planetary Nebula Gem 07:29.2 +20.92 +10 0.7' Eskimo Nebula. Small, semi-bright, fuzzy, with central condensation. 8-inch newtonian used
Alpha Geminorum Double Star Gem 07:34.6 +31.88 +1.9 +2.9 --- Castor. 2.2" separation, 420 yr orbital period. 8-inch newtonian used
M47 Open Cluster Pup 07:36.6 -14.50 +4.4 30' Large, loose concentration of several bright stars. 8-inch newtonian used
NGC2438 Planetary Nebula Pup 07:41.8 -14.73 +11 1.1' Planetary nebula located in front of M46. 8-inch newtonian used with no filter, UltraBlock filter, and O-III filter. The object invisible without a filter, but was seen in both filters. It was best seen through the O-III and consisted of a faint, medium-sized disk with no internal detail.
M46 Open Cluster Pup 07:41.8 -14.82 +6.1 27' Large open cluster of several faint stars. 8-inch newtonian used. The faint planetary nebula NGC2438 is located in front of M46.
M44 Open Cluster Cnc 08:40.1 +20.00 +3.1 95' The Beehive or Praesepe. Barely visible to the naked eye. In 10x50 binoculars, object was a nice assortment of several bright stars.
NGC 2841 Galaxy UMa 09:22.0 +50.97 +9.2 6.8' Small, hard to see, with a star-like nucleus. 8-inch newtonian used
NGC 2903 Galaxy Leo 09:32.2 +21.50 +9.0 12.6' Very hard to see. Large, ill-defined, and elliptical in shape. 8-inch newtonian used
M 81 Galaxy UMa 09:55.6 +69.07 +7.0 26' Located close to M82. 8-inch newtonian used
M 82 Galaxy UMa 09:55.8 +69.68 +8.4 11' Located close to M81. 8-inch newtonian used
Gamma Leonis Double Star Leo 10:20.0 +19.85 +2.2 +3.5 --- 4.4" separation, 617 yr orbital period. 8-inch newtonian used
NGC 3242 Planetary Nebula Hya 10:24.8 -18.63 +7.8 16" Ghost of Jupiter Nebula. Fairly large, bright, with a blurred edge. Observed without and with Orion UltraBlock and Lumicon O-III filters. Both filters improved the view, but the O-III provided the greatest improvement. It was somewhat suprising how easy this object was to see without a nebula filter, even though it was low in the sky and the sky was hazy and moderately light polluted. 8-inch newtonian used
M 95 Galaxy Leo 10:44.0 +11.70 +9.7 7.8' Small, very hard to see. Located near M-96. 8-inch newtonian used
M 96 Galaxy Leo 10:46.8 +11.82 +9.2 6.9' Hard to see. Located near M-95. 8-inch newtonian used
M 105 Galaxy Leo 10:47.8 +12.58 +9.3 3.9' Somewhat hard to see. Ill-defined shape. Star-like nucleus. Located very close to NGC 3384.8-inch newtonian used
NGC 3384 Galaxy Leo 10:48.3 +12.63 +9.9 5.5' Hard to see. Star-like nucleus. Located very close to M 105. 8-inch newtonian used
M 108 Galaxy UMa 11:11.5 +55.67 +10.1 8' Extremely faint, hard to see, featureless smudge. Viewed without and with an Orion SkyGlow filter. The filter neither improved or degraded the view. Located close to M 97. 8-inch newtonian used
M 97 Planetary Nebula UMa 11:14.8 +55.02 +11.2 3' Owl Nebula. Very faint. Observed without and with Orion UltraBlock and Lumicon O-III filters. Both filters improved the view, but the O-III provided the greatest improvement. Located close to M 108. 8-inch newtonian used
M 65 Galaxy Leo 11:18.9 +13.08 +9.3 10' Faint. 8-inch newtonian used
M 66 Galaxy Leo 11:20.2 +12.98 +9.0 9' Faint. 8-inch newtonian used
NGC 4565 Galaxy Com 12:36.3 +25.98 +9.6 14' Very hard to see. Elongated shape visible 8-inch newtonian used
M 104 Galaxy Vir 12:40.0 -11.62 +8.3 9' Sombrero Galaxy. Faint, linear smudge. Best view obtained at 131x. 8-inch newtonian used
M 94 Galaxy CVn 12:50.9 +41.12 +8.2 11' Bright nucleus. 8-inch newtonian used
M 64 Galaxy Com 12:56.7 +21.68 +8.5 9' Black Eye Galaxy. Faint smudge with hint of a compact nucleus. 8-inch newtonian used
M 53 Globular Cluster Com 13:12.9 +18.17 +7.7 13' Semi-bright, misty, hint of granularity. 8-inch newtonian at 131x used
M 63 Galaxy CVn 13:15.8 +42.03 +8.6 12' Sunflower Galaxy. Faint smudge. A star-like nucleus was visible using averted vision. 8-inch newtonian used
M 51 Galaxy CVn 13:29.9 +47.20 +8.4 11' Whirlpool Galaxy. 8-inch newtonian used
NGC 5195 Galaxy CVn 13:30.0 +47.27 +9.6 5' Companion galaxy of M51. 8-inch newtonian used
M 3 Globular Cluster CVn 13:42.2 +28.38 +5.9 16' Easy to see, fairly small. Misty appearance with hint of granularity at 130x. 8-inch newtonian used
M 5 Globular Cluster Ser 15:18.6 +02.08 +5.8 17' 8-inch schmidt-cassegrain used
M 80 Globular Cluster Sco 16:17.0 -22.98 +7.2 9' Small, bright in 8-inch newtonian
M 4 Globular Cluster Sco 16:23.6 -26.53 +6.0 26' Large, faint in 8-inch newtonian
M 107 Globular Cluster Oph 16:32.5 -13.05 +8.1 10' Faint in 8-inch newtonian
M 13 Globular Cluster Her 16:41.7 +36.47 +5.9 16' Granular appearance. 8-inch newtonian at 131x used
NGC 6210 Planetary Nebula Her 16:44.5 +23.82 +9.2 15" Small, bright, ill-defined, with a hint of blue-green color. 8-inch newtonian used
Alpha Herculii Binary Star Her 17:14.7 +23.40 +3v
+5.4
--- 4.6" separation, 3,600 yr orbital period. 8-inch newtonian used
M 92 Globular Cluster Her 17:17.1 +43.13 +6.5 11' Bright in 8-inch newtonian
M 7 Open Cluster Sco 17:53.9 -34.82 +3.3 80' Numerous bright stars. 10x50 binoculars used
NGC 6543 Planetary Nebula Dra 17:58.6 +66.63 +8.1 >18" Cat's Eye Nebula. Small, somewhat bright, disk with soft edges. Object was visibile without nebula filters, but UHC and O-III filters made it stand out more. Of the two filters, the O-III gave a slightly better view. 8-inch newtonian used
M 20 Emission/Reflection Nebula Sgr 18:02.6 -23.03 +8.5 27' Trifid Nebula. Faint, hard to see. Object was viewed with no filter and with Orion UltraBlock and Lumicon O-III filters. The filters improved the view slightly, with the UltraBlock providing the better image. 8-inch newtonian used
M 8 Emission Nebula Sgr 18:03.8 -24.38 +5.8 90' Lagoon Nebula. Nebula was 4' wide without a filter and 24' wide with an O-III filter. 8-inch schmidt-cassegrain used
M 17 Emission Nebula Sgr 18:20.8 +16.18 +7.0 46' Omega or Swan Nebula. Only the lower portion of the swan body was visible without a filter. This object was viewed using Orion UltraBlock and Lumicon O-III filters. Both filters improved the view, but the O-III provided a slightly better image. The entire swan shape was visible using the O-III filter. 8-inch newtonian used
M 28 Globular Cluster Sgr 18:24.5 -24.87 +6.9 11' Small, fairly bright, with misty appearance. 8-inch schmidt-cassegrain used
NGC 6629 Planetary Nebula Sgr 18:25.87 -23.20 +10.5 16 This object was very hard to see without a nebula filter. Use of an Orion UltraBlock and Lumicon O-III filter made the object easier to see, with the O-III providing the best image. At 163x with the O-III filter, this object was small, faint, and ill-defined (the disk lacked a clear edge). 8-inch schmidt-cassegrain used
NGC 6638 Globular Cluster Sgr 18:30.9 -25.50 +9.2 5' Small, faint. Misty appearance. 8-inch newtonian used
M 69 Globular Cluster Sgr 18:31.4 -32.35 +7.7 7' Small, faint. Misty appearance. 8-inch newtonian used
M 22 Globular Cluster Sgr 18:36.4 -23.90 +5.1 24' 8-inch schmidt-cassegrain used
Epsilon Lyrae Binary Star Lyr 18:42.7 +39.62 +5.4 +6.0 --- Double Double. Two binary star pairs separated by 207.8". Epsilon Lyrae 1 pair separation 2.8", 1200 yr orbital period. Epsilon Lyrae 2 pair separation 2.3", 600 yr orbital period.
Beta Lyrae Double Star Lyr 18:50.1 +33.37 +3.4v +8.6 --- Optical double. 46" separation. Brighter star is variable with a magnitude of +3.4 to +4.1 and 12.9 day period. 8-inch newtonian used
M 57 Planetary Nebula Lyr 18:53.6 +33.03 +9.7 150" Ring Nebula. Semi-bright object. Observed without and with Orion UltraBlock and Lumicon O-III filters. Both filters improved the view slightly. Both filters appeared to perform equally well. 8-inch newtonian used
M 54 Globular Cluster Sgr 18:55.1 -30.48 +7.7 9' Fairly bright. Small with central condensation. 8-inch newtonian used
M 56 Globular Cluster Lyr 19:16.6 +30.18 +8.2 7' Moderate brightness and size. Looked misty. 8-inch newtonian used
Beta Cygni Double Star Cyg 19:30.7 +27.97 +3.2 +5.4 --- Albireo. Optical double. 34" separation. 8-inch newtonian used
M 55 Globular Cluster Sgr 19:40.0 -30.97 +7.0 19' Very faint. Large and ill-defined. 8-inch newtonian used
NGC 6818 Planetary Nebula Sgr 19:44.0 -14.15 +10 20" Little Gem Nebula. Fairly bright and easy to see without a filter. This object was viewed using Orion UltraBlock and Lumicon O-III filters. Both filters improved the view, but the O-III provided the best view. With or without a filter, this object was a circular, fuzzy blob without a defined disk edge. 8-inch schmidt-cassegrain used
NGC 6826 Planetary Nebula Cyg 19:44.8 +50.52 +9.8 30" Blinking Planetary. Fairly bright. Observed without and with Lumicon O-III filter. The filter did not improve the view. 8-inch schmidt-cassegrain used
M 71 Globular Cluster Sge 19:53.8 +18.78 +8.3 7' Faint, hard to see. 8-inch schmidt-cassegrain used
M 27 Planetary Nebula Vul 19:59.6 +22.72 +8.1 8' Dumbell Nebula. Moderately bright. Observed without and with Lumicon O-III filter. Object was slightly more distinct in O-III filter. 8-inch newtonian used
NGC 6992 Emission Nebula Cyg 20:56.4 +31.72 --- 60' Veil Nebula. Object was very faint with vague internal detail. It resembled an arc-shaped cloud. NGC 6992 was best seen at 46x with Lumicon O-III filter (an Orion UltraBlock filter was tired, but the view was inferior to the O-III). 8-inch newtonian used. The Milky Way was barely visible to the unaided eye at time of observation
NGC 7009 Planetary Nebula Aqr 21:04.2 -11.37 +8.4 26" Saturn Nebula. Fairly bright. Blue-green color evident. Observed without and with Lumicon O-III filter. The filter did not improve the view. 8-inch schmidt-cassegrain used
M 15 Globular Cluster Peg 21:30.0 +12.17 +6.4 12' Bright. Had central condensation. 8-inch schmidt-cassegrain used
M 2 Globular Cluster Aqr 21:33.5 -00.82 +6.5 13' 8-inch schmidt-cassegrain used
M 30 Globular Cluster Cap 21:40.4 -23.18 +7.3 11' Small, hard to see. Central condensation. Hint of granularity. 8-inch newtonian used
NGC 7331 Galaxy Peg 22:37.1 +34.42 +9.5 10' Hard to see. Fairly small. Shape was elongated. 8-inch newtonian used
Sun Star --- --- --- --- --- Do not attempt to view the Sun without using a full aperture filter that was designed for this purpose and is known to be eye-safe! 8-inch schmidt-cassegrain and full aperture solar filter used
Mercury Planet --- --- --- --- --- 8-inch newtonian used
Venus Planet --- --- --- --- --- 8-inch newtonian used
Moon Moon --- --- --- --- --- Earth's Moon. 8-inch newtonian used
Mars Planet --- --- --- --- --- 8-inch newtonian used
Jupiter Planet --- --- --- --- --- 8-inch schmidt-cassegrain used
Io Moon --- --- --- +5.0 1.2" Jovian moon. 8-inch newtonian used
Ganymede Moon --- --- --- +4.6 1.7" Jovian moon. 8-inch schmidt-cassegrain used
Europa Moon --- --- --- +5.3 1.0" Jovian moon. 8-inch newtonian used
Callisto Moon --- --- --- +5.6 1.6" Jovian moon. 8-inch schmidt-cassegrain used
Saturn Planet --- --- --- --- --- 8-inch schmidt-cassegrain used
Tethys Moon --- --- --- +10.3 --- Saturnian moon. 8-inch schmidt-cassegrain used
Dione Moon --- --- --- +10.4 --- Saturnian moon. 8-inch schmidt-cassegrain used
Rhea Moon --- --- --- +9.7 --- Saturnian moon. 8-inch schmidt-cassegrain used
Titan Moon --- --- --- +8.4 --- Saturnian moon. 8-inch schmidt-cassegrain used
Iapetus Moon --- --- --- +11.2 --- Saturnian moon. 8-inch newtonian used
Uranus Planet --- --- --- --- --- 8-inch schmidt-cassegrain used
Neptune Planet --- --- --- --- --- A trace of blue-green color was visible at 81x. A hint of the planet's disc could be seen at 203x. 8-inch schmidt-cassegrain used
Ceres Asteroid --- --- --- --- --- Very faint. 10x50 binoculars used
Vesta Asteroid --- --- --- --- --- Rather bright. 10x50 binoculars used
Abbreviations and Symbols
--- Not applicable or unknown
' Minutes
" Seconds
And Andromeda
Aqr Aquarius
Aur Auriga
Cas Cassiopeia
Cnc Cancer
Com Coma Berenices
Con Constellation
CVn Canes Venatici
Cyg Cygnus
Dec. Declination
Dra Draco
Gem Gemini
Her Hercules
Hya Hydra
Lyr Lyra
Mag. Magnitude
Oph Ophiuchus
Ori Orion
Peg Pegasus
Per Perseus
Pup Puppis
Sco Scorpius
Ser Serpens
Sge Sagitta
Sgr Sagittarius
Tau Taurus
UMa Ursa Major
Vir Virgo
Vul Vulpecula
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