Telescopes, Binoculars, Spotting Scopes, Microscopes, Riflescopes, Astronomical Accessories,Refractor,Reflector,Monoculars,Night Vision,Cassegrain,GPS,Optical Tubes,Digital Camera,Eyepiece,Filters,Barlow,Lenses,Diagonals,Prisms,Tripods,Mounts,Finder Scopes,BinoViewers,Optics,Astronomy,Astrophotography,Laser Range Finders,Rangefinders, Best
Secure website, verified, safe for online shopping
The World's Largest Selection of Optics for Astronomy, Sport, Science and Education
Shop By Price
Shop By Interests
Gift Certificate



  Scope City's Optics Crash Course
Tell Friend  

M56 - This globular cluster is relatively dim at mag 8.3 and it's relatively small because of its distance. It's estimated to be about 46,000 light years distant and spans some 60 light years.

M57 - This is perhaps the most famous of all planetary nebulae. It's also one of the brightest at mag 8.8. While you won't see the vibrant colors that photography reveals, from dark sky, some report some color in the "smoke ring".

M27 - If there's a planetary nebula more famous than the Ring Nebula, this is it. M27 is also known as the Dumbbell Nebula because of the distinctive dumbbell shape of the lobes of gas in this planetary. M27 is about mag 7.3 and is very large for a planetary at about 8' across.

M71 - This globular cluster in Sagitta is about mag 8.3 and lies about 12,000 light years away. It's a small globular at only about 29 light years in diameter.

M11 - Also called the Wild Duck Cluster, this open cluster is nice and bright at mag 5.8. It's estimated to be about 6,200 light years away and has over 500 member stars spanning around 21 light years.

M26 - At mag 8.0 this cluster can be difficult to locate. Its stars are not that bright and it's well camouflaged by its Milky Way background. It's about 5,200 light years away and spans some 21 light years.

M16 - This is the famous Eagle Nebula and the location for the Hubble Space Telescope's famous Pillars of Creation image. This object is officially a cluster with nebulosity and is a favorite target of astrophotographers. Visually some nebulosity can be seen from dark sky and the surrounding clusters frame the area where the eagle is located. M16 is estimated to be about 6,500 light years distant and about 70 light years across.

M17 - One of the best and brightest of the summer nebulae, M17, also called the Omega Nebula and the Swan Nebula is an object that deserves a lot of attention just as does M42. It's estimated to be about 6,800 light years distant and spans around 70 light years.

M18 - Also called the Black Swan Cluster, M18 is a comparatively unimpressive open cluster south of M17. It has only about a dozen brighter members on a background of dimmer Milky Way Stars.

M25 - This mag 4.6 open cluster has about 50 members and spans about 1/2°. It's about 3,200 light years distant and 30 light years across.

M24 - Though classed in the Messier Catalog as an open cluster this object is in fact a star cloud. It is about 2° along its long axis and about 1° wide. This makes it an exceptional binocular subject and it is most impressive at those magnifications.

M55 - This globular cluster is bright at mag 5.4 and comparatively large at 19' across. But it has a relatively low surface brightness. Larger telescopes will begin to reveal more of the core detail. It's about 13,500 light years away and spans 95 light years.

M22 - This cluster is brighter and larger than M55 at mag 5.1 and almost 1/2° across. This is larger and brighter than even M13 but, because it's low on the southern horizon from our latitude, it tends to be less impressive than M13. It's about 9,600 light years distant and about 70 light years across.

M54 - This cluster is small at only about 9' across and has a magnitude of 7.6. But it's compact and its core is quite bright. In reality the cluster is larger than most but is very distant at about 50,000 light years away and about 188 light years in diameter.

M28 - This cluster is pretty average as globulars go, M28 is mag 6.8 and about 11' across. It has a compact core and lies about 19,000 light years away.

M70 - A dimmer globular cluster at mag 8.0 and only about 8' across. It lies about 34,000 light years away.

M69 - Yet another dim globular at mag 7.6 and only 7' across. Its distance is about 36,000 light years away.

M21 - This is a comparatively small open cluster of about mag 6.9. It has only 55 or so member stars and lies about 5,200 light years away.

M8 - This is the famous Lagoon Nebula; officially a cluster with nebulosity. It is bright at mag 3.6 but it has a relatively low surface brightness because of its large size; over 1° across. Still, under truly dark sky, the brighter segments of the nebula can be naked eye visible. This object, along with M17 and M42 is an inviting visual target because of the amount of visible detail. It is about 5,000 light years away.

M20 - The brighter portion of this cluster with nebulosity is the only part of the nebula that is visually observable but it is a treat nevertheless. Look for the distinct dust lanes that trisect the nebula. Photographically this object blossoms as reflection nebulosity to the north of the emission nebulosity creates a beautiful contrast of blue to the emission nebula's red color. This object is about 6,500 light years away.

Table of Contents

Scope City 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Scope City unconditionally guarantees that you will be 100% satisfied with your mail order purchase, or just
return the merchandise in original condition within 15 days for a Full Refund, less shipping and handling charges!