(M, Messier Objects, Catalogue des Nebuleuses et des Amas d'Etoiles, Catalogue of Nebulae and Star Clusters, Messier Catalog)
(catalog of astronomical objects to avoid when looking for comets)
The Messier Catalog (or list of Messier Objects or
Catalogue des Nebuleuses et des Amas d'Etoiles, i.e.,
Catalogue of nebulae and Star Clusters) is
Charles Messier's 1771 catalog
of fixed but apparently-non-stellar
astronomical objects, of which most are now known to be galaxies.
Messier was interested in finding comets and produced this
list of objects that look like comets but had been established
to be something else. The objects are designated M with a number
(examples: Andromeda (M31), Triangulum Galaxy (M33), M82, M87) and include
galaxies, clouds, and clusters of stars.
All that can be currently identified are also in the New General Catalogue.
The Messier designations are still often used by astronomers.
|M||M87||Messier Catalog|| |
|M||M85-HCC1||Messier Catalog||galaxy near M85|
Whirlpool Galaxy (M51a)
Spindle Galaxy (NGC 5866)