Three Milky Way Binocular Messiers

M16, 17, and 18.

Here’s a trio of Milky Way Messiers suitable for late-summer/early autum viewing: M16, M17, and M18. M16 is also known as the Eagle Nebula while M17 is often referred to as the Swan or Omega Nebula.

I’ve done my best to simulate the area’s appearance in 10×50 binoculars used under moderately dark skies. The bright star near the 10 o’ clock position is 4.7-magnitude Gamma (γ) Scuti. The faintest stars shown are around 10th magnitude.Once you’ve aimed your binoculars, you should get a view that looks something like the image above. Of course, what you actually see will depend on your binoculars, your sky, and your observing skill.

The selected objects are identified in the photo below.

Happy hunting!

M16, 17, and 18 labeled.