Tasteful evenings with the family and chilly days off - it must be November! If you haven't gotten your fill of deep-sky objects, we hope you have saved room for at least 5 more. This post outlines November astrophotography targets that are perfect ideas for this month. We have a list for each month, but rather than keep you waiting, find out what targets you can capture tonight!
Below are 5 deep-sky objects that are at their highest elevation in November. If you don't see a popular object listed, that's okay, because you may find it in another post. We did our best to ensure all lists for each month are different without any duplicates.
Best of all, we included three beginner-level targets and two that are a fun challenge for advanced astrophotographers. There is something for everyone at any skill level!
Watch our video guide on YouTube for a bit of fun!
5 November astrophotography targets:
M45 - The Pleiades
Messier 45, also known as the Pleiades or Seven Sisters, is an open cluster the largest and brightest cluster in the night sky. This is one of the most popular objects for beginner astrophotographers, and can easily be seen with the unaided eye in the sky.
M45 can easily be photographed wide-field using just a DSLR camera, a tripod, and a lens. With the help of a star tracker, you will be able to really bring out the nebulosity behind the stars.
M45 is a perfect target for small telescopes, and experienced astrophotographers will capture lots of interstellar dust all around the object. The photo below was taken with our 8" Astrograph, which has a focal length of 800mm. As you can see, M45 fits just right although it is a bit tight! Click the image to learn more about this image and see all our attempts, including the wide-field without a telescope!
NGC 869 & NGC 884 - Double Cluster in Perseus
NGC 869 and NGC 884 are a pair of globular clusters that are very close to one another. They are commonly referred to as one object with the destination: "The Double Cluster in Perseus."
The Double Cluster truly is a magnificent object to look at and photograph. Both clusters are bright, and large in size, and contain many large stars.
This object is easy to photograph and stays high in the sky for a long period of time if you are in the northern hemisphere.
IC 1805 & IC 1848 - The Heart Nebula and Soul Nebula
IC 1805 (The Heart Nebula) and IC 1848 (The Soul Nebula) are two huge objects in the constellation Cassiopeia. The pair are often photographed together wide-field with a DSLR camera and a lens. It is really difficult to fit both or even one object fully in most telescopes.
The image of the Heart Nebula below was taken with a small refractor, the Meade 70mm APO, and as you can see, it barely fits! It is possible to image these nebulae together but only with a very wide telescope and a full-frame camera, so make sure to frame it just right so that none of the sides are clipped!
Sh2-188 - The Shrimp Nebula
Sharpless-188 is a small and faint planetary nebula also located in Cassiopeia. It is not as impressive as the previous entry in this list but makes for a great challenging target for experienced astrophotographers.
Also called the Shrimp Nebula or the Dolphin Nebula, Sh2-188 is best photographed using narrowband filters, and can also be captured in bicolor with just the Hydrogen Alpha and OIII filter.
IC 405 - The Flaming Star Nebula
IC 405, or the Flaming Star Nebula, is a large and colorful object in Auriga. The brightest part of the nebula is the bright blue star AE Aurigae, which seems to be covered in fiery smoke. There is a ton of nebulous gas visible around the star, and some fainter regions are being expelled in one direction.
When we photographed the Flaming Star Nebula, our gear at the time made it possible to capture two objects in one field of view! We used a full-frame camera, the QHY600 allowed us to have a much wider field of view and include the Tadpoles Nebula in the shot perfectly.
Most of the gas in IC 405 is made up of Hydrogen Alpha, so a filter is recommended although not crucial if you plan on spending long hours on this object from a dark sky zone.
We hope you got your fill with our November astrophotography targets. If you have room for seconds (like Thanksgiving dinner) we have more for you to discover! Remember, this is one of twelve entries in our monthly series. Bookmark this page to cross off these targets, and once you're done you can review December targets and other months as well.
Now that you have a target to photograph tonight, get out there and image it! If you do image one of these beautiful objects, make sure to show us your results in the comments section!