First Light Guides: 3 hr RA objects

Below is the list of First Light Guides visible when the 3 hour of Right Ascension crosses the meridian. They are listed in order of Right Ascension from west (that will set first) to east (that will set last).That way you can start at the top of the list and observe to the bottom! It is a great time to observe with a telescope, as the following are visible:

  • 2 galaxies
  • 14 open clusters
  • 11 double or multiple stars
  • 1 nebula
  • 2 variable stars
  • 2 special stars

for a total of 32 night sky telescope objects.

Where these First Light Guide objects are in the sky

See the graphic below for the approximate locations in the sky for each object. Note the oval indicates where objects are best-seen when the 3 hour of RA crosses the meridian. See below for more information. 

First Light Guides 3 hour objects

The list of First Light Guide Objects visible at 3 Hr RA

# Name / designation Type of Object

71 51 Pegasi Star (special)

70 Delta Cephei Star, Cepheid Variable

69 NGC7160 Cluster, Open

68 Mu Cephei (Garnet Star) Star (special)

65 Beta Cephei (Alfirk) Star, Double

1 Messier 31 Galaxy, Spiral

2 Messier 32 Galaxy, Dwarf Elliptical

3 NGC225 Cluster, Open

4 Eta Cassiopeiae Star, Double 

5 NGC457 Cluster, Open

6 NGC637 Cluster, Open

7 NGC663 Cluster, Open

8 56 Andromedae Star, Double

9 Lambda Arietis Star, Double

10 NGC869  Cluster, Open

11 NGC884 Cluster, Open

12 Gamma Andromedae Star, Double

13 30 Arietis Star, Double

14 Beta Persei (Algol) Star, Eclipsing Variable

15 Messier 34 Cluster, Open

16 Tau Tauri Star, Double

17 Messier 38 Cluster, Open

18 Delta Orionis (Mintaka) Star, Double

19 Messier 42 Nebula, Diffuse

20 NGC1981 Cluster, Open

21 Messier 36 Cluster, Open

22 Sigma Orionis Star, Multiple

23 Gamma Leporis Star, Double

24 Messier 37 Cluster, Open

25 Struve 747 Star, Double

26 NGC2169 Cluster, Open

27 Messier 35 Cluster, Open

How to find the constellations where these objects are found

Not sure how to find the constellations where these objects are located? No problem! Learn how to find each from these pages:

Here is what the sky looks like without the objects notated or the lines for the well-known / easily-identified shapes: 

First Light Guides: The sky at 3hr RA

Does your sky not quite look like this? To go ahead to the 6hr RA list, click hereTo go back to the 0hr RA list, click here.

Other points

Keep in mind, other objects may be visible depending on local conditions. For example, your eastern sky may have less light pollution than west. In that case, objects to the east may be visible that are not listed on this chart, as they would be below the 45 degrees elevation. Therefore, using other charts for these objects may be appropriate depending on your circumstances. 

For most observers though, these are the objects best seen when the 3 hour of right ascension is at or near the meridian, as these objects are have go through the least amount of atmosphere. Therefore, they are likely to be best seen when the sky appears as the graphic at the top of this page shows.