Naked Eye Objects are objects in the night sky that you can view without any magnification of any kind. These are great if you don’t have a pair of binoculars or a telescope to view with. They may seem small or nothing spectacular but if you then take a pair of binoculars or a small telescope you will start to see them larger and with more detail. It’s amazing just what you can see with the naked eye. I’ll put this in Constellations for this month with the objects you should be able to see from a nice dark location with nothing but your own two eyes. Remember, light pollution is a killer of these objects if you are viewing with your naked eye. So make sure you are in a really good dark location.
Check this map to see if you are in a good spot for viewing these objects with the naked eye. I would say anything in a black to blue (green may also work for you) area is good enough to see some, if not all of these objects.
All of the objects listed below are in constellations for the month of May, and I used skymaps.com (click the link, scroll down to where it says May 2011 PDF Downloads) chart for this month to make my list of Naked Eye Objects.
M13 is a naked eye globular cluster.
Saturn is in Virgo, it will be the orange “star” you see just west of the star Spica
NGC7000 (North America Nebula) The unaided eye sees only a wedge-shaped star-cloud may be quite dim, but dark skies shall make it pop out a bit. Will be near the star Deneb.
M39 small patch of stars at a magnitude of 4.6
Northern Coalsack which is a bulbous northern end of the Great Rift, it’s a complex of dust clouds that bisects our galaxy. The Northern Coalsack is a large dark nebula.
LG3 (nebula) just west of M39, not much info on this one, but worth a shot.
Ursa Major –
Mizar and Alcor is a double star in the handle of the Big Dipper. Was once used as a test of good eyesight before glasses. Mizar resolves into a beautiful blue-white and greenish white binary.
If you can see these constellations give them a try, if not it’s alright, they’re low and setting by the time it gets dark out
Praesepe, or M44 is a huge cluster pretty much right in the middle of Cancer. It’s a huge cluster (I believe people also refer to it as the Beehive Cluster) that is more than a moon’s diameter. Known to ancients and easily seen with the naked eye.
M37 one of the best open clusters
M36 fairly sparse galactic cluster. The brighter stars form an oblique cross.
M38 Kind of looks like the greek letter for Pi. May not be able to see it with the naked eye, but it’s always worth a shot.