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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' title= Charles Messier (1730-1817) - french astronomer. Since 1764 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", so as not to take foggy formations in the sky for new 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

      Galaxies of the Messier catalog

      # in Messier and NGC catalogs Object type Coord.
      Visual magnit. Angular size Constellation Note
      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
      M49 NGC 4472
      Elliptical galaxy 12h 29.8m
      +08° 00'
      8,4m 10'×8' Virgo
      M51 NGC 5194,NGC 5195
      Spiral galaxy 13h 29.9m
      +47° 12'
      8,4m 15'×7' Canes Venatici
      Whirlpool Galaxy
      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
      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
      M74 NGC 628
      Spiral galaxy 01h 36.7m
      +15° 47'
      8,5m 11'×10' Pisces
      M77 NGC 1068
      Spiral galaxy 02h 42.7m
      +00° 01'
      8,9m 7'×6' Cetus
      Cetus A Galaxy
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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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