View Full Version : What are Messier's?

2003-Dec-20, 05:43 PM
I am very new to astronomy, my question is, what is the exact definition of a Messier Object and a Nebula? are they the same thing?

Thanks in Advance.
Matthew E.

2003-Dec-20, 06:24 PM
Messier onject is an Deep Sky object, including Nebula, star cluster, and galaxies, so its the same thing, as u read the article above (Site).

(I guess I was wrong again :) , correct me if there is an mistake :) )

2003-Dec-23, 03:48 AM

Charles Messier was an 18th century comet hunter who got fed up with deep sky "faint fuzzys" interfering what he felt was his real work of finding comets.

So he made a catalogue of these objects. He did so without any particular system or framework, just numbered them pretty much at random I think, so it is a mix of a whole bunch of objects such as Galaxies , open clusters, nebulae and so on and the M number alone tells you little about what sort of object it is, or for that matter even where to find it or how bright it is etc.

Ironically who now remembers Messier's comet hunting successes? Hardly anyone. But everyone who looks at the sky sooner or later comes across his catalogue of objects.

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere you can observe all the Messier objects-110 of them - in one night, it's called a Messier Marathon. I'd imagine you would be pretty tired at the end of it