Charles Messier (June 26, 1730 - April 12, 1817)
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 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
Catalog of Nebulae and Star Clusters
Scans of the original Messier Catalog
of 1781 - obtained from the copy of the Bureau des Longitudes, Paris.
Messier's Deepsky Observations
Messier's Comets - his personal
"Notes on My Comets"
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,
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.
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.
Last Modification: September 23, 2007