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.