Charles Messier was a French amateur comet hunter active in the mid 1700's. He began listing nebulous objects that could be mistaken for comets, but did not change their nightly position in the sky; therefore where not comets. This visually compiled listing from several comet hunters contains some of the very best (biggest, brightest) examples of almost all classes of objects visible from the Northern hemisphere. Check out The Messier Catalog online, by SEDS. Access the SEDS Messier data by using the Virtual Messier (a clickable sky chart interface), by Dave Nash. Also, see this page with a wealth of information, including a translation of 'Charles Messier's Original Catalog of 1771'.
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Note: At this time (05/2012), because of trees to my south, my 'southern horizon' imaging limit is barely -20 degrees declination.
I have a scanned film image (mostly hypered Kodak Technical Pan 2415) of these Messier objects ... click on the Messier numbers below to see the film image (all film images 1600 or 1024 pixels wide):
The following Messier objects are not currently (2012) accessible for ccd imaging from my home observatory:
M 6 (1024 pixels), M 7 (1024 pixels), M 8 (1024 pixels), M 19 (1024 pixels), M 24 w/50mm [sic](1024 pixels), M 24 w/8" [sic](1024 pixels), M 24 as NGC 6603 [sic](1024 pixels), M 54 (1024 pixels), M 55 (1024 pixels), M 62 (1024 pixels), M 68 (1024 pixels), M 69 (1024 pixels), M 70 (1024 pixels), M 75 (1024 pixels) new ccd image, M 83 (1024 pixels) and M 93 (1024 pixels).
Quick links to images/information: Aladin previewer (quick look small images / links to CDS information); Edward Emerson Barnard catalogue (original dark nebulae plates with Barnard's notes); NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database - NED (information on objects, mainly outside our galaxy); NGC / IC Project (historically corrected <please see the website of Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke> information, mainly for NGC's, with visual telescopic description); SIMBAD (CDS information on objects outside the solar system).The STScI Digitized Sky Survey (on demand <FITS/GIF> images up to 60' x 60' ).
Click telescope link for my image and information
Note: @ images are presented full frame* (1530 x 1020), or listed size.
In a few instances, I have cropped an image by 8-15% (due to sequence registration issues), and increased the width to 1530 pixels.
No scope listed = 8" f5 Newtonian, or (@8F5) ... objects imaged with other telescopes are indicated ... 14.5" f5 Newtonian (@14.5F5) ... Celestron 11* (@C11F10).
*C11 image are cropped.
6 No ccd image / see film images
7 No ccd image / see film images
8 No ccd image / see film images
19 No ccd image / see film images
24 No ccd image / see film images
31 No ccd image of entire object / see this film image
40 No image yet
54 No ccd image / see film images
55 No ccd image / see film images
62 No ccd image / see film images
68 No ccd image / see film images
69 No ccd image / see film images
70 No ccd image / see film images
83 No ccd image / see film images
93 No ccd image / see film images
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