The Messier Catalogue

In recognition of the work done by Charles Messier in the 18th century

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M42 - The Orion Nebula - note the satellite trail

Just has to be my best image to date - always a good nebula to look at, with the naked eye, through binoculars, telescopes or cameras...

M27 - The Dumbell Nebula

Another stunning image taken from my back garden this autumn...

Moonscape

The closest planet to earth - within easy reach of everyone to take photographs...

M57 - The Ring Nebula

One of my all time favourite images...

NGC7000 - The North American Nebula

My first nigfht just using my camera and 400mm lens on my mount...

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Making Light Work in Astrophotography!
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The Messier Catalogue

The Messier Catalogue is a set of astronomical objects first listed by French astronomer Charles Messier in 1771. Messier was a comet hunter and was frustrated by objects which resembled but were not comets, so he compiled a list of them in collaboration with his assistant Pierre Mechain, to avoid wasting time on them.



 

The Messier Marathon

All of the Messier objects are visible with binoculars or small telescopes (under favorable conditions); therefore they are popular viewing objects for amateur astronomers. Typically an observer attempting a Messier Marathon begins observing at sunset and will observe through the night until sunrise in order to see all 110 objects. An observer starts with objects low in the western sky at sunset, hoping to view them before they dip out of view, then works eastward across the sky.
By sunrise, the successful observer will be observing the last few objects low on the eastern horizon, hoping to see them before the sky becomes too bright due to the rising sun. The evening can be a test of stamina and willpower depending on weather conditions and the physical fitness of the observer.
Particularly crowded regions of the sky (namely, the Virgo Cluster and the Milky Way's Galactic center can prove to be challenging to an observer as well and a Messier Marathon will generally budget time for these regions accordingly.

Organized Marathons

Marathons are typically organized by a local astronomy organization or Astronomical society as a special type of Star party.
These are usually attempted at least once every year.
Some clubs issue certificates either for participation or for achieving a set number of objects.

Messier Objects

M1

M1
The Crab Nebula

M2

M2

M3

M3

M4

M4

M5

M5

M6

M6

M7

M7

M8

M8

M9

M9

M10

M10

M11

M11

M12

M12

M13

M13
The Hercules Cluster

M14

M14

M15

M15
The Pegasus Cluster

M16

M16

M17

M17

M18

M18

M19

M19

M20

M20

M21

M21

M22

M22

M23

M23

M24

M24

M25

M25

M26

M26

M27

M27
The Dumbbell Nebula

M28

M28

M29

M29

M30

M30

M31

M31

M32

M32

M33

M33

M34

M34

M35

M35

M36

M36

M37

M37

M38

M38

M39

M39

M40

M40
The Double Cluster

M41

M41

M42
M42

M42
The Orion Nebula

M43

M43
The Mairin Nebula

M4

M44

M45

M45
The Pleidaes

M46

M46

M47

M47

M48

M48

M49

M49

M50

M50

M51

M51
The Whirlpool Galaxy

M52

M52

M53

M53

M54

M54

M55

M55

M56

M56

M57

M57
The Ring Nebula

M58

M58

M59

M59

M60

M60

M61

M61

M62

M62

M63

M63

M64

M64

M65

M65

M66

M66

M67

M67

M68

M68

M69

M69

M70

M70

M71

M71

M72

M72

M73

M73

M74

M74

M75

M75

M76

M76

M77

M77

M88

M78

M79

M79

M80

M80

M81

M81

M82

M82

M83

M83

M4

M84

M85

M85

M86

M86

M87

M87

M88

M88

M89

M89

M90

M90

M91

M91

M92

M92

M93

M93

M94

M94

M95

M95

M96

M96

M97

M97

M98

M98

M99

M99

M100

M100

M101

M101

M102

M102

M103

M103

M104

M104

M105

M105

M106

M106

M107

M107

M108

M108

M109

M109

M110

M110

 

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