The Messier Catalog

Charles Messier (1730-1817) was a French astronomer who was the first to compile a systematic catalog of nebulae and star clusters. His purpose in this was to make comet hunting easier by taking careful note of permanent deep-sky objects that might be mistaken for comets. In Messier's time, the term nebula was applied to any blurry celestial object. The Messier Catalog that resulted is valued today by amateur astronomers as a checklist of deep sky objects easily observable with even a modest telescope. The 110 Messier objects are considered the most interesting deep-sky objects visible in the Northern Hemisphere. Some astronomy clubs award pins for successful observing the Messier list. Contact your local astronomy club for details.

For images of all the Messier objects, see www.seds.org/messier.

Legend

M# = Messier Catalog number

NGC# = New General Catalog Number (The NGC is a modern work, which, among professional astronomers, has superseded the Messier Catalog.)

Con = The constellation in which the object will be found. See Appendix C for the full names of the constellations abbreviated here.

RA = Right ascension in hours and minutes. See Chapter 1 for an explanation.

DEC = Declination in degrees and minutes. See Chapter 1 for an explanation.

vMag = Visual Magnitude of the object. See Chapter 17 for an explanation of magnitude.

Type = Type of object. The abbreviations are as follows:

DS

Double star

E (with a number)

Elliptical galaxy

EN

Emission nebula (glowing gas)

ERN

Emission and reflection nebula

GC

Globular cluster (stars)

Irr

Irregular galaxy

OC

Open cluster (stars)

PN

Planetary nebula

S

Spiral galaxy

SB

Barred spiral galaxy

SCL

Star cloud

SNR

Supernova remnant

Dia" = Angular diameter (where known) of the object. This number is in seconds of arc (73600 degree). See Chapter 1 for an explanation of angular measurement.

Name = The common name of the object

M#

NGC#

Con

RA

Dec

vMag

Type

Dia"

Name

1

1952

Tau

05h 34.5m

+22d 01'

8.4

SNR

300

Crab Nebula

2

7089

Aqr

21h 33.5m

-00d 49'

6.5

GC

3

5272

CVn

13h 42.2m

+28d 23'

6.4

GC

4

6121

Sco

16h 23.6m

-26d 32'

5.9

GC

5

5904

Ser

15h 18.6m

+02d 05'

5.8

GC

6

6405

Sco

17h 40.1m

-32d 13'

4.2

OC

Butterfly Cluster

7

6475

Sco

17h 53.9m

-34d 49'

3.3

OC

8

6523

Sgr

18h 03.8m

-24d 23'

5.8

EN

2400

Lagoon Nebula

9

6333

Oph

17h 19.2m

-18d 31'

7.9

GC

10

6254

Oph

16h 57.1m

-04d 06'

6.6

GC

11

6705

Sct

18h 51.1m

-06d 16'

5.8

OC

750

Wild Duck Cluster

12

6218

Oph

16h 47.2m

-01d 57'

6.6

GC

13

6205

Her

16h 41.7m

+36d 28'

5.9

GC

Hercules Cluster

14

6402

Oph

17h 37.6m

-03d 15'

7.6

GC

15

7078

Peg

21h 30.0m

+12d 10'

6.4

GC

16

6611

Ser

18h 18.8m

-13d 47'

6.0

EN

Eagle Nebula

17

6618

Sgr

18h 20.8m

-16d 11'

7.0

EN

1200

Swan Nebula (also known as Omega Nebula)

18

6613

Sgr

18h 19.9m

-17d 08'

6.9

OC

19

6273

Oph

17h 02.6m

-26d 16'

7.2

GC

20

6514

Sgr

18h 02.6m

-23d 02'

8.5

ERN

900

Trifid Nebula

21

6531

Sgr

18h 04.6m

-22d 30'

5.9

OC

22

6656

Sgr

18h 36.4m

-23d 54'

5.1

GC

23

6494

Sgr

17h 56.8m

-19d 01'

5.5

OC

24

Sgr

18h

16.9m

-18d 29'

4.5

SCL

(star cloud)

25

4725

Sgr

18h 31.6m

-19d 15'

4.6

OC

26

6694

Sct

18h 45.2m

-09d 24'

8.0

OC

27

6853

Vul

19h 59.6m

+22d 43'

8.1

PN

420

Dumbbell Nebula

28

6626

Sgr

18h 24.5m

-24d 52'

6.9

GC

29

6913

Cyg

20h 23.9m

+38d 32'

6.6

OC

30

7099

Cap

21h 40.4m

-23d 11'

7.5

GC

31

224

And

00h 42.7m

+41d 16'

3.4

SB

14400

Great

Andromeda Sp. continues

Andromeda Sp. continues continued

M#

NGC#

Con

RA

Dec

vMag

Type

Dia"

Name

32

221

And

00h

42.7m

+40d 52'

8.2

companion)

33

598

Tri

01h

33.9m

+30d 39'

5.7

S

3600

Triangulum Spiral

34

1039

Per

02h

42.0m

+42d 47'

5.2

OC

35

2168

Gem

06h

08.9m

+24d 20'

5.1

OC

36

1960

Aur

05h

36.1m

+34d 08'

6.0

OC

37

2099

Aur

05h

52.4m

+32d 33'

5.6

OC

38

1912

Aur

05h

28.7m

+35d 50'

6.4

OC

39

7092

Cyg

21h

32.2m

+48d 26'

4.6

OC

40

UMa

12h

22.4m

+58d 05'

8.0

DS

Winnecke 4

41

2287

CMa

06h

47.0m

-20d 44'

4.5

OC

42

1976

Ori

05h

35.4m

-05d 27'

4.0

EN

Great Orion Nebula

43

1982

Ori

05h

35.6m

-05d 16'

9.0

EN

Orion Nebula (part)

44

2632

Cnc

08h

40.1m

+19d 59'

3.1

OC

5400

Beehive Cluster

45

Tau

03h

47.0m

+24d 07'

1.2

OC

7200

Pleiades

46

2437

Pup

07h

41.8m

-14d 49'

6.1

OC

47

2422

Pup

07h

36.6m

-14d 30'

4.4

OC

48

2548

Hya

08h

13.8m

-05d 48'

5.8

OC

49

4472

Vir

12h

29.8m

+08d 00'

8.4

E4

50

2323

Mon

07h

03.2m

-08d 20'

5.9

OC

51

194&5

CVn

13h

29.9m

+47d 12'

8.1

S

Whirlpool galaxy

52

7654

Cas

23h

24.2m

+61d 35'

6.9

OC

53

5024

Com

13h

12.9m

+18d 10'

7.7

GC

54

6715

Sgr

18h

55.1m

-30d 29'

7.7

GC

55

6809

Sgr

19h

40.0m

-30d 58'

7.0

GC

56

6779

Lyr

19h

16.6m

+30d 11'

8.2

GC

57

6720

Lyr

18h

53.6m

+33d 02'

9.0

PN

Ring Nebula

58

4579

Vir

12h

37.7m

+11d 49'

9.8

SB

59

4621

Vir

12h

42.0m

+11d 39'

9.8

E3

60

4649

Vir

12h

43.7m

+11d 33'

8.8

E1

61

4303

Vir

12h

21.9m

+04d 28'

9.7

S

62

6266

Oph

17h

01.2m

-30d 07'

6.6

GC

63

5055

CVn

13h

15.8m

+42d 02'

8.6

SB

Sunflower galaxy

64

4826

Com

12h

56.7m

+21d 41'

8.5

SB

Black Eye galaxy

continued

M#

NGC#

Con

RA

Dec

vMag

Type

65

3623

Leo

11h

18.9m

+13d

05'

9.3

SB

66

3627

Leo

11h

20.2m

+12d

59'

9.0

SB

67

2682

Cnc

08h

50.4m

+11d

49'

6.9

OC

68

4590

Hya

12h

39.5m

-26d

45'

8.2

GC

69

6637

Sgr

18h

31.4m

-32d

21'

7.7

GC

70

6681

Sgr

18h

43.2m

-32d

18'

8.1

GC

71

6838

Sge

19h

53.8m

+18d

47'

8.3

GC

72

6981

Aqr

20h

53.5m

-12d

32'

9.4

GC

73

6994

Aqr

20h

58.9m

-12d

38'

5.0

OC

74

628

Psc

01h

36.7m

+15d

47'

9.2

S

75

6864

Sgr

20h

06.1m

-21d

55'

8.6

GC

76

650-1

Per

01h

42.4m

+51d

34'

11.5

PN

77

1068

Cet

02h

42.7m

-00d

01'

8.8

SB

78

2068

Ori

05h

46.7m

+00d

03'

8.0

PN

79

1904

Lep

05h

24.5m

-24d

33'

8.0

GC

80

6093

Sco

16h

17.0m

-22d

59'

7.2

GC

81

3031

UMa

09h

55.6m

+69d

04'

6.8

SB

82

3034

UMa

09h

55.8m

+69d

41'

8.4

Irr

83

5236

Hya

13h

37.0m

-29d

52'

10.1

S

84

4374

Vir

12h

25.1m

+12d

53'

9.3

E1

85

4382

Com

12h

25.4m

+18d

11'

9.3

Ep

86

4406

Vir

12h

26.2m

+12d

57'

9.2

E3

87

4486

Vir

12h

30.8m

+12d

24'

8.6

E1

88

4501

Com

12h

32.0m

+14d

25'

9.5

SB

89

4552

Vir

12h

35.7m

+12d

33'

9.8

E0

90

4569

Vir

12h

36.8m

+13d

10'

9.5

SB

91

4548

Com

12h

35.4m

+14d

30'

10.2

SB

92

6341

Her

17h

17.1m

+43d

08'

6.5

GC

93

2447

Pup

07h

44.6m

-23d

52'

6.2

OC

94

4736

CVn

12h

50.9m

+41d

07'

8.1

SB

95

3351

Leo

10h

44.0m

+11d

42'

9.7

SB

96

3368

Leo

10h

46.8m

+11d

49'

9.2

SB

97

3587

UMa

11h

14.8m

+55d

01'

11.2

PN

98

4192

Com

12h

13.8m

+14d

54'

10.1

SB

99

4254

Com

12h

18.8m

+14d

25'

9.8

S

100

4321

Com

12h

22.9m

+15d

49'

9.4

"Exploding" galaxy

Owl Nebula

Name continues

continued

M#

NGC#

Con

RA

Dec

vMag

Type

Dia" Name

101

5457

UMa

14h

03.2m

+54d 21'

7.7

S

Pinwheel galaxy

102

5866

Dra

15h

06.5 m

+55d 46'

10.0

E6

103

581

Cas

01h

33.2m

+60d 42'

7.4

OC

104

4594

Vir

12h

40.0m

-11d 37'

8.3

SB

Sombrero galaxy

105

3379

Leo

10h

47.8m

+12d 35'

9.3

E1

106

4258

CVn

12h

19.0m

+47d 18'

8.3

SB

107

6171

Oph

16h

32.5m

-13d 03'

8.1

GC

108

3556

UMa

11h

11.5m

+55d 40'

10.0

S

109

3992

UMa

11h

57.6m

+53d 23'

9.8

SB

110

205

And

00h

40.4m

+41d 41'

8.0

E6

(M31 companion)

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