Astrophotography Targets

Photos shown here were taken with a crop sensor mirrorless camera and standard lenses, using the MSM Rotator

Beginning Targets

Andromeda Galaxy

  • Different names: M31, NGC 224
  • Approximate Location: Andromeda
  • Surface Brightness: 22.2
  • Recommended Season: Autumn
  • Recommended Focal Length: 300mm

California Nebula

  • Different names: NGC 1499
  • Approximate Location: Perseus
  • Surface Brightness: 23.1
  • Recommended Season: Winter
  • Recommended Focal Length: 200mm

Flame Nebula

  • Different names: NGC 2024
  • Approximate Location: Orion
  • Surface Brightness: 19.5
  • Recommended Season: Winter
  • Recommended Focal Length: 400mm

Horsehead Nebula

  • Different names: B33
  • Approximate Location: Orion
  • Surface Brightness: 22.5
  • Recommended Season: Winter
  • Recommended Focal Length: 400mm

Hercules Cluster

  • Different names: M13, NGC 6205
  • Approximate Location: Hercules
  • Surface Brightness: 20.9
  • Recommended Season: Summer
  • Recommended Focal Length: > 400mm

Lagoon Nebula

  • Different names: M8, NGC 6523
  • Approximate Location: between Sagittarius and Ophiuchus
  • Surface Brightness: 21.5
  • Recommended Season: Summer
  • Recommended Focal Length: > 50mm

Trifid Nebula

  • Different names: M20, NGC 6514
  • Approximate Location: between Sagittarius and Ophiuchus
  • Surface Brightness: 22.2
  • Recommended Season: Summer
  • Recommended Focal Length: > 50mm

North America Nebula

  • Different names: NGC 7000, C20
  • Approximate Location: Cygnus
  • Surface Brightness: 21.5
  • Recommended Season: Autumn
  • Recommended Focal Length: 135mm

Pleiades Cluster

  • Different names: M45, Seven Sisters
  • Approximate Location: Taurus
  • Surface Brightness: 19.8
  • Recommended Season: Winter
  • Recommended Focal Length: 300mm

Orion Nebula

  • Different names: M42, NGC 1976
  • Approximate Location: Orion
  • Surface Brightness: 22
  • Recommended Season: Winter
  • Recommended Focal Length: > 50mm

Rho Ophiuchi Cloud

  • Different names: IC 4603, IC 4604, IC 4605, NGC 6144 (these are all parts of the cloud)
  • Approximate Location: Ophiuchus
  • Surface Brightness: 22 ?
  • Recommended Season: Summer
  • Recommended Focal Length: > 50mm

Eagle Nebula

  • Different names: M16, NGC 6611
  • Approximate Location: between Sagittarius and Ophiuchus
  • Surface Brightness: 18.9
  • Recommended Season: Summer
  • Recommended Focal Length: > 400mm

Omega Nebula

  • Different names: M17, NGC 6618
  • Approximate Location: between Sagittarius and Ophiuchus
  • Surface Brightness: 19.8
  • Recommended Season: Summer
  • Recommended Focal Length: > 400mm

Advanced Targets

Rosette Nebula

  • Different names: NGC 2237, C49
  • Approximate Location: Monoceros
  • Surface Brightness: 27.1
  • Recommended Season: Winter
  • Recommended Focal Length: 300mm

Triangulum Galaxy

  • Different Names: M33, NGC 598
  • Approximate Location: between Andromeda and Triangulum
  • Surface Brightness: 23
  • Recommended Season: Autumn
  • Recommended Focal Length: > 400mm

Heart Nebula

  • Different names: IC 1805, SH2-190
  • Approximate Location: between Cassiopia, Perseus, and Camelopardalis
  • Surface Brightness: 24
  • Recommended Season: Autumn
  • Recommended Focal Length: 300mm

Soul Nebula

  • Different Names: M33, NGC 598
  • Approximate Location: between Cassiopia, Perseus, and Camelopardalis
  • Surface Brightness: 21.6
  • Recommended Season: Autumn
  • Recommended Focal Length: 300mm

Pinwheel Galaxy

  • Different names: M101, NGC 5457
  • Approximate Location: between Ursa Major and Draco
  • Surface Brightness: 23.8
  • Recommended Season: all year round
  • Recommended Focal Length: > 400mm

Veil Nebula

  • Different names: NGC 6960/6992/6974/6979, C 33/34
  • Approximate Location: Cygnus
  • Surface Brightness: 26.9
  • Recommended Season: Summer - Autumn
  • Recommended Focal Length: 300mm

Whirlpool Galaxy

  • Different names: M51, NGC 5194
  • Approximate Location: between Bootes and Ursa Major
  • Surface Brightness: 21.7
  • Recommended Season: Spring
  • Recommended Focal Length: > 400mm

Recommended Seasons are for the Northern hemisphere.

Surface Brightness is a measure of brightness where lower is brighter.