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Last Updated:   05/21/2016

Messier Catalog

Charles Messier (1730 1817) was a French astronomer most notable for publishing an astronomical catalogue consisting of deep sky objects such as nebulae and star clusters that came to be known as the 103 "Messier objects". The purpose of the catalogue was to help comet hunters, as he was, and to help other astronomical observers to distinguish between permanent and transient objects in the sky.

The first version of Messier's catalogue contained 45 objects and was published in 1774 in the journal of the French Academy of Sciences in Paris. By the time the final version of the catalogue was published in 1781, the list of Messier objects had grown to 103. On several different occasions between 1921 and 1966, astronomers and historians discovered evidence of another seven deep-sky objects that were observed either by Messier or his friend and assistant, Pierre Mechain, shortly after the final version was published. These seven objects, M104 through M110, are accepted by many astronomers as "official" Messier objects. The objects' designations, from M1 to M110, still are in use by professional and amateur astronomers today.

Due to the size of this catalog, images are located in 3 separate pages as follows:

Messier Images 1-36          Messier Images 37-72          Messier Images 73-110



NGC - IC Catalogs

The New General Catalogue (NGC) is a well-known catalogue of deep sky objects in amateur astronomy. It contains 7,840 objects, known as the NGC objects. The NGC is one of the largest comprehensive catalogues, as it includes all types of deep space objects and is not confined to, for example, galaxies.  The catalogue was compiled in the 1880s by J. L. E. Dreyer using observations mostly from William Herschel and his son John, for total of 7,840 objects. Dreyer had already published an update to the Herschel's Catalogue of Nebulae, but a new update was turned down by the Royal Astronomical Society, who asked Dreyer to compile a New General Catalogue.

The NGC was later expanded with two Index Catalogues (IC I in 1896 & IC II in 1905), adding a further 5,326 objects. Most of these later discoveries had been made possible by the advent of photography.

NGC Images




Miscellaneous Deep Space Images


Any Deep Space object not falling into one of the above catalogs will be listed here. These can include objects from other catalogs, stars, comets, etc.

Miscellaneous Images





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This site was last updated 05/21/16

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