Can any galaxies be seen with the naked eye?
Can any galaxies can be seen with the naked eye?
There are 4 that I can think of:
- 1. The Milky Way. This is our galaxy. We're in it so we can see it in all directions. You can see the largest concentration of stars in a band stretching across the sky. It is quite diffuse, so you need to be somewhere really dark to see it well. The centre is in the constellation of sagittarius.
- 2/3. The Magellanic clouds (Large and Small) are two small (ish) galaxies which are being accreted by the Milky Way. You can only see them from the southern hemisphere.
- 4. The Andromeda galaxy (or M31) can be seen as a fuzzy patch in the constellation of Andromeda (again only if it is very dark out).
Galaxies are diffuse patches of light so are hard to see unless the sky is very dark. You can't even see the Milky Way from most cities and Andromeda is even harder. It is possible though.
Get More 'Curious?' with Our New PODCAST:
- Podcast? Subscribe? Tell me about the Ask an Astronomer Podcast
- Subscribe to our Podcast | Listen to our current Episode
- Cool! But I can't now. Send me a quick reminder now for later.
- How can we see galaxies if their stars are so faint?
- Which hemisphere has the best view of the Milky Way?
- What is the farthest Northern Latitude in which the Magellanic Clouds can be seen?
- Is Andromeda part of the Milky Way? Where can I find them in the sky?
- What is the most distant known galaxy?
- What is the best way to see the Milky Way?
How to ask a question:
If you have a follow-up question concerning the above subject, submit it here. If you have a question about another area of astronomy, find the topic you're interested in from the archive on our site menu, or go here for help.Table 'curious.Referrers' doesn't existTable 'curious.Referrers' doesn't exist
This page has been accessed 55892 times since December 2, 2003.
Last modified: December 14, 2003 4:02:55 PM
Ask an Astronomer is hosted by the Astronomy Department at Cornell University and is produced with PHP and MySQL.
Warning: Your browser is misbehaving! This page might look ugly. (Details)