Naked-eye galaxies are galaxies that are visible to the naked-eye. This table provides a list of galaxies that can be observed by the naked-eye in a very dark-sky environment, high in altitude, during clear and stable weather.

Naked-eye Galaxies
Galaxy Apparent Magnitude Distance Constellation Notes
Milky Way -6.5 (excluding the Sun[nb 1]) 0 Sagittarius (centre) This is the galaxy containing the Sun and its Solar System, and therefore Earth.. Most things visible to the naked-eye in the sky are part of it, including the Milky Way composing the Zone of Avoidance.[1]
Large Magellanic Cloud 0.9 160 kly (50 kpc) Dorado/Mensa Visible only from the southern hemisphere. It is also the brightest patch of nebulosity in the sky.[1][2][3]
Small Magellanic Cloud (NGC 292) 2.7 200 kly (60 kpc) Tucana Visible only from the southern hemisphere.[1][4]
Andromeda Galaxy (M31, NGC 224) 3.4 2.5 Mly (780 kpc) Andromeda Once called the Great Andromeda Nebula, it is situated in the Andromeda constellation.[1][5]
Triangulum Galaxy (M33, NGC 598) 5.7 2.9 Mly (900 kpc) Triangulum Being a diffuse object, its visibility is strongly affected by even small amounts of light pollution, ranging from easily visible in direct vision in truly dark skies to a difficult averted vision object in rural/suburban skies.[6]
Centaurus A (NGC 5128) 6.84 13.7 ± 0.9 Mly (4.2 ± 0.3 Mpc) Centaurus Centaurus A has been spotted with the naked eye by Stephen James O'Meara.[7]
Bode's Galaxy (M81, NGC 3031) 6.94 12 Mly (3.6 Mpc) Ursa Major Highly experienced amateur astronomers may be able to see Messier 81 under exceptional observing conditions.[8][9][10]
Messier 83 (NGC 5236) 8.2 14.7 Mly (4.5 Mpc) Hydra M83 has reportedly been seen with the naked eye.[11]


  1. Using the formula for addition of apparent magnitudes, the added magnitudes of all stars in the Milky Way but our Sun (-6.50) and our Sun (-26.74) differs from the apparent magnitude of just our sun by less than 10^-8


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Karen Masters (December 2003). "Curious About Astronomy: Can any galaxies be seen with the naked eye?". Ask an Astronomer. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  2. "Magellanic Cloud". Astronomy Knowledge Base. University of Ottawa. Archived from the original on 2006-07-05. 
  3. "The Large Magellanic Cloud, LMC". SEDS. 
  4. "The Small Magellanic Cloud, SMC". SEDS. 
  5. "Messier 31". SEDS. 
  6. John E. Bortle (February 2001). "The Bortle Dark-Sky Scale". Sky & Telescope. 
  7. "The Revised AINTNO 100". 
  8. Stephen Uitti. "Farthest Naked Eye Object". Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  9. "Messier 81". SEDS. 
  10. S. J. O'Meara (1998). The Messier Objects. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-55332-6. 
  11. Inglis, Mike. "Galaxies". Patrick Moore’s Practical Astronomy Series: 157–189. doi:10.1007/978-1-84628-736-7_4.