Top 10 Deep-Sky Objects of June 2024

~6 min

Have you ever been mesmerized by the breathtaking photos of deep-sky objects captured by the Hubble Space Telescope? Well, you have a chance to see and photograph such objects yourself! In our guide for June 2024, we reveal 10 nebulae and star clusters that promise to dazzle both seasoned astronomers and curious beginners alike. And there's more — our friends at Unistellar are offering a special discount on their smart telescopes that will make it easier than ever to bring deep space closer to you. Unistellar’s compact and easy-to-use telescopes will automatically aim at your desired objects and let you see them in vivid colors. This is a limited-time offer, so hurry up and grab the discount now!

Contents

10. Ring Nebula

Ring Nebula
  • Alternative names: M57, NGC 6720
  • Apparent size: 3'47″ × 2'23″ (0.1 x Moon)
  • Apparent magnitude: 8.7
  • Constellation: Lyra
  • Where to observe: Northern Hemisphere
  • How to observe: The Ring Nebula is too small to be seen with binoculars. It is best observed using a telescope with an aperture of at least 20 cm, but even a 7.5 cm telescope will reveal its ring shape. And, of course, you can easily locate and observe the Ring Nebula with a smart telescope from Unistellar. You will even see the nebula’s greenish color that is not visible through ordinary telescopes!
  • Description: The Ring Nebula is a planetary nebula that can be found south of the bright star Vega. Its distinctive round shape is reminiscent of a ring or a bagel, hence its name.

9. Wild Duck Cluster

Wild Duck Cluster
©ESO
  • Alternative names: M11, NGC 6705
  • Apparent size: 22.8′ (0.8 x Moon)
  • Apparent magnitude: 6.3
  • Constellation: Scutum
  • Where to observe: Both hemispheres
  • How to observe: You can observe the Wild Duck Cluster through binoculars — it will appear as a triangular patch of light. Through a telescope, you will see hundreds of stars packed into a single field of view.
  • Description: M11 is an open star cluster. Its name comes from the cluster’s V-shape that somewhat resembles a single duck or a flock of ducks in flight. Containing about 3,000 stars, it is one of the most densely populated and massive open clusters known.

8. Trifid Nebula

Trifid Nebula
  • Alternative names: M20, NGC 6514
  • Apparent size: 28′ (1 x Moon)
  • Apparent magnitude: 6.3
  • Constellation: Sagittarius
  • Where to observe: Both hemispheres
  • How to observe: You can observe the Trifid Nebula through binoculars or a telescope. It’s also a good target for amateur astrophotographers. Through a smart telescope, you will see the Trifid Nebula’s distinct reddish color.
  • Description: The Trifid Nebula is a very unusual object — a combination of an open star cluster, an emission nebula, a reflection nebula, and a dark nebula. It is also one of the brightest nebulae in the night sky.

7. Lagoon Nebula

Lagoon Nebula
  • Alternative names: M8, NGC 6523
  • Apparent size: 90' x 40' (3 x Moon)
  • Apparent magnitude: 6.0
  • Constellation: Sagittarius
  • Where to observe: Both hemispheres
  • How to observe: The Lagoon Nebula is barely visible to the unaided eye, even under perfect viewing conditions. However, you can easily see it with binoculars — it appears as a distinct cloud-like patch of light.
  • Description: The Lagoon Nebula is a giant interstellar cloud classified as an emission nebula. It contains an open star cluster NGC 6530, many Bok globules (dark nebulae), and the Hourglass Nebula (not to be confused with the better-known Engraved Hourglass Nebula in the constellation Musca).

6. Eagle Nebula

Eagle Nebula
  • Alternative names: M16, NGC 6611, Star Queen Nebula
  • Apparent size: 70' x 50' (2 x Moon)
  • Apparent magnitude: 5.9
  • Constellation: Serpens
  • Where to observe: Northern Hemisphere
  • How to observe: The Eagle Nebula can be spotted through a small telescope. To see the iconic Pillars of Creation within the nebula, you’ll need a large telescope and good viewing conditions. To see the Pillars in color, use a smart telescope from Unistellar.
  • Description: The Eagle Nebula is part of a diffuse emission nebula called IC 4703. The nebula looks somewhat like an eagle with outstretched wings, hence its name. At the heart of the Eagle Nebula sit the famous Pillars of Creation — the towers of cosmic dust and gas that are several light-years tall.

Nebulae are often named quite weirdly. Take our fun quiz and try to guess nebulae names from their pictures!

Astronomers are weird people and they often name things according to their strange ideas. Let’s see how weird you are – try to guess a nebula’s name from its picture!
Take the quiz!

5. Omega Nebula

Omega Nebula
  • Alternative names: M17, NGC 6618, Swan Nebula, Checkmark Nebula, Lobster Nebula, Horseshoe Nebula
  • Apparent size: 11' (0.3 x Moon)
  • Apparent magnitude: 5.9
  • Constellation: Sagittarius
  • Where to observe: Both hemispheres
  • How to observe: The Omega Nebula is hard to spot with the naked eye but can be easily seen with binoculars as an oval-shaped diffuse patch of light.
  • Description: The Omega Nebula is the so-called H II region, which is a large area of ionized hydrogen gas. It is one of the brightest and largest star-forming regions in the Milky Way galaxy.

4. Great Globular Cluster in Hercules

Great Globular Cluster in Hercules
  • Alternative names: M13, NGC 6205
  • Apparent size: 20′ (0.7 x Moon)
  • Apparent magnitude: 5.8
  • Constellation: Hercules
  • Where to observe: Northern Hemisphere
  • How to observe: M13 can’t be seen with the naked eye, but you’ll get a great view of this globular cluster through a pair of binoculars or a small telescope.
  • Description: M13 is one of the brightest and best-known star clusters in the Northern Hemisphere. It contains several hundred thousand stars that are so close together that they sometimes collide and form new stars.

3. Rho Ophiuchi Cloud Complex

Rho Ophiuchi Cloud Complex
  • Alternative names: XSS J16271-2423, Ophiuchus molecular cloud
  • Apparent size: 4.5° × 6.5° (11 x Moon)
  • Apparent magnitude: 4.6
  • Constellation: Ophiuchus
  • Where to observe: Both hemispheres
  • How to observe: The Rho Ophiuchi Cloud Complex has a very low surface brightness to be detected visually, regardless of the optical equipment. It is also too large for the field of view of a telescope. However, if you’re an astrophotographer with a wide-angle DSLR camera, you should definitely try to image this stunning-looking object.
  • Description: The Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex is a complex of interstellar clouds consisting primarily of dark nebulae. This object is one of the closest “stellar nurseries” to the Solar System.

2. Blue Horsehead Nebula

Blue Horsehead Nebula
  • Alternative names: IC 4592
  • Apparent size: 2.5° × 1° (4 x Moon)
  • Apparent magnitude: 4.0
  • Constellation: Scorpius
  • Where to observe: Both hemispheres
  • How to observe: Like the Rho Ophiuchi Cloud Complex, the Blue Horsehead Nebula is too large to be observed through a telescope and too faint to be spotted through binoculars. It is also very difficult to find visually, but quite easy if you use a DSLR camera. So, this object is a great target for astrophotographers but not so great for visual observation.
  • Description: IC 4592 is a reflection nebula that has a distinctive horsehead shape. Its blue color comes from fine dust reflecting the light of nearby stars. In the sky, the nebula is located close to the Rho Ophiuchi Cloud Complex.

1. Small Sagittarius Star Cloud

Small Sagittarius Star Cloud
  • Alternative names: M24, IC 4715
  • Apparent size: 2° × 1° (3 x Moon)
  • Apparent magnitude: 2.5
  • Constellation: Sagittarius
  • Where to observe: Both hemispheres
  • How to observe: To the naked eye, M24 will only appear as a bright patch of the Milky Way. Through binoculars, you’ll be able to see countless stars concentrated in this region. This object is also perfect for astrophotography.
  • Description: M24 is a star cloud located near the Omega Nebula in the sky. Unlike a star cluster, a star cloud is not an actual deep-sky object but rather an area less littered with cosmic dust than nearby areas — a kind of “window” into the inner depths of the Milky Way.

June deep-sky objects: Bottom line

Galaxy Season ended in May, but June offers plenty of stunning nebulae and star clusters to see in the night sky! Definitely take a look at the Omega Nebula and the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules as they can be viewed through binoculars. For more challenging targets, use a smart telescope from our friends at Unistellar — right now, they’re offering a special discount on their telescopes, so don’t miss out!

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