ⓘ Messier catalogue. The Messier Catalogue is a list of astronomical objects made by French astronomer Charles Messier in 1771. Messier was a comet hunter, and wa ..

Messier catalogue

ⓘ Messier catalogue

The Messier Catalogue is a list of astronomical objects made by French astronomer Charles Messier in 1771. Messier was a comet hunter, and was annoyed by fuzzy objects which were not comets. He put together a list of these objects, with his assistant Pierre Mechain.

The list uses numbers with an M in front. Messier was limited by the objects he could see from France, so the list is incomplete by todays standards. It remains popular because people have used it for centuries and they are familiar with it.

The first edition covered 45 objects numbered M1 to M45. The total list published by Messier finally contained 103 objects, and the list was made up to 110 by modern astronomers working from Messiers notes.

Other catalogues exist, most notably the New General Catalogue.


1. Items on the list

Almost all the items are either star clusters or nebulae. There are only three galaxies in the first fifty, starting with Andromeda at M31. Individual stars are not listed. The first ten in the list are:

  • M6: NGC 6405 Butterfly cluster, an open cluster
  • M3: NGC 5272 a globular cluster
  • M5: NGC 5904 a globular cluster
  • M8: NGC 6523 Lagoon nebula, a nebula with a cluster
  • M7: NGC 6475 Ptolemy cluster, an open cluster
  • M1: NGC 1952 Crab nebula, a supernova remnant
  • M4: NGC 6121 a globular cluster
  • M2: NGC 7089 a globular cluster
  • M10: NGC 6254 a globular cluster
  • M9: NGC 6333 a globular cluster
  • English astronomer Patrick Moore as a complement to the Messier catalogue The Messier catalogue is used by amateur astronomers as a list of deep - sky objects
  • Charles Messier reidentified Bode s object. They listed it as Messier 81 in the Messier Catalogue M81 is dusty. Interstellar dust is found in the galaxy s
  • Pierre Mechain on March 27 1781. Charles Messier verified its position and included it in the Messier Catalogue as one of the last entries. In 2006, NASA
  • Charles Messier discovered Messier 84 in 1781 when he searched for nebulous objects in the night sky. The object is the 84th in the Messier Catalogue Two
  • Mechain in 1781. Later it was entered in Messier s catalogue of nebulae and star clusters after Charles Messier made observations of his own a month later
  • galaxy. It was discovered in 1781 by the French astronomer Charles Messier who catalogued it as a nebulous feature. The second brightest galaxy within the
  • rediscovered in 1758 by Charles Messier as he was observing a bright comet. Messier catalogued it as the first entry in his catalogue of comet - like objects. The
  • discovered by French astronomer Charles Messier in 1771. Messier 49 is 4.1 west - southwest of the star Epsilon Virginis. Messier 49 was the first member of the
  • It is catalogued as Messier 33 or NGC 598, and is sometimes informally referred to as the Pinwheel galaxy, a nickname it shares with Messier 101. Brunthaler
  • The Whirlpool galaxy, is also known as Messier 51a, M51a, or NGC 5194. It is a large galaxy with well - defined spiral arms, with a smaller companion galaxy
  • Leo I Leo II LGS 3 Messier 49 NGC 4472 Messier 83 Southern Pinwheel galaxy Messier 84 NGC 4374 Messier 87 NGC 4486 Messier 100 NGC 4321 NGC
  • galaxy Messier 87 and brightest member Messier 49, were discovered in the late 1770s and early 1780s. They were included in Charles Messier s catalogue of

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Atlas of the Messier Objects: Highlights of the Deep

The objects in the Messier catalogue are often referred to using these M numbers: M1 for the Crab nebula, M31 for the Andromeda galaxy, M45 for the Orion. APOD Index Messier Objects. Messier Catalogue. Messier no. Type, Right Ascencion, Declination, Constellation. M1, Supernova Remnant, 05h 34m 31.97s, 22° 00 52.1, Taurus. Historical perspective. SEDS Views of. Messier Marathon Season – Mark Stronges UK Weather Portal. Originally published:.