Charles Messier (June 26, 1730 - April 12, 1817)

[CM.jpg] The celebrated French astronomer Charles Messier became famous in his lifetime for the discovery of 20 comets, 13 of which were original discoveries which were (and are still) credited to him. Nowadays, this his devotion is no more appreciated very much, but his fame continues for his Catalog of Nebulae and Star Clusters, which is subject of this database.

This historical section is to make some biographical data of the great Frenchman available online. If you have anything to comment or contribute, please contact me.

  • Biography of Charles Messier
  • Charles Messier Timeline
  • Some new historical data about Madame Messier
  • Messier's Original Catalog of Nebulae and Star Clusters
    Scans of the original Messier Catalog of 1781 - obtained from the copy of the Bureau des Longitudes, Paris.
  • Account of Messier's Deepsky Observations
  • Messier's Comets - his personal "Notes on My Comets"
  • Messier's Telescopes: He used a considerable number in his professional life
  • Messier's original object positions compared to modern values
  • Some of Messier's selfmade star charts
  • Messier's drawings of M31 and M42
  • List of Charles Messier's publications - Charles Messier's Academy Memberships
  • History of the Messier Catalog
  • More on the Charles Messier Portrait

    History of the Discovery of the Deep Sky Objects, Discovery table, Historical Deep Sky Objects list, Historical Observations and Descriptions of the Messier Objects, Discovery Statistics of the Messier Objects.

    Charles Messier has been honored lately by the astronomical community by naming a Moon Crater (or even two) after him.

    This icon was selected to point to the Messier History page (this page). It was cropped from a chart drawn by Messier, and shows the central part of the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies which Messier thought to be a cluster of nebulae.


    [Britannica.com Award] The Charles Messier history section of our site has been awarded by Britannica.com as one of the best sites on the Internet when reviewed for quality, accuracy of content, presentation and usability, and rated as a Recommended Site.

    Hartmut Frommert
    Christine Kronberg

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    Last Modification: September 23, 2007