Supernovae which have been observed in Messier catalog galaxies

While exactly one Messier object (the Crab Nebula M1) is the remnant of a supernova explosion, and one of few observed in our own galaxy, the Milky Way, in pre-telescopic times, supernovae have occurred and been observed in more than half of the 40 galaxies in the modern Messier catalog. The record holder of the Messier galaxies, M83, has produced probably 6 observed supernovae; this is two SNe less than for the absolute record held by NGC 6946, which has produced 8 observed supernovae.

As of the time of this writing (September, 2007), the total number of supernovae discovered in Messier's galaxies has reached 48 (with one questionable), plus one non-SN former candidate (1986D in M82). Supernovae have occurred in 24 of the 40 galaxies (60%).

Also note our Supernovae in Messier Galaxies page, which lists the supernovae by time of occurrance, and gives some more information on them.


Hartmut Frommert
Christine Kronberg

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Last Modification: September 17, 2007