Deep-Sky List: Stars & Star Clusters

Every amateur astronomer needs a list.  Going out and blindly observing, without any idea of what you’re looking at, is enjoyable for a while, but wears thin overtime.  Compiling a variety of objects to view will help to hone your skills while making the most effective use of those few nights with exceptional seeing conditions.  Here is my starting list of  Double, Carbon and Red Giant Stars as well as Open and Globular Star Clusters I hope to view over the next few months and years.

  • Double Stars:(Two or more stars orbiting each other)

Mizar-Middle Star in the handle of the Big Dipper
Gamma Arietis-Headlight Double
Gamma Virginis-Headlight Double
Albireo/Beta Cygina-Color
Delta Cephei-Color
Gamma Andromedae-Color
Sirius-White Drawf Star Difficult to See

  • Carbon Stars:(Glow Strong Red. Slightly defocus occasionally to bring out color)

Mu Cephei
R Leporis
Ruby Crucis

  • Red Giants:(Glow Yellow Orange)


  • Open Clusters:(All stars can be individually resolved)

Pleiades-Low Power/Binocular Viewing
Beehive-Low Power/Binocular Viewing
NGC7789-Rich Cluster/100 or more stars
M11-Rich Cluster
Jewel Box Cluster, NGC4755-Rich Cluster, Ruby-red star in a field of blue stars
Gem Cluster, NGC3293-Rich Cluster
NGC457-Poor Cluster/Less than 50 stars, Apparently looks like E.T.
NGC 2169-Poor Cluster, Resembles the number 37 or an XY
NGC2477-Very rich open cluster, nearly a globular

  • Globular Clusters:(Appear as a haze, harder to resolve individual stars)

NGC288-Loosely concentrated
NGC5466-Loosely concentrated
NGC 5897-Loosely concentrated
NGC2419-Very small, faint and distant, 300,000 light years
NGC7006-Very small, faint and distant, 185,000 light years
M55-Belongs to Sagittarius Dwarf.  A companion Elliptical Galaxy of the Milky Way

Source:The Backyard Astronomers Guide

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