Created 28-Aug-10
Modified 18-Nov-12
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The Messier objects are a set of astronomical objects first listed by French astronomer Charles Messier in 1771. The original motivation of the catalogue was that Messier was a comet hunter, and was frustrated by objects which resembled but were not comets. He therefore compiled a list of these objects, in collaboration with his assistant Pierre Méchain. Because Messier lived and did his astronomical work in France in the northern hemisphere, the list he compiled contains only objects from the north celestial pole to a celestial latitude of about −35.7°. Many impressive Southern objects, such as the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds are excluded from the list.

All of the Messier objects are visible with binoculars or small telescopes (under favorable conditions); therefore they are popular viewing objects for amateur astronomers. In early spring, astronomers sometimes gather for "Messier marathons", when all of the objects can be viewed over a single night.

Newcomers to astronomy invariably start with the Messier list and I am no exception. My ambition is to photograph all 110 objects.

Categories & Keywords
Subcategory Detail:

Messier 1 The Crab NebulaMessier 2 Globular Cluster in AquariusMessier Object 3 Globular ClusterMessier 4  Globular Cluster in ScorpiusMessier 5 Globular Cluster in SerpensMessier 6 The Butterfly ClusterMessier 7 The Ptolemy ClusterMessier 8 The Lagoon Nebula 2010Messier 9  Globular Cluster in OpiuchusM10 Globular Cluster in OpichiusMessier 11  The Wild Duck ClusterMessier 12 Globular Cluster in OpichiusMessier 13 Globular Cluster in Hercules - 2010Messier 14 Globular Cluster in OphiuchusM15 Globular Cluster in PegasusMessier 16 The Eagle Nebula - 2010Messier 17 The Swan Nebula 2010Messier 19 Globular Cluster in OphiuchusMessier 20 The Trifid NebulaMessier 22 Globular Cluster in Sagittarius