Brightest star clusters

Here are the best and brightest star clusters in the night sky, ordered by constellation. Star clusters, like galaxies and nebulae, are extended objects with an apparent size in the night sky. However, they consist of stars that often can be individually resolved. As such, magnitude largely determines how bright they appear to the naked eye.

Also see 225 notable star clusters.

Top 10 best star clusters for telescopes

These are the 10 best and brightest star clusters for telescopes, ordered by approximate awesomness:

1. Sagittarius Cluster (Messier 22)

Globular star cluster in Sagittarius
southern hemisphere  |  magnitude 5.1

2. Hercules Cluster (Messier 13)

Globular star cluster in Hercules
northern hemisphere  |  magnitude 5.8

3. Omega Centauri (Caldwell 80)

Globular star cluster in Centaurus
southern hemisphere  |  magnitude 3.6

4. 47 Tucanae (Caldwell 106)

Globular star cluster in Tucana
southern hemisphere  |  magnitude 4.0

5. Pleiades (Messier 45)

Open star cluster in Taurus
northern hemisphere  |  magnitude 1.6

6. Double Cluster (Caldwell 14)

Open star clusters in Perseus
northern hemisphere  |  magnitude 4.3

7. Messier 2

Globular star cluster in Aquarius
southern hemisphere  |  magnitude 6.3

8. Messier 5

Globular star cluster in Serpens
northern hemisphere  |  magnitude 5.8

9. Great Pegasus Cluster (Messier 15)

Globular star cluster in Pegasus
northern hemisphere  |  magnitude 5.8

10. Wild Duck Cluster (Messier 11)

Open star cluster in Scutum
southern hemisphere  |  magnitude 5.8

Bright Messier star clusters

Here are the brightest star clusters listed in the Messier catalog, ordered by constellation. Messier star clusters are predominately found in the northern hemisphere.

Starfish Cluster
Messier M38
7.4 Auriga
Beehive Cluster
Messier M44
3.7 Cancer
King Cobra Cluster
Messier M67
6.1 Cancer
Cooling Tower
Messier M29
6.6 Cygnus
Hercules Cluster
Messier M13
5.8 Hercules
Heart-Shaped Cluster
Messier M50
5.9 Monocerus
Gumball Cluster
Messier M12
7.7 Ophiucus
Great Pegasus Cluster
Messier M15
6.4 Pegasus
Sagittarius Cluster
Messier M22
5.1 Sagittarius
Summer Rose Star
Messier M55
7.4 Sagittarius
Butterfly Cluster
Messier M6
4.2 Scorpius
Ptolemy Cluster
Messier M7
3.3 Scorpius
Wild Duck Cluster
Messier M11
5.8 Scutum
Messier M45
1.6 Taurus

Bright Caldwell star clusters

Here are the brightest star clusters listed in the Caldwell catalog, ordered by constellation. Caldwell star clusters are predominately found in the southern hemisphere.

Southern Pleiades
Caldwell C102
1.9 Carina
Wishing Well Cluster
Caldwell C91
3 Carina
Owl Cluster
Caldwell C13
6.4 Casseopeia
Lambda Centauri
Caldwell C100
4.5 Centaurus
Omega Centauri
Caldwell C80
3.6 Centaurus
Pearl Cluster
Caldwell C97
5.3 Centaurus
Jewel Box
Caldwell C94
4.2 Crux
Intergalactic Wanderer
Caldwell C25
10 Lynx
Satellite Cluster
Caldwell C50
4.8 Monoceros
S Norma Cluster
Caldwell C89
5.4 Norma
Double Cluster
Caldwell C14
4.3 Perseus
Caldwell C41
0.5 Taurus
47 Tucanae
Caldwell C106
4 Tucana
Omicron Velorum Cluster
Caldwell C85
2.5 Vela

Bright Herschel 400 star clusters

These are the brightest and most interesting star clusters listed in the Herschell 400 Catalog. Herschel star clusters are generally fainter and harder to spot than Messier and Caldwell star clusters.

Carolines Rose
NGC 7789
6.7 Cassiopeia
Owl Cluster
NGC 457
6.4 Cassiopeia
Wizard Nebula
NGC 7380
7.2 Cepheus
Christmas Tree Cluster
NGC 2343
6.7 Monoceros
Cone Nebula
NGC 2264
3.9 Monoceros
Double Cluster
NGC 869
4 Perseus
Double Cluster
NGC 884
4 Perseus
Triffid Nebula
NGC 6514
6.3 Sagittarius