We’ve started a new project! ASE members are are going to try capturing all of the objects in the Messier Catalogue and gather them on our website.

The Messier catalogue is a list of 110 objects created by French astronomer Charles Messier in his Catalogue des Nébuleuses et des Amas d’Étoiles in the 18th Century. They are well known by amateur astronomers and are some of the most interesting objects in the sky. Ironically, Messier himself wasn’t interested in them but in observing and discovering comets. He created the catalogue as objects to avoid in case he thought they were actually comets.

It consists of 110 star clusters, nebulae and galaxies. Not all of them are easily visible from Edinburgh, being too far south. The objects in constellations such as Puppis, Scorpius and Sagittarius will be challenging and may require members to travel further south to capture them.

We could fill in many of the objects from existing images but we plan to capture them as a collaborative project going forward. We already have a few images on the page to show how it might look. One image will be shown for each object on the main page but clicking on an image will show all images taken by ASE members.

Access the ASE Messier page from the link under the Imaging & Observing Group menu item.

Image credits:
M33 Ian Smith

Charles Messier public domain