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15 Best Spring Astrophotography Targets for March, April, and May

Updated: Nov 8, 2023


Spring has sprung, and that means galaxy season is officially here! Below we've outlined the 15 best (and easiest) targets for spring astrophotography. Don't forget to bookmark and check out our other guides for each season, so that you have targets for Astrophotography all year long. This guide is one of four installments to help astrophotographers get ideas about what to photograph each season. Here's what we recommend for the spring season.


The best DSLR Astrophotography targets for the Spring Season

Find targets for the other seasons below:

Consider purchasing The Astrophotographer's Guidebook for a physical guide of all the best targets to photograph all year, or download the digital version for half the price.


 

March marks the end of the cold winter months and the beginning of Spring! If you were lucky enough to have many clear nights during December, January, and February, your telescope had quite the winter season capturing colorful objects - like the Orion Nebula or the Pleiades. If not, don't worry, it's almost time for fairer weather and your chance at astrophotography again!


Messier 51 the Whirlpool Galaxy astrophotography by the Hubble Space Telescope
M51 by the Hubble Space Telescope

Spring is also known as "Galaxy Season" and, aside from the three exceptions listed below, all the targets we recommend for spring astrophotography are galaxies.


It's likely that you will spend most of the season imaging galaxies, but fret not. Once summer rolls around, the Milky Way will rise up in the sky and bring with it many nebulae. So enjoy three months of galaxy-hunting and aim to get better yourself at processing them!


Depending on your location, the first day of spring may still be very cold or bring rain. In Nevada, we the season usually begins with us waiting by the telescope with coats on and ends with t-shirts. We hope fair weather and clear skies come your way!


If you're just starting out in astrophotography, spring is a great time to start getting familiar with your equipment because the temperature is just right. However, be wary of extreme heat because it can impact on your camera sensor. Summer is when you start running into temperature-related issues, like hot pixels and noise if you are using an uncooled DSLR camera.