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Messier catalog

Messier catalog - the most popular catalog of galaxies and nebulae, especially for beginners. In this catalog the brightest objects of the Deep Space are collected, which are accessible for observation in amateur telescopes.

List of Messier objects
Marathon Messier

Charles Messier Charles Messier (1730-1817) - french astronomer. Since 1751 he worked at the Paris Observatory.
While searching for comets, Messier decided to create a catalog of foggy objects in the sky to facilitate the life of himself and other "comet catchers", for distinguish these nebulous formations from comets..

There have been several releases of the Messier catalog , in which objects collected by Charles Messier, astronomer Pierre Meshen and other astronomers have been collected. In total, 110 objects are included in the catalog - galaxies, nebulae and star clusters.  Objects are numbered as they are found and entered in the catalog. He did not find all the objects of the Messier catalog himself. Messier studied the records of many of his predecessors, rechecking them. Nevertheless, many objects are open to them.

Pierre Meshen Astronomer Pierre Meschen, who worked simultaneously with Messier, discovered almost half of the objects from the Messier catalog. His first discovery was the spiral galaxy M63. Messier cross-checked Meshen's messages and put them in his catalog.

The first edition of the Messier catalog was published in 1774 and contained 45 objects.
The last edition was published in 1781 and contained 103 objects.
Messier wanted to stop at the figure of 100, but by the time the last manuscript was sent to the press, Meshen told about three more objects.
Messier interrupted the filling of the catalog due to severe injury, and also because the English astronomer William Herschel, having acquired more powerful equipment, issued a catalog of 2500 objects.
The Messier catalog was added to the M110 facility after his death, because Messier observed some objects, although he did not assign them separate numbers.
M104 - M107 were opened by Meshen, and M108 and M109 have already been mentioned in the description of the M97. M110, the satellite of the Andromeda nebula, - Messier saw him, but did not consider it necessary to allocate.

It is Messier's catalog that we owe the presence of the letter M in the most used names of such objects as: The globular cluster M13, the Andromeda nebula M31 ...
For the amateur astronomer Messier's catalog is especially interesting because it was compiled at the end of the 18th century, when the telescopes were not yet very powerful. This means that Messier's catalog contains only the brightest objects, which today are the easiest to see in an amateur telescope.

Messier himself later said that he had previously limited himself to a telescope with a focal length of 60 cm.
Although, there are quite noticeable objects that are not included in the Messier catalog. For example, star clusters of Chi and Ash Perseus (NGC 884 and NGC 869) or galaxy NGC 3628 from Triplet of Leo, which is not inferior to its neighbors M65 and M66. Therefore, Messier's catalog is well supplemented with the catalog of Caldwell.
A more complete catalog of NGC includes a much larger number of galaxies and nebulae, but most of them require more powerful equipment than an "ordinary" amateur astronomer telescope.

List of Messier objects

Here is a complete list of Messier catalog objects. For the most notable objects, links to pages with their descriptions are given.

Full catalog Galaxies Star clusters Nebulae
- spiral - globular
- elliptical - open

# in Messier and NGC catalogs Object type Coord.
Visual magnit. Angular size Constellation Note
M1 NGC 1952
Nebula, supernova remnant 05h 34.5m
+22° 01'
8,4m 6'x4' Taurus
Crab Nebula
M2 NGC 7089
Globular star cluster 21h 33.5m
-00° 49'
6,3m 16' Aquarius
M3 NGC 5272
Globular star cluster 13h 42.2m
+28° 23'
7,0m 19' Canes Venatici
M4 NGC 6121
Globular star cluster 16h 23.6m
-26° 32'
5,6m 35' Scorpius
M5 NGC 5904
Globular star cluster 15h 18.6m
+02° 05'
5,6m 20' Serpens
M6 NGC 6405
Open star cluster 17h 40.1m
-32° 13'
4,3m 20' Scorpius
Butterfly Сluster
M7 NGC 6475
Open star cluster 17h 53.9m
-34° 49'
3,3m 80' Scorpius
Ptolemy Сluster
M8 NGC 6523
Emission nebula 18h 03.8m
-24° 23'
6,0m 90'x40' Sagittarius
Lagoon Nebula
Open star cluster 18h 03.8m
-24° 23'
m 7' Sagittarius
Lagoon Сluster
M9 NGC 6333
Globular star cluster 17h 19.2m
-18° 31'
7,7m 11' Ophiuchus
M10 NGC 6254
Globular star cluster 16h 57.1m
-04° 06'
6,7m 19' Ophiuchus
M11 NGC 6705
Open star cluster 18h 51.1m
-06° 16'
7,0m 13' Scutum
Wild Duck Сluster
M12 NGC 6218
Globular star cluster 16h 47.2m
-01° 57'
8,0m 14' Ophiuchus
M13 NGC 6205
Globular star cluster 16h 41.4m
+36° 27'
7,0m 21' Hercules
Great Globular Cluster in Hercules Сluster
M14 NGC 6402
Globular star cluster 17h 37.6m
-03° 15'
9,5m 11' Ophiuchus
M15 NGC 7078
Globular star cluster 21h 30.0m
+12° 10'
7,5m 18' Pegasus
M16 NGC 6611
Open star cluster 18h 18.8m
-13° 47'
6,5m 21' Serpens
Eagle Сluster
M17 NGC 6618
Emission nebula 18h 20.8m
-16° 11'
7,0m 46'x37' Sagittarius
Omega, Swan, Horseshoe, or Lobster Nebula Nebula
Open star cluster 18h 20.8m
-16° 11'
m 5' Sagittarius
Omega, Swan, Horseshoe, or Lobster Nebula Сluster
M18 NGC 6613
Open star cluster 18h 19.9m
-17° 08'
8,0m 5' Sagittarius
M19 NGC 6273
Globular star cluster 17h 02.6m
-26° 16'
8,5m 14' Ophiuchus
M20 NGC 6514
Emission nebula 18h 02.3m
-23° 02'
5,0m 29'х27' Sagittarius
Trifid Nebula
Open star cluster 18h 02.3m
-23° 02'
m 20' Sagittarius
Trifid Сluster
M21 NGC 6531
Open star cluster 18h 04.6m
-22° 30'
7,0m 18' Sagittarius
M22 NGC 6656
Globular star cluster 18h 36.4m
-23° 54'
6,5m 33' Sagittarius
Sagittarius Сluster
M23 NGC 6494
Open star cluster 17h 56.8m
-19° 01'
6,0m 35' Sagittarius
M24 IC 4715
The Milky Way Region 18h 16.9m
-18° 29'
m 90' Sagittarius
Sagittarius Star Cloud
M25 IC 4725
Open star cluster 18h 31.6m
-19° 15'
4,9m 30' Sagittarius
M26 NGC 6694
Open star cluster 18h 45.2m
-09° 24'
9,5m 10' Scutum
M27 NGC 6853
Planetary nebula 19h 59.6m
+22° 43'
7,4m 8,4'×6,1' Vulpecula
Dumbbell Nebula
M28 NGC 6626
Globular star cluster 18h 24.5m
-24° 52'
8,5m 10' Sagittarius
M29 NGC 6913
Open star cluster 20h 23.9m
+38° 32'
9,0m 8' Cygnus
Cooling Сluster
M30 NGC 7099
Globular star cluster 21h 40.4m
-23° 11'
8,5m 12' Capricornus
M31 NGC 224
Spiral galaxy 00h 42.8m
+41° 16'
3,4m 3,17°×1° Andromeda
Andromeda Galaxy
M32 NGC 221
Elliptical galaxy 00h 42.7m
+40° 52'
8,1m 9'×7' Andromeda
M33 NGC 598
Spiral galaxy 01h 33.9m
+30° 39'
5,7m 71'×42' Triangulum
Triangulum Galaxy
M34 NGC 1039
Open star cluster 02h 42.0m
+42° 47'
6,0m 35' Perseus
M35 NGC 2168
Open star cluster 06h 09.1m
+24° 21'
5,5m 28' Gemini
M36 NGC 1960
Open star cluster 05h 36.2m
+34° 08'
6,5m 12' Auriga
M37 NGC 2099
Open star cluster 05h 52.4m
+32° 33'
6,0m 25' Auriga
M38 NGC 1912
Open star cluster 05h 28.7m
+35° 51'
7,0m 15' Auriga
M39 NGC 7092
Open star cluster 21h 31.8m
+48° 26'
5,5m 30' Cygnus
M40 WNC 4
Optical pair of stars 12h 22.2m
+58° 05'
9m 0,8' Ursa Major
Winnecke 4
M41 NGC 2287
Open star cluster 06h 46.0m
+20° 45'
5,0m 40' Canis Major
M42 NGC 1976
Emission nebula 05h 35.4m
-05° 23'
5,0m 65'×60' Orion
Orion Nebula
Open star cluster 05h 35.4m
-05° 23'
m 3' Orion
Orion Сluster
M43 NGC 1982
Emission nebula 05h 35.5m
-05° 16'
7,0m 20'x15' Orion
De Mairan's, part of M42 Nebula
M44 NGC 2632
Open star cluster 08h 40.4m
+19° 41'
4,0m 1,2° Cancer
Beehive Сluster
M45 Mel 22
Open star cluster 03h 47.0m
+24° 07'
1.6m Taurus
Pleiades Сluster
Reflecting nebula 03h 46.0m
+23° 46'
m 30' × 30' Taurus
Pleiades Nebula
M46 NGC 2437
Open star cluster 07h 41.8m
-14° 49'
6,5m 20' Puppis
M47 NGC 2422
Open star cluster 07h 36.6m
-14° 30'
4,5m 30' Puppis
M48 NGC 2548
Open star cluster 08h 13.7m
-05° 45'
5,5m 30' Hydra
M49 NGC 4472
Elliptical galaxy 12h 29.8m
+08° 00'
8,4m 10'×8' Virgo
M50 NGC 2323
Open star cluster 07h 02.8m
+08° 23'
7,0m 15' Monoceros
M51 NGC 5194,NGC 5195
Spiral galaxy 13h 29.9m
+47° 12'
8,4m 15'×7' Canes Venatici
Whirlpool Galaxy
M52 NGC 7654
Open star cluster 23h 24.2m
+61° 35'
8,0m 16' Cassiopeia
M53 NGC 5024
Globular star cluster 13h 12.9m
+18° 10'
8,5m 13' Coma Berenices
M54 NGC 6715
Globular star cluster 18h 55.1m
-30° 29'
8,5m 12' Sagittarius
M55 NGC 6809
Globular star cluster 19h 40.0m
-30° 58'
7,0m 19' Sagittarius
M56 NGC 6779
Globular star cluster 19h 16.6m
+30° 11'
9,5m 7' Lyra
M57 NGC 6720
Planetary nebula 18h 53.6m
+33° 02'
8,8m 86"×62" Lyra
Ring Nebula
M58 NGC 4579
Spiral galaxy 12h 37.7m
+11° 49'
9,6m 6'×5' Virgo
M59 NGC 4621
Elliptical galaxy 12h 42.0m
+11° 39'
9,6m 5'×4' Virgo
M60 NGC 4649
Elliptical galaxy 12h 43.7m
+11° 33'
8,8m 7'×6' Virgo
M61 NGC 4303
Spiral galaxy 12h 21.9m
+04° 28'
9,6m 7'×6' Virgo
M62 NGC 6266
Globular star cluster 17h 01.2m
-30° 07'
8,0m 11' Ophiuchus
M63 NGC 5055
Spiral galaxy 13h 15.8m
+42° 02'
8,6m 13'×7' Canes Venatici
Sunflower Galaxy
M64 NGC 4826
Spiral galaxy 12h 56.7m
+21° 41'
8,5m 11'×5' Coma Berenices
Black Eye Galaxy
M65 NGC 3623
Spiral galaxy 11h 18.9m
+13° 05'
9,3m 10'×3' Leo
M66 NGC 3627
Spiral galaxy 11h 20.2m
+12° 59'
9,0m 9'×4' Leo
M67 NGC 2682
Open star cluster 08h 51.4m
+11° 49'
7,5m 25' Cancer
M68 NGC 4590
Globular star cluster 12h 39.5m
-26° 45'
9,0m 11' Hydra
M69 NGC 6637
Globular star cluster 18h 31.4m
-32° 21'
9,0m 10' Sagittarius
M70 NGC 6681
Globular star cluster 18h 43.2m
-32° 17'
9,0m 8' Sagittarius
M71 NGC 6838
Globular star cluster 19h 53.8m
+18° 47'
8,5m 7' Sagitta
M72 NGC 6981
Globular star cluster 20h 53.5m
-12° 32'
10,0m 6' Aquarius
M73 NGC 6994
Asterism - 4 stars, visible nearby 20h 58.9m
-12° 38'
m 2,8' Aquarius
M74 NGC 628
Spiral galaxy 01h 36.7m
+15° 47'
8,5m 11'×10' Pisces
M75 NGC 6864
Globular star cluster 20h 06.1m
-21° 55'
9,5m 7' Sagittarius
M76 NGC 650,NGC 651
Planetary nebula 01h 42.3m
+51° 34'
10,1m 67" Perseus
Little Dumbbell Nebula
M77 NGC 1068
Spiral galaxy 02h 42.7m
+00° 01'
8,9m 7'×6' Cetus
Cetus A Galaxy
M78 NGC 2068
Reflecting nebula 05h 46.7m
+00° 03'
8,0m 8'x6' Orion
M79 NGC 1904
Globular star cluster 05h 24.2m
-24° 31'
8,5m 6' Lepus
M80 NGC 6093
Globular star cluster 16h 17.0m
-22° 59'
7,3m 9' Scorpius
M81 NGC 3031
Spiral galaxy 09h 55.5m
+69° 04'
6,8m 27'×14' Ursa Major
Bode's Galaxy
M82 NGC 3034
Spiral galaxy 09h 55.9m
+69° 41'
8,4m 11'×4' Ursa Major
Cigar Galaxy
M83 NGC 5236
Spiral galaxy 13h 37.0m
-29° 52'
7,5m 13'×12' Hydra
Southern Pinwheel Galaxy
M84 NGC 4374
Elliptical galaxy 12h 25.1m
+12° 53'
9,1m 7'×6' Virgo
M85 NGC 4382
Lenticular or elliptical galaxy 12h 25.4m
+18° 11'
9,1m 7'×6' Coma Berenices
M86 NGC 4406
Lenticular or elliptical galaxy 12h 26.2m
+12° 57'
8,9m 9'×6' Virgo
M87 NGC 4486
Elliptical galaxy 12h 30.8m
+12° 23'
8,6m 8'×7' Virgo
Virgo A Galaxy
M88 NGC 4501
Spiral galaxy 12h 32.0m
+14° 25'
9,6m 7'×4' Coma Berenices
M89 NGC 4552
Elliptical galaxy 12h 35.7m
+12° 33'
9,7m 5'×5' Virgo
M90 NGC 4569
Spiral galaxy 12h 36.8m
+13° 10'
9,5m 10'×4' Virgo
M91 NGC 4548
Spiral galaxy 12h 35.4m
+14° 30'
10,1m 5'×4' Coma Berenices
M92 NGC 6341
Globular star cluster 17h 17.1m
+43° 08'
7,5m 14' Hercules
M93 NGC 2447
Open star cluster 07h 44.6m
-23° 52'
6,5m 24' Puppis
M94 NGC 4736
Spiral galaxy 12h 50.9m
+41° 07'
8,2m 11'×9' Canes Venatici
M95 NGC 3351
Spiral galaxy 10h 44.0m
+11° 42'
9,7m 7'×5' Leo
M96 NGC 3368
Spiral galaxy 10h 46.8m
+11° 49'
9,2m 8'×5' Leo
M97 NGC 3587
Planetary nebula 11h 14.8m
+55° 01'
9,9m 170" Ursa Major
Owl Nebula
M98 NGC 4192
Spiral galaxy 12h 13.8m
+14° 54'
10,1m 10'×3' Coma Berenices
M99 NGC 4254
Spiral galaxy 12h 18.8m
+14° 25'
9,9m 5'×5' Coma Berenices
M100 NGC 4321
Spiral galaxy 12h 22.9m
+15° 49'
9,3m 7'×6' Coma Berenices
M101 NGC 5457
Spiral galaxy 14h 03.2m
+54° 21'
7,7m 29'×27' Ursa Major
Pinwheel Galaxy

Error in the catalog 15h 06.5m
+55° 46'
9,9m Draco
M102 is error in the catalog — it is М101 or NGC 5866
M103 NGC 581
Open star cluster 01h 33.2m
+60° 42'
7,0m 6' Cassiopeia
M104 NGC 4594
Spiral galaxy 12h 40.0m
-11° 37'
8,0m 9'×4' Virgo
Sombrero Galaxy
M105 NGC 3379
Elliptical galaxy 10h 47.8m
+12° 35'
9,3m 5'×5' Leo
M106 NGC 4258
Spiral galaxy 12h 19.0m
+47° 18'
8,3m 19'×7' Canes Venatici
M107 NGC 6171
Globular star cluster 16h 32.5m
-13° 03'
10,0m 13' Ophiuchus
M108 NGC 3556
Spiral galaxy 11h 11.5m
+55° 40'
10,0m 9'×2' Ursa Major
M109 NGC 3992
Spiral galaxy 11h 57.6m
+53° 23'
9,8m 8'×5' Ursa Major
M110 NGC 205
Elliptical galaxy 00h 40.4m
+41° 41'
8,0m 22'×11' Andromeda

Marathon Messier

Marathon Messier - a kind of "race" for astronomers, observers. No, with the telescope behind you, there's no need to run anywhere :). The fact is that twice a year, on a new moon in March and in October, such conditions develop, that all objects of the Messier catalog can be seen in one night!

This is the name of the Messier Marathon. Yes, it is rather not about watching the celestial bodies, but about the speeding up of the telescope. Nevertheless, it is difficult not to agree with the fact that even in this case the impressions will be higher than the roof!

Alas, if you read this article at the mentioned time, then ... do not rush to rejoice. In order to perform the Messier marathon, you must be between 10° and 35° north latitude at this time ...

Lives in the north and there is no way to go south with a good telescope? Do not be upset. The Messier Marathon, albeit in a limited form, can be held in the north. The main thing is that you now know at what time it's best to do it.
Of course, you will not see the southernmost objects, they will be beyond the horizon. But all the other objects Messier will be in your field of vision overnight.

This version of the Messier catalog uses pictures of www.nasa.gov (NASA) and other sources. Images in the places of their original location are mentioned as free from license restrictions. In case of misunderstandings, please contact the authors: let me know and they will be deleted. 

Nikolay Kurdyapin, astro-map.com  
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