Messier Objects

Back in the 1700's a French gentleman by the name of Charles Messier hauled out his fairly primitive telescope and began searching the sky for comets.  In those days, comets were all the rage, and there was a great deal of interest in discovering them and plotting their orbits.  What actually happened is that Mr. Messier started seeing all sorts of things which looked a bit like comets, but actually weren't, so he started to make a list.

A lot of people think that Messier observed and catalogued all the objects on his list, but this is not true.  Many other observers of the time became involved, and Messier in a number of cases simply added to his list the objects which the others had observed.  The total in those days was 103 objects.  In fact, a long time later some additional objects were added to the list, after further scrutiny of Messier's observing notes, which makes 110 objects in all for our modern Messier list.

One of the favourite pursuits of amateur astronomers is to observe and log all the Messier objects, and this page is intended as a reference list.  It enables observers to check the object and to be sure that what they are observing is indeed what they thought they were observing.  All the images were taken by us over a period of time.  Some of them are of better quality than others, but generally we have tried to image these objects to appear as they would if you were observing them visually.  It has taken a long time to complete this page and we hope you find it useful.

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