Charles Messier (1730-1817), was a skilled astronomer on a quest to search for comets. In an effort to help other astronomers identify objects in the sky that were not comets, Messier started logging the objects, and astronomers today call this work the Messier Catalog.
Messier identified 103 objects by the time of his death in 1817, which was quite an accomplishment considering the simple telescopes he used during that era. Seven more objects were identified after his death and added to the catalog, bringing the total of Messier objects to 110.
The Messier objects have intrigued astronomers for years, and locating them in the night sky or photographing them has become a goal of many professional and amateur astronomers.
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Credits: Atlas Image [or Atlas Image Mosaic]] obtained as part of the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS), a joint project of the Univ. of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation.
M6-7, M21, M23-M26, M29, M33-41, M46-48, M50, M52, M55, M58-59, M62, M67, M73, M75-M76, M78, M85-M86, M88-M90, M93, M95, M97-M98, M103, M108-110