Rating deep-sky objects

Posted by David Eicher
on Saturday, January 27, 2007

What are the best objects to observe in the sky, outside our solar system? For years, the front runners were always, invariably, the Orion Nebula and the Andromeda Galaxy. Telescopes, technology, and observers' information sources have changed so much over the past several years, however, that I wonder if the objects Astronomy readers favor have now shifted around.

Among open clusters, do you see the Pleiades, Beehive, and Double Cluster as the greats? How about standout globulars — Omega Centauri, the Hercules Cluster, and M22? Are your favorite nebulae centered on such showpieces as the Lagoon, the Trifid, Eta Carinae, the North America, and the Omega Nebula? What about planetary nebulae? Are the Ring and the Dumbbell still kings? Do your favorite target galaxies include Centaurus A, M81 and M82, the Sombrero, and Whirlpool?

Shoot me an e-mail and let me know about your favorite objects. We'll summarize what we find out and share it later on. Thanks for getting in touch, and let us know any other thoughts you have about Astronomy. Clear skies!

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