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November's 50 finest deep-sky objects

Set aside some time under a moonless sky to view this wide variety of celestial treats.

Amateur astronomers love lists, probably because we’re goal oriented. So, for this roundup, I chose the best deep-sky objects that can be seen throughout November. Of course, you’ll also be able to spot them several months before and after this month. Because most of our readers live north of the equator, I didn’t select any targets in the far-southern sky. And I list them in order of right ascension, so if you start observing selections at the top of the list, subsequent objects will rise higher as the night goes on.

Before you start, let me offer three tips. First, dress warmly, because observing involves just sitting (or standing) and looking. Second, head to as dark a site as you can find because my list contains galaxies, and you won’t see those from a city. Third, although I’ve chosen some objects for small scopes (and even a few for naked eyes or binoculars), haul out the biggest telescope you can. You won’t be sorry. Good luck!

Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona

NGC 925, Triangulum

This attractive, nearly face-on barred spiral galaxy glows at magnitude 10.1 and measures 12.0' by 7.4'. To find it, point your telescope 2° east of Gamma (γ) Trianguli. Through a small scope, NGC 925’s figure appears indistinct, but an 8-inch or larger instrument reveals the spiral arms that fold back abruptly from a long bar. At high magnification, say, above 250x, you’ll spot the stellar nucleus.
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