M1 The Crab Nebula (NGC 1952), Taurus. RA 05:34 5, DEC 22:01
The first one of the Messier list, M1 is the destruction left in space from a supernova explosion that happened in 1054, and was recorded by Chinese and Arab astronomers. It was said to be so bright that it was visible in daytime, and was visible to the naked eye for about 2 years after. It is still expanding at 1,500 kilometres per second and is 6,300 light years away. M1 is at magnitude 8.4
M2 (NGC 7089), Aquarius. RA 21:33 27, DEC 00:49 24
M2 is a globular cluster that resides in the outer halo of our galaxy at 37,500 light years away. It has about 150,000 stars and is one of the largest globulars in the Milky Way. It has a magnitude of 6.3
M3 (NGC 5272), Canes Venatici. RA 13:42 11, DEC 28:22 31
M3 is a globular cluster with about 500,000 stars, at 33,900 light years away. this globular is quite bright and large with a magnitude of 6.2. It is even possible to see it with the naked eye under very dark skies, but you’ll need an average sized telescope to see it at its best.
M4 (NGC 6121), Scorpius. RA 16:23 35, DEC -25:31 32
M4 is a globular cluster at 7,200 light years away from Earth in Scorpius. It is on the loose size being not as tightly packed as most others, it is 75 light years across and even has a central bar. It is one of the closest globular clusters to our solar system. With a magnitude of 5.6 it looks like a fuzzy ball in most telescopes, but an average sized scope will resolve individual stars.
M5 (NGC 5904), Serpens. RA 15:18 6, DEC 02:05
This is M5 at 24,500 light years away, and 165 light years across in the constellation Serpens. Like all globulars it resides in the outer halo of the Galaxy, and are some of the oldest objects know. M5 can just about be seen on a very clear dark night, and has a magnitude of 6.6
M6 (NGC 6405), The Butterfly Cluster, Scorpius. RA 17:40 1, DEC -32:13
M6 The Butterfly Cluster is an open cluster in the rich star fields towards the centre of the Galaxy 16,00 light years away, its shape kind of resembles a butterfly. This cluster is about 12 light years across, M6 has a magnitude of 4.5
M7 The Ptolemy Cluster *NGC 6475), Scorpius. RA 17:53 9, DEC -34:49
M7 is an open cluster of about 80 stars at a distance of 800 to 1000 light years away. It can quite easily be seen without any optical aid, and has a diameter of 18 to 25 light years. This open cluster has a magnitude of 3.3 and is another cluster set against the backdrop of rich star fields in the Milky Way.
M8 The Lagoon Nebula (NGC 6523), Sagittarius. RA 18:3 8, DEC -24:23
M8 is a vast nebulous region in the process of spawning new stars and solar systems within it. It is 4,100 light years away towards the centre of the Galaxy in Sagittarius, and 110 light years across. Bok globules have been studied inside the Lagoon Nebula , these are very dense blobs of gas and dust which often contain stars in the process of being born, together with their proto-planetary disks. M8 is at magnitude 6.0 and is one of the brightest star forming regions. It is another Messier object in a very rich part of the sky towards the centre of the Galaxy.
M9 (NGC 6333), Ophiuchus. RA 17:19 11, DEC -18:30 58
M9 is a globular cluster at 25,800 light years from earth, it is one of the nearest globulars to the Galaxy’s centre at only 5,500 light years distance. M9 is travelling away from us at 224 km/sec. An average sized telescope is needed to see the brightest stars in this cluster, viewing it through 10×50 binoculars will show it as small, dim and nebulous in good conditions. M9 is at magnitude 7.7
M10 (NGC 6254), Ophuichus. RA 16:57 08, DEC -04:57 07
M10 is a bright globular cluster at 14,300 light years away, it is travelling from us at 69 km/sec. M10 is quite a large cluster containing thousands of stars, with a tightly packed core that spans only 35 light years across. It is considered one of the better globular clusters, M10 is at magnitude 6.4