Astrophotography Targets

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

Standard Targets

Andromeda Galaxy

  • Different names: M 31, NGC 224

  • Approximate Location: Andromeda

  • Surface Brightness: 22.2

  • Recommended Season: Summer - Winter

  • Recommended Focal Length: 200mm

Barnard's Loop

  • Different names: Sh 2-276

  • Approximate Location: Orion

  • Surface Brightness: 27

  • Recommended Season: Winter

  • Recommended Focal Length: 50mm

California Nebula

  • Different names: NGC 1499 , Sh 2-220

  • Approximate Location: Perseus

  • Surface Brightness: 23

  • Recommended Season: Winter

  • Recommended Focal Length: 200mm

Eagle Nebula

  • Different names: M 16, NGC 6611, Sh 2-49

  • Approximate Location: between Sagittarius and Ophiuchus

  • Surface Brightness: 19

  • Recommended Season: Summer

  • Recommended Focal Length: > 400mm

Swan Nebula

  • Different names: Omega Nebula, M 17, NGC 6618, Sh 2-45

  • Approximate Location: between Sagittarius and Ophiuchus

  • Surface Brightness: 20

  • Recommended Season: Summer

  • Recommended Focal Length: > 400mm

Elephant Trunk Nebula

  • Different names: IC 1396

  • Approximate Location: Cepheus

  • Surface Brightness: low

  • Recommended Season: Spring - Autumn

  • Recommended Focal Length: 300mm

Flame Nebula

  • Different names: NGC 2024 , Sh 2-277

  • Approximate Location: Orion

  • Surface Brightness: 20

  • Recommended Season: Winter

  • Recommended Focal Length: > 400mm

Horsehead Nebula

  • Different names: B 33

  • Approximate Location: Orion

  • Surface Brightness: 23

  • Recommended Season: Winter

  • Recommended Focal Length: 300mm

Lagoon Nebula

  • Different names: M 8, NGC 6523, Sh 2-25

  • Approximate Location: between Sagittarius and Ophiuchus

  • Surface Brightness: 22

  • Recommended Season: Summer

  • Recommended Focal Length: 300mm

Trifid Nebula

  • Different names: M 20, NGC 6514, Sh 2-30

  • Approximate Location: between Sagittarius and Ophiuchus

  • Surface Brightness: 22

  • Recommended Season: Summer

  • Recommended Focal Length: > 400mm

Milky Way Galaxy (core)

  • Different names: None

  • Approximate Location: Sagittarius, Ophiuchus, and Scorpius

  • Surface Brightness: LSB

  • Recommended Season: Summer

  • Recommended Focal Length: < 50mm

North America Nebula

  • Different names: C 20, NGC 7000, Sh 2-117

  • Approximate Location: Cygnus

  • Surface Brightness: 22

  • Recommended Season: Spring - Autumn

  • Recommended Focal Length: 200mm

Pelican Nebula

  • Different names: IC 5070, IC 5067

  • Approximate Location: Cygnus

  • Surface Brightness: 25

  • Recommended Season: Spring - Autumn

  • Recommended Focal Length: 400mm

Pleiades Cluster

  • Different names: Seven Sisters, M 45

  • Approximate Location: Taurus

  • Surface Brightness: 20

  • Recommended Season: Winter

  • Recommended Focal Length: 300mm

Orion Nebula

  • Different names: M 42, NGC 1976 , Sh 2-281

  • Approximate Location: Orion

  • Surface Brightness: 22

  • Recommended Season: Winter

  • Recommended Focal Length: 300mm

Running Man Nebula

  • Different names: NGC 1977 , Sh 2-279

  • Approximate Location: Orion

  • Surface Brightness: 21

  • Recommended Season: Winter

  • Recommended Focal Length: > 400mm

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

Rosette Nebula

  • Different names: NGC 2237, Sh 2-275

  • Approximate Location: Monoceros

  • Surface Brightness: 27

  • Recommended Season: Winter

  • Recommended Focal Length: 300mm

Sadr Region

  • Different names: IC 1318, Gamma Cygni Nebula, Butterfly Nebula

  • Approximate Location: Cygnus

  • Surface Brightness:

  • Recommended Season: Spring - Summer

  • Recommended Focal Length: 135mm

Veil Nebula

  • Different names: NGC 6960, NGC 6992, NGC 6995

  • Approximate Location: Cygnus

  • Surface Brightness: 27

  • Recommended Season: Spring - Autumn

  • Recommended Focal Length: 300mm

Advanced Targets

Hercules Cluster

  • Different names: M 13, NGC 6205

  • Approximate Location: Hercules

  • Surface Brightness: 21

  • Recommended Season: Summer

  • Recommended Focal Length: > 400mm

Heart Nebula

  • Different names: IC 1805, Sh 2-190

  • Approximate Location: between Cassiopeia, Perseus, and Camelopardalis

  • Surface Brightness: 24

  • Recommended Season: Autumn - Winter

  • Recommended Focal Length: 300mm

Soul Nebula

  • Different Names: IC 1848, Sh 2-199

  • Approximate Location: between Cassiopeia, Perseus, and Camelopardalis

  • Surface Brightness: 22

  • Recommended Season: Autumn - Winter

  • Recommended Focal Length: 300mm

Triangulum Galaxy

  • Different Names: M 33, NGC 598

  • Approximate Location: between Andromeda and Triangulum

  • Surface Brightness: 23

  • Recommended Season: Autumn

  • Recommended Focal Length: > 400mm

Pinwheel Galaxy

  • Different names: M 101, NGC 5457

  • Approximate Location: between Ursa Major and Draco

  • Surface Brightness: 24

  • Recommended Season: all year round

  • Recommended Focal Length: > 400mm

Whirlpool Galaxy

  • Different names: M 51, NGC 5194

  • Approximate Location: between Bootes and Ursa Major

  • Surface Brightness: 22

  • 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.