Our list of the 10 easiest galaxies to see with telescope or binoculars, should give you a good idea where to start with observing galaxies, but if you do not have proper experience in observing the moon, the planets, and the stars/constellations with your chosen instrument, then we must recommend you to start with those objects first. If you are interested you can check out whether some galaxies on this list can be found on our list of the 10 Biggest Galaxies in the Universe.
For a beginner stargazer, binoculars can be a better choice than the telescope, because they offer a wider view – you can look with both eyes through them, and are much more portable and easier to use than a telescope, however they are best for observing constellations. Although observing galaxies from our list through the binoculars(at least 10x50mm) is possible, you should know that telescopes, especially bigger ones offer a much more detailed view. If you don’t have any instrument and are still just thinking about buying one check out BinocularSky it holds a lot of information on binocular astronomy, a guide to buying the right binoculars, and some reviews. If you are thinking of buying a telescope check out SkyAndTelescope for a guide.
Galaxies can be divided into three main types by their shape: Elliptical, Spiral, and Irregular. Elliptical galaxies have spheroid shapes, but because we can only see them in two dimensions, they look like elliptical, or oval-shaped disks. Spiral galaxies have a spherical structure in their center, called the bulge. Around the bulge is the disk, made up of dust, gas and younger stars, and it forms arm structures. Around the bulge and some of the disk, is the halo and it contains old clusters of stars, known as global clusters. Irregular galaxies do not have a specific structural pattern, hence their name. Galaxy with an exceptionally fast rate of star formation is classified as the starburst galaxy. We will not include in our list, our Galaxy, the Milky Way Galaxy, because it’s kind of redundant and obvious answer.
Apparent magnitude is the measure of the brightness of a celestial object as seen by an observer on the Earth. The lower the magnitude, the brighter the object – the Sun has an apparent magnitude of -26.74; while the brightest star in the sky Sirius has an apparent magnitude of -1.46. An apparent magnitude of 6.5 is an approximate limit for naked-eye observation of stars under the good conditions, and somewhere between 7 and 8 under extremely good conditions. We are using apparent magnitudes of galaxies for our ranking. For our list we’ve searched for 10 galaxies with the lowest apparent magnitudes, using BinocularSky. Different astronomical databases list different apparent magnitude values for the same objects, however these variations are small and should not affect content or order of our list. While the galaxies on our list of the 10 easiest galaxies to see with telescope or binoculars are the brightest of galaxies, and thus “easiest to see”, that does not mean that they are all visible from the same location, because they definitely aren’t. Making a list of easiest galaxies to see with telescope or binoculars that would hold 10 galaxies for any geographic latitude was not very practical and realistic, however wherever you are, you should probably be able to see at least 5 of them.