Best Visible Objects In Light Polluted Skies

Bortle Scale International Dark Sky Association Buying Land Light Pollution COVID

As it has been nearly year of observing from home in COVID-19 quarantine, it would be a great idea to provide some information on some objects that one can view from home throughout the year. Regardless of COVID-19, one can not always make it out to dark sky places to observe so we thought it would be a smart idea to provide some targets that one can view from a porch or backyard with your amateur astronomy gear.

Some constellations have more objects that are visible from a light polluted sky, while others only have 1. Every constellation has their own times to best view these objects. Viewing conditions and light pollution levels will change depending on where one is observing from.

This does not include the Moon or planets such as Mars, Jupiter, or Saturn, that move throughout the skies. But these are simply objects in constellations that one can view consistently throughout the year.

Number Of ObjectsConstellations
1 ObjectScutum, Aries, Sculptor, Monoceros, Lynx, Puppis, Corona Borealis, Ophiuchus, Pegasus, Delphinus, Vulpecula, and Sagitta
2 ObjectsEridanus, Auriga, Draco, Hydra, Perseus, Centaurus, Cepheus, Coma Berenices, and Serpens
3 ObjectsAndromeda, Aquarius, Canis Major, Cygnus, Gemini, Boötes, Cassiopeia, Lepus, and Lyra
4 ObjectsCancer, Hercules, Orion, Taurus, and Ursa Major
5 ObjectsCanes Venatici
6 ObjectsSagittarius, and Virgo
7 ObjectsScorpius
9 ObjectsLeo
Table 1: Author Created. Own Work

Table 2 below maps how many constellations have a number of objects that are visible in light polluted skies.

Number Of ObjectsNumber Of Constellations
112
29
39
45
51
62
71
91
Table 2: Author Created. Own Work

Here is a quick breakdown of object type.

Object TypeNumber Of Objects
Galaxy19
Double Star33
Open Cluster13
Multiple Star10
Star11
Nebula4
Planetary Nebula7
Globular Cluster11
Quasar1
Starcloud1
Table 3: Author Created. Own Work

Here’s a great time to view each object type, which we have grouped into general seasons.

SeasonConstellations
SpringCancer, Canes Venatici, Centaurus, Coma Berenices, Hydra, Leo, Lynx, Ursa Major, and Virgo
SummerBoötes, Corona Borealis, Hercules, Draco, Lyra, Ophiuchus, Sagitta, Sagittarius, Scorpius, Scutum, and Serpens
FallAndromeda, Aquarius, Cygnus, Cepheus, Delphinus, Pegasus, and Vulpecula
WinterAries, Auriga, Canis Major, Eridanus, Lepus, Monoceros, Orion, Perseus, Puppis, Sculptor, and Taurus
Table 4: Author Created. Own Work

This was based on an article in Sky And Telescope. If you’re interested in learning how amateur astronomy clubs are handling meetings during COVID-19, check out our article on the subject. Make sure to come back to CosmosPNW shortly to learn more about these objects and many more fascinating topics!

What are your favorite objects to view from light polluted skies? Let us know your favorites below!

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