A deep-sky object (DSO) is any astronomical object that is not an individual star or Solar System object (such as Sun, Moon, planet, comet, etc.). The classification is used for the most part by amateur astronomers to denote visually observed faint naked eye and telescopic objects such as star clusters, nebulae and galaxies. This distinction is practical and technical, implying a variety of instruments and techniques appropriate to observation, and does not distinguish the nature of the object itself.
Classifying non-stellar astronomical objects began soon after the invention of the telescope. One of the earliest comprehensive lists was Charles Messier’s 1774 Messier catalog, which included 103 “nebulae” and other faint fuzzy objects he considered a nuisance since they could be mistaken for comets, the objects he was actually searching for. As telescopes improved these faint nebulae would be broken into more descriptive scientific classifications such as interstellar clouds, star clusters, and galaxies.
Eagle Nebula 2013
Network Nebula 2013