Messier Objects List

The Messier Catalog is collection of the most beautiful Messier objects which contains nebulae, star clusters and galaxies. French astronomer Charles Messier started his search for comets in mid of 18th century while the visit of Halley’s Comet. He spent his whole life in searching comets. In that era, the size of telescopes were small as compared to today’s optics so it was hard to determine between comet and fuzzy object. He found many comet like objects but they did not appear to move like comets do, so to avoid this confusion between comet and comet like object, he made a catalog of objects which are fuzzy and look like comets. Messier had discovered 13 comets.

Messier Objects ListMessier found a small cloudy object Taurus constellation. The first Messier object observed by Messier was the remnant of a supernova explosion also known as Crab Nebula (M1). He started keeping a list of such cloudy objects and initially made a list of 103 objects in Messier catalog. Later catalog was expanded through successive additions by other astronomers. It was first milestone in the history of the discovery of Deep Sky objects.

Messier objects may be useful as a reference for amateur astronomers. Today, Messier Catalog is useful for amateur astronomers. “Messier Marathon” is the challenge for amateur astronomers to find messier objects as much as possible in a single night. Messier Marathon can also held to encourage a sense of wonder and exploration and to increase the interest in night sky.

After the success of Messier catalog, later many similar or advanced catalogs started to evolve as time and optics of telescopes get developed. The Caldwell Catalogue compiled by Patrick Moore consist 109 star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies for observation by amateur astronomers. The Herschel 400 catalogue consist Nebulae and Clusters of Stars. The New General Catalogue (NGC) contains 7,840 deep-sky objects like Nebulae and Clusters of Stars compiled by John Louis Emil Dreyer in 1888. Index Catalogue (IC), the major update of NGC catalog published by Dreyer in two parts in 1895 containing 1,520 objects and in 1908 containing 3,866 objects. Then Revised New General Catalogue also compiled in 1970 by Jack W. Sulentic and William G. Tifft.

MNGCCommon NameTypeMag.Size (arcmin)Distance (ly)RADecConViewing Season
M11952Crab NebulaSn8.46x463005h 34.5m+22° 01?Tauwinter
M27089Gc6.512.93790021h 33.5m+00° 49?Aqrautumn
M35272Gc6.216.23390013h 42.2m+28° 23?CVnspring
M46121Gc5.626.3720016h 23.6m-26° 32?Scosummer
M55904Gc5.617.42450015h 18.6m+02° 05?Sersummer
M66405Butterfly ClusterOc4.225160017h 40.1m-32° 13?Scosummer
M76475Ptolemy's ClusterOc3.38080017h 53.9m-34° 49?Scosummer
M86523Lagoon NebulaDi690x40520018h 03.8m-24° 23?Sgrsummer
M96333Gc7.79.32670017h 19.2m-18° 31?Ophsummer
M106254Gc6.615.11440016h 57.1m-04° 06?Ophsummer
M116705Wild Duck ClusterOc6.314600018h 51.1m-06° 16?Sctsummer
M126218Gc6.714.51600016h 47.2m-01° 57?Ophsummer
M136205Great Hercules GlobularGc5.816.62510016h 41.7m+36° 28?Hersummer
M146402Gc7.611.72900017h 37.6m-03° 15?Ophsummer
M157078Great Pegasus GlobularGc6.212.33360021h 30m+12° 10?Pegautumn
M166611Eagle NebulaOc6.47700018h 18.8m-13° 47?Sersummer
M176618Omega NebulaDi711500018h 20.8m-16° 11?Sgrsummer
M186613Oc7.59490018h 19.9m-17° 08?Sgrsummer
M196273Gc6.813.52840017h 02.6m-26° 16?Ophsummer
M206514Trifid NebulaDi928520018h 02.6m-23° 02?Sgrsummer
M216531Oc6.513425018h 04.6m-22° 30?Sgrsummer
M226656Sagittarius ClusterGc5.1241040018h 36.4m-23° 54?Sgrsummer
M236494Oc6.927215017h 56.8m-19° 01?Sgrsummer
M24-Sagittarius Star CloudMW4.6901000018h 16.9m-18° 30?Sgrsummer
M25IC4725Oc6.540200018h 31.6m-19° 15?Sgrsummer
M266694Oc815500018h 45.2m-09° 24?Sctsummer
M276853Dumbbell NebulaPl7.48.0x5.7125019h 59.6m+22° 43?Vulsummer
M286626Gc6.811.21860018h 24.5m-24° 52?Sgrsummer
M296913Oc7.17400020h 23.9m+38° 32?Cygsummer
M307099Gc7.2112610021h 40.4m-23° 11?Capautumn
M31224Andromeda GalaxySp3.4178x633 million0h 41.8m+41° 16?Andautumn
M32221El8.18x63 million0h 42.8m+40° 52?Andautumn
M33598Triangulum GalaxySp5.773x453 million1h 33.9m+30° 39?Triautumn
M341039Oc5.53514002h 42m+42° 47?Perautumn
M352168Oc5.32828006h 08.9m+24° 20?Gemwinter
M361960Oc6.31241005h 36.1m+34° 08?Aurwinter
M372099Oc6.22444005h 52.4m+32° 33?Aurwinter
M381912Oc7.42142005h 28.7m+35° 50?Aurwinter
M397092Oc4.63282521h 32.2m+48° 26?Cygautumn
M40Win4Winnecke 4Ds8.40.851012h 22.4m+58° 05?UMaspring
M412287Oc4.63823006h 47m-20° 44?CMawinter
M421976Great Nebula in OrionDi485x6016005h 35.4m-05° 27?Oriwinter
M431982De Mairan's NebulaDi920x1516005h 35.6m-05° 16?Oriwinter
M442632Beehive ClusterOc3.7955778h 40.1m+19° 59?Cncwinter
M45-PleiadesOc1.61103803h 47m+24° 07?Tauwinter
M462437Oc62754007h 41.8m-14° 49?Pupwinter
M472422Oc5.23016007h 36.6m-14° 30?Pupwinter
M482548Oc5.55415008h 13.8m-05° 48?Hyawinter
M494472El8.49x7.560 million12h 29.8m+08° 00?Virspring
M502323Oc6.31630007h 03.2m-08° 20?Monwinter
M515194Whirlpool GalaxySp8.411x737 million13h 30m+47° 11?CVnspring
M527654Oc7.313500023h 24.2m+61° 35?Casautumn
M535024Gc7.612.65970013h 12.9m+18° 10?Comspring
M546715Gc7.69.18870018h 55.1m-30° 29?Sgrsummer
M556809Gc6.3191760019h 40m-30° 58?Sgrsummer
M566779Gc8.37.13290019h 16.6m+30° 11?Lyrsummer
M576720Ring NebulaPl8.81.4x1.0230018h 53.6m+33° 02?Lyrsummer
M584579Ba9.75.5x4.560 million12h 37.7m+11° 49?Virspring
M594621El9.65x3.560 million12h 42m+11° 39?Virspring
M604649El8.87x660 million12h 43.7m+11° 33?Virspring
M614303Sp9.76x5.560 million12h 21.9m+04° 28?Virspring
M626266Gc6.514.12250017h 01.2m-30° 07?Ophsummer
M635055Sunflower GalaxySp8.610x637 million13h 15.8m+42° 02?CVnspring
M644826Black Eye GalaxySp8.59.3x5.419 million12h 56.7m+21° 41?Comspring
M653623Sp9.38x1.535 million11h 18.9m+13° 05?Leospring
M663627Sp8.98x2.535 million11h 20.2m+12° 59?Leospring
M672682Oc6.13027008h 50.4m+11° 49?Cncwinter
M684590Gc7.8123330012h 39.5m-26° 45?Hyaspring
M696637Gc7.67.12800018h 31.4m-32° 21?Sgrsummer
M706681Gc7.97.82940018h 43.2m-32° 18?Sgrsummer
M716838Gc8.27.21270019h 53.8m+18° 47?Sgesummer
M726981Gc9.35.95540020h 53.5m-12° 32?Aqrsummer
M736994As92.8200020h 59m-12° 38?Aqrsummer
M74628Sp9.410.2x9.535 million1h 36.7m+15° 47?Pscautumn
M756864Gc8.566130020h 06.1m-21° 55?Sgrsummer
M76650Little Dumbbell NebulaPl10.12.7x1.834001h 42.4m+51° 34?Perautumn
M771068Sp8.97x660 million2h 42.7m+00° 02?Cetautumn
M782068Di8.38x616005h 46.7m+00° 03?Oriwinter
M791904Gc7.78.7421005h 24.5m-24° 33?Lepwinter
M806093Gc7.38.93260016h 17m-22° 59?Scosummer
M813031Bode's GalaxySp6.921x1012 million9h 55.6m+69° 04?UMaspring
M823034Cigar GalaxyIr8.49x412 million9h 55.8m+69° 41?UMaspring
M835236Southern PinwheelSp7.611x1015 million13h 37m-29° 52?Hyaspring
M844374Ln9.1560 million12h 25.1m+12° 53?Virspring
M854382Ln9.17.1x5.260 million12h 25.5m+18° 12?Comspring
M864406Ln8.97.5x5.560 million12h 26.2m+12° 57?Virspring
M874486El8.6760 million12h 30.8m+12° 24?Virspring
M884501Sp9.67x460 million12h 32.1m+14° 26?Comspring
M894552El9.8460 million12h 35.7m+12° 33?Virspring
M904569Sp9.59.5x4.560 million12h 36.8m+13° 10?Virspring
M914548Ba10.25.4x4.460 million12h 35.5m+14° 30?Comspring
M926341Gc6.411.22670017h 17.1m+43° 08?Hersummer
M932447Oc62236007h 44.6m-23° 52?Pupwinter
M944736Sp8.27x315 million12h 50.9m+41° 08?CVnspring
M953351Ba9.74.4x3.338 million10h 44m+11° 42?Leospring
M963368Sp9.26x438 million10h 46.8m+11° 49?Leospring
M973587Owl NebulaPl9.93.4x3.3260011h 14.8m+55° 01?UMaspring
M984192Sp10.19.5x3.260 million12h 13.9m+14° 55?Comspring
M994254Sp9.95.4x4.860 million12h 18.9m+14° 26?Comspring
M1004321Sp9.37x660 million12h 23m+15° 50?Comspring
M1015457Pinwheel GalaxySp7.92227 million14h 03.2m+54° 21?UMaspring
M1025866Ln9.95.2x2.340 million15h 06.5m+55° 46?Drasummer
M103581Oc7.4685001h 33.2m+60° 42?Casautumn
M1044594Sombrero GalaxySp89x450 million12h 40m-11° 37?Virspring
M1053379El9.3238 million10h 47.8m+12° 35?Leospring
M1064258Sp8.419x825 million12h 18.9m+47° 19?CVnspring
M1076171Gc7.9102090016h 32.5m-13° 03?Ophsummer
M1083556Sp108x145 million11h 11.5m+55° 40?UMaspring
M1093992Ba9.87x455 million11h 57.6m+53° 23?UMaspring
M110205El8.517x103 million00h 40.4m+41° 41?Andautumn