Although I’ve been interested in the stars for years, I’ve only recently become a telescope owner. Despite the lack of clear nights since receiving my new toy, I’ve spent some time looking at the obvious things like the moon and whichever planets happen to be in the right place at the right time. So far I’ve managed to find Jupiter and Venus (both fairly obvious because they’re so bright), Saturn and Uranus (more by luck than judgement if I’m honest: it was very close in the sky to Jupiter at the time and easy to “star-hop” to from there).
That done, I’ve decided that it would help “get my eye in” and I’d get some useful practice at using the scope if I started hunting for some of the easier Messier objects; a list of 110 deep space objects catalogued by Charles Messier getting on for 250 years ago. He was actually interested in finding comets (and did find quite a few), but this list was all the things he’d found that he was sure weren’t comets. Some are other galaxies such as the Andromeda Galaxy, some are nebulae where stars are dying and others forming (like the one in Orion’s sword) and others are just dense groups of stars (the Beehive, in Cancer, for example).