Messier objects form the backbone of observing. I’ll never forget the amazement of seeing M38 as a newbie for the first time ,something “out there ” and I could see it ! First steps in a beautiful 130 Heritage Dobsonian.
Using every chance of clear sky , it’s pretty soon before you’ll begin to wonder what else is out there. Beyond Messier !
A good start is the Caldwell objects. Selected by Patrick ( Caldwell )Moore, these provide targets worth finding. Moving forward from this there are 7840 NGC ( New General Catalogue ) targets .
It’s strange to think that Messier did not include treasures such as the ” double cluster ” or the lovely galaxy NGC 7331. M1 is a real disappointment , until you see it from really dark sky.
The Caldwell list above is suitable for our location. There is a plethora of catalogues from IC to Arp. Most are dependant on dark skies, but it’s possible to refine for observing under reasonable skies.
It’s much easier and useful to organise targets by constellation. These can include the achievable sights and lead to satisfying sessions observing one area, under
Clear skies ! old Nick.