The Messier Catalogue is a famous catalogue in Astronomy. It consists of 110 deep sky objects, including open and globular star clusters, galaxies, nebulae, an asterism, a double star and even a supernova remnant. It was compiled in the 18th century by Charles Messier.

Messier was a comet hunter who was born in Badonviller, France on June 26, 1730. When searching for comets he was frustrated by fixed objects that looked like comets in the night sky but actually weren't. These fuzzy "comet" like objects hindered his searches so he catalogued them in order to avoid them in future.

The first version of his catalogue contained 45 objects and was published in 1774 in the journal of the French Academy of Sciences in Paris. Over the next 7 years he updated the catalogue and published the final version in 1781, containing 103 objects. Many of these objects he actually discovered himself.

On several different occasions between 1921 and 1966, astronomers and historians discovered evidence of another 7 deep-sky objects that were observed either by Messier or his friend and assistant, Pierre Mechain, shortly after the final version was published. These objects, numbered M104 to M110, are now accepted by astronomers as "official" Messier objects.

The Messier catalogue is still used by professional and amateur astronomers today:

Messier ObjectName / TypeConstellationCharts
M1Crab Nebula (Supernova Remnant)TaurusM1_Finder_Chart.pdf
M35_Finder_Chart.pdf
M45_Finder_Chart.pdf
M2Globular ClusterAquariusM2_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M3Globular ClusterCanes VenaticiM3_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M4Globular ClusterScorpiusM4_M19_M62_M80_Finder_Chart.pdf
M6_M7_Finder_Chart.pdf
M9_Finder_Chart.pdf
M107_Finder_Chart.pdf
M5Globular ClusterSerpens CaputM5_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M6Butterfly Cluster (Open Cluster)ScorpiusM6_M7_Finder_Chart.pdf
M4_M19_M62_M80_Finder_Chart.pdf
M8_M20...Finder_Chart.pdf
M7The Ptolemy Cluster (Open Cluster)ScorpiusM6_M7_Finder_Chart.pdf
M8_M20...Finder_Chart.pdf
M8Lagoon Nebula (Emission Nebula)SagittariusM8_M20...Finder_Chart.pdf
M16_M17...Finder_Chart.pdf
M9Globular ClusterOphiuchusM9_Finder_Chart.pdf
M16_M17...Finder_Chart.pdf
M107_Finder_Chart.pdf
M10Globular ClusterOphiuchusM10_M12_M14_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M11Wild Duck Cluster (Open Cluster)ScutumM11_M26_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M12Globular ClusterOphiuchusM10_M12_M14_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M13Great Hercules Globular ClusterHerculesM13_M92_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M14Globular ClusterOphiuchusM10_M12_M14_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M15Globular ClusterPegasusM15_Finder_Chart.pdf
M2_Finder_Chart.pdf
M16Emission Nebula with Open ClusterSerpensM16_M17...Finder_Chart.pdf 
M17Emission Nebula with Open ClusterSagittariusM16_M17...Finder_Chart.pdf 
M18Open ClusterSagittariusM16_M17...Finder_Chart.pdf
M8_M20...Finder_Chart.pdf
M19Globular ClusterOphiuchusM4_M19_M62_M80_Finder_Chart.pdf
M6_M7_Finder_Chart.pdf
M9_Finder_Chart.pdf
M107_Finder_Chart.pdf
M20Trifid Nebula (Nebula)SagittariusM8_M20...Finder_Chart.pdf
M9_Finder_Chart.pdf
M16_M17...Finder_Chart.pdf
M21Open ClusterSagittariusM8_M20...Finder_Chart.pdf
M9_Finder_Chart.pdf
M16_M17...Finder_Chart.pdf
M22Sagittarius Cluster (Globular Cluster)SagittariusM8_M20...Finder_Chart.pdf
M16_M17...Finder_Chart.pdf
M55_M75_Finder_Chart.pdf
M23Open ClusterSagittariusM16_M17...Finder_Chart.pdf
M8_M20...Finder_Chart.pdf
M9_Finder_Chart.pdf
M24Star CloudSagittariusM16_M17...Finder_Chart.pdf
M8_M20...Finder_Chart.pdf
M25Open ClusterSagittariusM16_M17...Finder_Chart.pdf
M55_M75_Finder_Chart.pdf
M26Open ClusterScutumM11_M26_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M27Dumbbell Nebula (Planetary Nebula)VulpeculaM27_M71_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M28Globular ClusterSagittariusM8_M20...Finder_Chart.pdf
M6_M7_Finder_Chart.pdf
M16_M17...Finder_Chart.pdf
M55_M75_Finder_Chart.pdf
M29Open ClusterCygnusM29_M56_M57_Finder_Chart.pdf
M39_Finder_Chart.pdf
M30Globular ClusterCapricornusM30_M72_M73_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M31Andromeda Galaxy (Spiral Galaxy)AndromedaM31_M32_M33_M110_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M32Dwarf Elliptical GalaxyAndromedaM31_M32_M33_M110_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M33Triangulum Galaxy (Spiral Galaxy)TriangulumM31_M32_M33_M110_Finder_Chart.pdf
M74_Finder_Chart.pdf
M34Open ClusterPerseusM34_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M35Open ClusterGeminiM35_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M36Open ClusterAurigaM36_M37_M38_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M37Open ClusterAurigaM36_M37_M38_Finder_Chart.pdf
M35_Finder_Chart.pdf
M38Open ClusterAurigaM36_M37_M38_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M39Open ClusterCygnusM39_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M40Double StarUrsa MajorM40_M97_M108_M109_Finder_Chart.pdf
M81_M82_Finder_Chart.pdf
M41Open ClusterCanis MajorM41_M46_M47_M93_Finder_Chart.pdf
M79_Finder_Chart.pdf
M42The Great Orion Nebula (Nebula)OrionM42_M43_M78_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M43De Mairan's Nebula (Nebula)OrionM42_M43_M78_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M44The Praesepe (Open Cluster)CancerM44_Finder_Chart.pdf
M67_Finder_Chart.pdf
M45Pleiades (Open Cluster)TaurusM45_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M46Open ClusterPuppisM41_M46_M47_M93_Finder_Chart.pdf
M50_Finder_Chart.pdf
M47Open ClusterPuppisM41_M46_M47_M93_Finder_Chart.pdf
M50_Finder_Chart.pdf
M48Open ClusterHydraM48_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M49Elliptical GalaxyVirgoM_Virgo_Finder_Chart.pdf
M61_Finder_Chart.pdf
M50Open ClusterMonoceros M50_Finder_Chart.pdf
M48_Finder_Chart.pdf
M51The Whirlpool Galaxy (Spiral Galaxy)Canes VenaticiM51_M63...Finder_Chart.pdf
M40_M97...Finder_Chart.pdf
M102_Finder_Chart.pdf
M52Open ClusterCassiopeiaM52_M103_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M53Globular ClusterComa BerenicesM3_M53_M64_Finder_Chart.pdf
M_Virgo_Finder_Chart.pdf
M54Globular ClusterSagittariusM8_M20...Finder_Chart.pdf
M55_M75_Finder_Chart.pdf
M55Globular ClusterSagittariusM55_M75_Finder_Chart.pdf
M8_M20...Finder_Chart.pdf
M56Globular ClusterLyraM29_M56_M57_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M57Ring Nebula (Planetary Nebula)LyraM29_M56_M57_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M58Barred Spiral GalaxyVirgoM_Virgo_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M59Elliptical GalaxyVirgoM_Virgo_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M60Elliptical GalaxyVirgoM_Virgo_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M61Barred Spiral GalaxyVirgoM61_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M62Globular ClusterOphiuchusM4_M19_M62_M80_Finder_Chart.pdf
M6_M7_Finder_Chart.pdf
M63The Sunflower Galaxy (Spiral Galaxy)Canes VenaticiM51_M63...Finder_Chart.pdf
 
M64Black Eye Galaxy (Spiral Galaxy)Coma BerenicesM3_M53_M64_Finder_Chart.pdf
M_Virgo_Finder_Chart.pdf
M65Spiral GalaxyLeoM65_M66...Finder_Chart.pdf
M_Virgo_Finder_Chart.pdf
M66Intermediate Spiral GalaxyLeoM65_M66...Finder_Chart.pdf
M_Virgo_Finder_Chart.pdf
M67Open ClusterCancerM67_Finder_Chart.pdf
M44_Finder_Chart.pdf
M68Globular ClusterHydraM68_M83_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M69Globular ClusterSagittariusM8_M20...Finder_Chart.pdf
M6_M7_Finder_Chart.pdf
M55_M75_Finder_Chart.pdf
M70Globular ClusterSagittariusM8_M20...Finder_Chart.pdf
M55_M75_Finder_Chart.pdf
M71Globular ClusterSagitta M27_M71_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M72Globular ClusterAquariusM30_M72_M73_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M73AsterismAquariusM30_M72_M73_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M74Spiral GalaxyPiscesM74_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M75Globular ClusterSagittariusM55_M75_Finder_Chart.pdf
M30_M72_M73_Finder_Chart.pdf
M76Little Dumbbell Nebula (Planetary Nebula)PerseusM76_Finder_Chart.pdf
M34_Finder_Chart.pdf
M52_M103_Finder_Chart.pdf
M77Barred Spiral GalaxyCetusM77_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M78Reflection NebulaOrionM42_M43_M78_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M79Globular ClusterLepusM79_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M80Globular ClusterScorpiusM4_M19_M62_M80_Finder_Chart.pdf
M9_Finder_Chart.pdf
M107_Finder_Chart.pdf
M81Bode's Galaxy (Spiral Galaxy)Ursa MajorM81_M82_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M82Cigar Galaxy (Starburst Galaxy)Ursa MajorM81_M82_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M83Southern Pinwheel Galaxy (Barred Spiral Galaxy)HydraM68_M83_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M84Lenticular Galaxy or Elliptical GalaxyVirgoM_Virgo_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M85Lenticular Galaxy or Elliptical GalaxyComa BerenicesM_Virgo_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M86Lenticular Galaxy or Elliptical GalaxyVirgoM_Virgo_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M87Elliptical GalaxyVirgoM_Virgo_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M88Spiral GalaxyComa BerenicesM_Virgo_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M89Elliptical GalaxyVirgoM_Virgo_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M90Spiral GalaxyVirgoM_Virgo_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M91Barred Spiral GalaxyComa BerenicesM_Virgo_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M92Globular ClusterHerculesM13_M92_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M93Open ClusterPuppisM41_M46_M47_M93_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M94Cats Eye Galaxy (Spiral Galaxy)Canes VenaticiM51_M63...Finder_Chart.pdf 
M95Barred Spiral GalaxyLeoM65_M66...Finder_Chart.pdf 
M96Intermediate Spiral GalaxyLeoM65_M66...Finder_Chart.pdf 
M97Owl Nebula (Planetary Nebula)Ursa MajorM40_M97_M108_M109_Finder_Chart.pdf
M81_M82_Finder_Chart.pdf
M98Spiral GalaxyComa BerenicesM_Virgo_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M99Spiral GalaxyComa BerenicesM_Virgo_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M100Spiral GalaxyComa BerenicesM_Virgo_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M101Pinwheel Galaxy (Spiral Galaxy)Ursa MajorM51_M63...Finder_Chart.pdf
M40_M97...Finder_Chart.pdf
M102_Finder_Chart.pdf
M102Lenticular GalaxyDracoM102_Finder_Chart.pdf 
M103Open ClusterCassiopeiaM52_M103_Finder_Chart.pdf
M76_Finder_Chart.pdf
M104Sombrero Galaxy (Spiral Galaxy)VirgoM104_Finder_Chart.pdf
M61_Finder_Chart.pdf
M105Elliptical GalaxyLeoM65_M66...Finder_Chart.pdf 
M106Spiral GalaxyCanes VenaticiM51_M63...Finder_Chart.pdf
M40_M97...Finder_Chart.pdf
M107Globular ClusterOphiuchusM107_Finder_Chart.pdf
M9_Finder_Chart.pdf
M108Barred Spiral GalaxyUrsa MajorM40_M97_M108_M109_Finder_Chart.pdf
M81_M82_Finder_Chart.pdf
M109Barred Spiral GalaxyUrsa MajorM40_M97_M108_M109_Finder_Chart.pdf
M51_M63...Finder_Chart.pdf
M81_M82_Finder_Chart.pdf
M110Dwarf Elliptical GalaxyAndromedaM31_M32_M33_M110_Finder_Chart.pdf 

Sky Highlights - February 2017

Comets
Comet Encke (2P/Encke) now visible in the western sky during evening twilight
Now is the last good chance to see comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova before it dramatically fades

Conjunction
Mars passes less than 1 degree north of Uranus on February 27th

Minor Planet
Vesta now visible with binoculars and small telescopes.

The Planets
This Month's Guide

Algol Minima
Algol eclipse dates and times for February 2017

Northern Hemisphere
Evening
Southwest:- Venus (mag. -4.8), Mars (mag. +1.1 to +1.3), Uranus (mag. +5.9)
Midnight
East:- Jupiter (mag. -2.1 to -2.3)
Morning
South:- Jupiter
Southeast:- Saturn (mag. +0.6)

Southern Hemisphere
Evening
West:- Venus, Mars, Uranus
Midnight
East:- Jupiter
Morning
North:- Jupiter
East:- Saturn, Mercury (mag. -0.2 - first half of month)

Deep Sky
Naked eye / binoculars:-
Messier 45 - M45 - The Pleiades (Open Cluster)
The Hyades - Open Cluster
Messier 44 - M44 - The Praesepe (Open Cluster)
Messier 35 - M35 - Open Cluster
Messier 42 - M42 - The Great Orion Nebula (Emission/Reflection)

Small telescopes:-
Messier 36 - M36 - Open Cluster
Messier 37 - M37 - Open Cluster
Messier 38 - M38 - Open Cluster

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