Messier Catalog

πŸ”½ Description

The Messier Catalog dates to the 18th century when French astronomer Charles Messier set out to create a "Catalog of Nebulae and Star Clusters." Interestingly enough, his motivation wasn't to discover deep sky objects. Charles was a devoted comet hunter and wanted to be sure other astronomers didn't waste their time on these "distractions." The catalog features 110 objects ranging from nebulae, galaxies, and star clusters to rich star fields and asterisms. My goal is to observe every target in the catalog. Use this grid to explore the catalog. Click colum headings to sort. The season is the best time of year to observe the target and the difficulty describes how easy targets are to view with binoculars.

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Target Name Type Constellation R.A. Dec. Mag. Size Distance Season Difficulty
M1 Supernova Remnant Taurus 5h 34.5m 22Β°1  8.4  6.0x4.0 6,300 L.Y. ❄  Winter 🟑  Moderate
M10
❌
Globular Cluster Ophiucus 16h 57.1m -4Β°6  6.6  15.1 14,400 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟑  Moderate
M100 Spiral Galaxy Coma Berenices 12h 22.9m 15Β°49  9.3  7x6 60,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring β›”  Very Hard
M101 Spiral Galaxy Ursa Major 14h 3.2m 54Β°21  7.9  22 27,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring β›”  Very Hard
M102 Lenticular (S0) Galaxy Draco 15h 6.5m 55Β°46  9.9  5.2x2.3 40,000,000 L.Y. β˜€  Summer πŸ”΄  Hard
M103 Open Cluster Cassiopeia 1h 33.2m 60Β°42  7.4  6 8,000 L.Y. πŸ‚  Autumn 🟒  Easy
M104 Spiral Galaxy Virgo 12h 40m -11Β°37  8  9x4 50,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring 🟒  Easy
M105
❌
Elliptical Galaxy Leo 10h 47.8m 12Β°35  9.3  2 38,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring 🟑  Moderate
M106
❌
Spiral Galaxy Canes Venatici 12h 19m 47Β°18  8.4  19x8 25,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring πŸ”΄  Hard
M107
❌
Globular Cluster Ophiucus 16h 32.5m -13Β°3  7.9  10 19,600 L.Y. β˜€  Summer πŸ”΄  Hard
M108
❌
Spiral Galaxy Ursa Major 11h 11.5m 55Β°40  10  8x1 45,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring πŸ”΄  Hard
M109
❌
Spiral Galaxy Ursa Major 11h 57.6m 53Β°23  9.8  7x4 55,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring πŸ”΄  Hard
M11 Open Cluster Scutum 18h 51.1m -6Β°16  6.3  14 6,000 L.Y. β˜€  Summer βœ…  Very Easy
M110 Elliptical Galaxy Andromeda 0h 40.4m 41Β°41  8.5  17x10 2,900,000 L.Y. πŸ‚  Autumn πŸ”΄  Hard
M12
❌
Globular Cluster Ophiucus 16h 47.2m -1Β°57  6.7  14.5 16,000 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟑  Moderate
M13 Globular Cluster Hercules 16h 41.7m 36Β°28  5.8  16.6 22,800 L.Y. β˜€  Summer βœ…  Very Easy
M14
❌
Globular Cluster Ophiucus 17h 37.6m -3Β°15  7.6  11.7 27,400 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟑  Moderate
M15 Globular Cluster Pegasus 21h 30m 12Β°10  6.2  12.3 33,600 L.Y. πŸ‚  Autumn 🟒  Easy
M16 Open Cluster Serpens Claudia 18h 18.8m -13Β°47  6.4  7 7,000 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟒  Easy
M17 Diffuse Nebula Sagittarius 18h 20.8m -16Β°11  7  11 5,000 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟒  Easy
M18
❌
Open Cluster Sagittarius 18h 19.9m -17Β°8  7.5  9 4,900 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟑  Moderate
M19
❌
Globular Cluster Ophiucus 17h 2.6m -26Β°16  6.8  13.5 27,100 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟑  Moderate
M2 Globular Cluster Aquarius 21h 33.5m -0Β°49  6.5  12.9 37,500 L.Y. πŸ‚  Autumn 🟒  Easy
M20 Diffuse Nebula Sagittarius 18h 2.3m -23Β°2  9  28 5,200 L.Y. β˜€  Summer β›”  Very Hard
M21 Open Cluster Sagittarius 18h 4.6m -22Β°30  6.5  13 4,250 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟑  Moderate
M22
❌
Globular Cluster Sagittarius 18h 36.4m -23Β°54  5.1  24 10,100 L.Y. β˜€  Summer βœ…  Very Easy
M23
❌
Open Cluster Sagittarius 17h 56.8m -19Β°1  6.9  27 2,150 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟒  Easy
M24 Star Cloud Sagittarius 18h 18.4m -18Β°25  4.6  90 10,000 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟑  Moderate
M25
❌
Open Cluster Sagittarius 18h 31.7m -19Β°14  6.5  40 2,000 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟒  Easy
M26
❌
Open Cluster Scutum 18h 45.2m -9Β°24  8  15 5,000 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟑  Moderate
M27 Planetary Nebula Vulpecula 19h 59.6m 22Β°43  7.4  8.0x5.7 1,250 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟒  Easy
M28
❌
Globular Cluster Sagittarius 18h 24.5m -24Β°52  6.8  11.2 17,900 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟒  Easy
M29 Open Cluster Cygnus 20h 23.9m 38Β°32  7.1  7 4,000 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟒  Easy
M3 Globular Cluster Canes Venatici 13h 42.2m 28Β°23  6.2  16.2 33,900 L.Y. 🌼  Spring 🟒  Easy
M30
❌
Globular Cluster Capricornus 21h 40.4m -23Β°11  7.2  11 24,800 L.Y. πŸ‚  Autumn 🟒  Easy
M31 Spiral Galaxy Andromeda 0h 42.7m 41Β°16  3.4  178x63 2,900,000 L.Y. πŸ‚  Autumn 🟒  Easy
M32 Elliptical Galaxy Andromeda 0h 42.7m 40Β°52  8.1  8x6 2,900,000 L.Y. πŸ‚  Autumn 🟒  Easy
M33 Spiral Galaxy Triangulum 1h 33.9m 30Β°39  5.7  73x45 3,000,000 L.Y. πŸ‚  Autumn πŸ”΄  Hard
M34
❌
Open Cluster Perseus 2h 42m 42Β°47  5.5  35 1,400 L.Y. πŸ‚  Autumn 🟒  Easy
M35
❌
Open Cluster Gemini 6h 8.9m 24Β°20  5.3  28 2,800 L.Y. ❄  Winter βœ…  Very Easy
M36 Open Cluster Auriga 5h 36.1m 34Β°8  6.3  12 4,100 L.Y. ❄  Winter 🟒  Easy
M37 Open Cluster Auriga 5h 52.4m 32Β°33  6.2  24 4,400 L.Y. ❄  Winter 🟒  Easy
M38 Open Cluster Auriga 5h 28.7m 35Β°50  7.4  21 4,200 L.Y. ❄  Winter 🟒  Easy
M39 Open Cluster Cygnus 21h 32.2m 48Β°26  5.2  32 825 L.Y. πŸ‚  Autumn 🟒  Easy
M4
❌
Globular Cluster Scorpius 16h 23.6m -26Β°32  5.6  26.3 7,200 L.Y. β˜€  Summer πŸ”΄  Hard
M40 Double Star Ursa Major 12h 22.2m 58Β°5  9.3  49 510 L.Y. 🌼  Spring 🟒  Easy
M41
❌
Open Cluster Canis Major 6h 47m -20Β°44  4.6  38 2,300 L.Y. ❄  Winter 🟒  Easy
M42 Diffuse Nebula Orion 5h 35.4m -5Β°27  4  85x60 1,600 L.Y. ❄  Winter βœ…  Very Easy
M43 Diffuse Nebula Orion 5h 35.6m -5Β°16  9  20x15 1,600 L.Y. ❄  Winter 🟒  Easy
M44 Open Cluster Cancer 8h 40.1m 19Β°59  3.7  95 577 L.Y. ❄  Winter 🟒  Easy
M45 Open Cluster Taurus 3h 47m 24Β°7.2  1.6  110 380 L.Y. ❄  Winter βœ…  Very Easy
M46
❌
Open Cluster Puppis 7h 41.8m -14Β°49  6  27 5,400 L.Y. ❄  Winter 🟒  Easy
M47 Open Cluster Puppis 7h 36.6m -14Β°30  5.2  30 1,600 L.Y. ❄  Winter 🟒  Easy
M48
❌
Open Cluster Hydra 8h 13.8m -5Β°48  5.5  54 1,500 L.Y. ❄  Winter 🟒  Easy
M49
❌
Elliptical Galaxy Virgo 12h 29.8m 8Β°0  8.4  9x7.5 60,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring 🟑  Moderate
M5 Globular Cluster Serpens Caput 15h 18.6m 2Β°5  5.6  17.4 24,500 L.Y. β˜€  Summer βœ…  Very Easy
M50
❌
Open Cluster Monocerus 7h 3.2m -8Β°20  6.3  16 3,000 L.Y. ❄  Winter 🟒  Easy
M51 Spiral Galaxy Canes Venatici 13h 29.9m 47Β°12  8.4  11x7 37,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring 🟑  Moderate
M52
❌
Open Cluster Cassiopeia 23h 24.2m 61Β°35  7.3  13 5,000 L.Y. πŸ‚  Autumn 🟒  Easy
M53 Globular Cluster Coma Berenices 13h 12.9m 18Β°10  7.6  12.6 56,400 L.Y. 🌼  Spring 🟒  Easy
M54
❌
Globular Cluster Sagittarius 18h 55.1m -30Β°29  7.6  9.1 82,800 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟑  Moderate
M55
❌
Globular Cluster Sagittarius 19h 40m -30Β°58  6.3  19 16,600 L.Y. β˜€  Summer πŸ”΄  Hard
M56
❌
Globular Cluster Lyra 19h 16.6m 30Β°11  8.3  7.1 31,600 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟑  Moderate
M57 Planetary Nebula Lyra 18h 53.6m 33Β°2  8.8  1.4x1 4,100 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟒  Easy
M58
❌
Spiral Galaxy Virgo 12h 37.7m 11Β°49  9.7  5.5x4.5 60,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring 🟑  Moderate
M59
❌
Elliptical Galaxy Virgo 12h 42m 11Β°39  9.6  5x3.5 60,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring πŸ”΄  Hard
M6 Open Cluster Scorpius 17h 40.1m -32Β°13  5.3  25 2,000 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟒  Easy
M60
❌
Elliptical Galaxy Virgo 12h 43.7m 11Β°33  8.8  7x6 60,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring 🟑  Moderate
M61
❌
Spiral Galaxy Virgo 12h 21.9m 4Β°28  9.7  6x5.5 60,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring πŸ”΄  Hard
M62
❌
Globular Cluster Ophiucus 17h 1.2m -30Β°7  6.5  14.1 21,500 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟑  Moderate
M63 Spiral Galaxy Canes Venatici 13h 15.8m 42Β°2  8.6  10x6 37,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring 🟑  Moderate
M64 Spiral Galaxy Coma Berenices 12h 56.7m 21Β°41  8.5  9.3x5.4 19,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring 🟑  Moderate
M65 Spiral Galaxy Leo 11h 18.9m 13Β°5  9.3  8x1.5 35,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring 🟑  Moderate
M66 Spiral Galaxy Leo 11h 20.2m 12Β°59  8.9  8x2.5 35,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring 🟒  Easy
M67
❌
Open Cluster Cancer 8h 50.4m 11Β°49  6.1  30 2,700 L.Y. ❄  Winter 🟒  Easy
M68
❌
Globular Cluster Hydra 12h 39.5m -26Β°45  7.8  12 33,300 L.Y. 🌼  Spring β›”  Very Hard
M69
❌
Globular Cluster Sagittarius 18h 31.4m -32Β°21  7.6  7.1 26,700 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟑  Moderate
M7 Open Cluster Scorpius 17h 53.9m -34Β°49  4.1  80 800 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟒  Easy
M70
❌
Globular Cluster Sagittarius 18h 43.2m -32Β°18  7.9  7.8 28,000 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟑  Moderate
M71 Globular Cluster Sagitta 19h 53.8m 18Β°47  8.3  7.2 11,700 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟑  Moderate
M72
❌
Globular Cluster Aquarius 20h 53.5m -12Β°32  9.3  5.9 52,800 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟑  Moderate
M73 Group/Asterism Aquarius 20h 59m -12Β°38  9  2.8 2,000 L.Y. β˜€  Summer πŸ”΄  Hard
M74
❌
Spiral Galaxy Pisces 1h 36.7m 15Β°47  9.4  10.2x9.5 35,000,000 L.Y. πŸ‚  Autumn β›”  Very Hard
M75
❌
Globular Cluster Sagittarius 20h 6.1m -21Β°55  8.5  6 57,700 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟑  Moderate
M76 Planetary Nebula Perseus 1h 42.3m 51Β°34  10.1  2.7x1.8 3,400 L.Y. πŸ‚  Autumn 🟑  Moderate
M77 Spiral Galaxy Cetus 2h 42.7m 0Β°1  8.9  7x6 60,000,000 L.Y. πŸ‚  Autumn 🟑  Moderate
M78
❌
Diffuse Nebula Orion 5h 46.7m 0Β°3  8.3  8x6 1,600 L.Y. ❄  Winter 🟑  Moderate
M79
❌
Globular Cluster Lepus 5h 24.5m -24Β°33  7.7  8.7 41,100 L.Y. ❄  Winter 🟑  Moderate
M8 Diffuse Nebula Sagittarius 18h 3.8m -24Β°23  6  90x40 5,200 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟑  Moderate
M80
❌
Globular Cluster Scorpius 16h 17m -22Β°59  7.3  8.9 27,400 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟒  Easy
M81 Spiral Galaxy Ursa Major 9h 55.6m 69Β°4  6.9  21x10 12,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring 🟒  Easy
M82 Irregular Galaxy Ursa Major 9h 55.8m 69Β°41  8.4  9.x4 12,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring 🟒  Easy
M83 Spiral Galaxy Hydra 13h 37m -29Β°52  7.6  11x10 15,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring πŸ”΄  Hard
M84 Lenticular (S0) Galaxy Virgo 12h 25.1m 12Β°53  9.1  5 60,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring 🟑  Moderate
M85
❌
Lenticular (S0) Galaxy Coma Berenices 12h 25.4m 18Β°11  9.1  7.1x5.2 60,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring 🟑  Moderate
M86 Lenticular (S0) Galaxy Virgo 12h 26.2m 12Β°57  8.9  7.5x5.5 60,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring 🟑  Moderate
M87 Elliptical Galaxy Virgo 12h 30.8m 12Β°24  8.6  7 60,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring 🟑  Moderate
M88
❌
Spiral Galaxy Coma Berenices 12h 32m 14Β°25  9.6  7x4 60,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring 🟑  Moderate
M89 Elliptical Galaxy Virgo 12h 35.7m 12Β°33  9.8  4 60,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring 🟑  Moderate
M9
❌
Globular Cluster Ophiucus 17h 19.2m -18Β°31  7.7  9.3 26,700 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟑  Moderate
M90 Spiral Galaxy Virgo 12h 36.8m 13Β°10  9.5  9.5x4.5 60,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring πŸ”΄  Hard
M91
❌
Spiral Galaxy Coma Berenices 12h 35.4m 14Β°30  10.2  5.4x4.4 60,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring β›”  Very Hard
M92
❌
Globular Cluster Hercules 17h 17.1m 43Β°8  6.4  11.2 26,400 L.Y. β˜€  Summer 🟒  Easy
M93
❌
Open Cluster Puppis 7h 44.6m -23Β°52  6  22 3,600 L.Y. ❄  Winter 🟒  Easy
M94
❌
Spiral Galaxy Canes Venatici 12h 50.9m 41Β°7  8.2  7x3 14,500,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring 🟑  Moderate
M95 Spiral Galaxy Leo 10h 44m 11Β°42  9.7  4.4x3.3 38,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring πŸ”΄  Hard
M96
❌
Spiral Galaxy Leo 10h 46.8m 11Β°49  9.2  6x4 38,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring 🟑  Moderate
M97 Planetary Nebula Ursa Major 11h 14.8m 55Β°1  9.9  3.4x3.3 2,600 L.Y. 🌼  Spring β›”  Very Hard
M98
❌
Spiral Galaxy Coma Berenices 12h 13.8m 14Β°54  10.1  9.5x3.2 60,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring β›”  Very Hard
M99
❌
Spiral Galaxy Coma Berenices 12h 18.8m 14Β°25  9.9  5.4x4.8 60,000,000 L.Y. 🌼  Spring πŸ”΄  Hard