Messier catalog

a catalog of nonstellar objects compiled by Charles Messier in 1784 and later slightly extended, now known to contain nebulae, galaxies, and star clusters.

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List of about 109 star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies compiled by the French astronomer Charles Messier (1730–1817), who discovered many of them.

Still a valuable guide to amateur astronomers, it was superseded by the New General Catalogue (NGC); both NGC and M reference numbers remain in common use.

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      (M), in astronomy, list of 110 star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies compiled by Charles Messier (Messier, Charles), who discovered many of them. The catalog is still a valuable guide to amateur astronomers, although it has been superceded by the New General Catalogue (NGC (New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars)); both NGC numbers and Messier numbers remain in common use. The Messier catalog includes such diverse objects as the Crab Nebula supernova remnant (M1), the Pleiades star cluster (M45), and the great spiral galaxy in Andromeda (M31). Messier's purpose was to make comet hunting easier by tabulating permanent deep-sky objects that could be mistaken for comets. He published a preliminary list of 45 such objects in 1771 and compiled the bulk of his catalog 10 years later. By 1784 he had listed 103 objects; in 1783 his friend and collaborator Pierre Méchain (Mechain, Pierre) added six more. In 1966 British amateur astronomer Kenneth Glyn Jones added a satellite galaxy of M31 that Messier had discovered but not included in his catalog.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Messier catalog — [mes′ē ā΄] n. [after MESSIER Charles] Astron. a listing of 109 galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae: often called Messier s catalog …   English World dictionary

  • Messier catalog — Mes′sier cat′alog [[t]ˈmɛs iˌeɪ, mɛsˈyeɪ[/t]] n. astron. a catalog of nonstellar objects that lists nebulae, galaxies, and star clusters • Etymology: after Charles Messier (1730–1817), French astronomer, who compiled it in 1784 …   From formal English to slang

  • Messier catalog — Astron. a catalog of nonstellar objects compiled by Charles Messier in 1784 and later slightly extended, now known to contain nebulae, galaxies, and star clusters …   Useful english dictionary

  • Messier catalog — noun alternative spelling of Messier catalogue …   Wiktionary

  • Messier 102 — (also known as M102) is a galaxy listed in the Messier Catalogue that has not been identified unambiguously. Its original discoverer Pierre Méchain later said that it was a duplicate observation of Messier 101,[1] but there are historical and… …   Wikipedia

  • Messier 25 — Sketch of the cluster Observation data (J2000.0 epoch) Right ascension 18h 31.6m …   Wikipedia

  • Messier object — The Messier objects are a set of astronomical objects first listed by French astronomer Charles Messier in 1771.[1] The original motivation of the catalogue was that Messier was a comet hunter, and was frustrated by objects which resembled but… …   Wikipedia

  • Messier 58 — For the motorway, see M58 motorway. Messier 58 An infrared image of M58 taken by the Spitzer Space Telescope (SST). Credit: SST/NASA/JPL. Observation data (J2000 epoch) …   Wikipedia

  • Messier, Charles — ▪ French astronomer born June 26, 1730, Badonviller, France died April 12, 1817, Paris       French astronomer who was the first to compile a systematic catalog of nebulae (nebula) and star clusters. In Messier s (Messier catalog) time a nebula… …   Universalium

  • Messier-Katalog — Der Messier Katalog ist eine Auflistung von 110 astronomischen Objekten, hauptsächlich Galaxien, Sternhaufen und Nebel. Die Objekte des Katalogs wurden zwischen 1764 und 1782 von dem französischen Astronomen Charles Messier zusammengestellt, nach …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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