Messier Catalogue

The night will never stay,
The night will still go by,
Though with a million stars
You pin it to the sky…
— Eleanor Farjeon, "The Night Will Never Stay", 1951

Charles Messier (1730–1817) was an avid comet hunter. Unfortunately, he kept coming across fuzzy-looking objects in his telescope that could easily fool the unwary, so he began to compile a list of these objects which eventually became known as the Messier Catalogue. Ironically, Charles Messier is now more famous for his list of galaxies, nebulae and clusters than he is for his comet discoveries.

A complement to the Messier Catalogue is the Caldwell Catalogue which includes many more bright deep sky objects from both hemispheres.

Catalogue Number(s) Popular Name Constellation Description
M1 NGC 1952 Crab Nebula Taurus supernova remnant
M2 NGC 7089 Mel 235 Aquarius globular cluster
M3 NGC 5272 Mel 119 Canes Venatici globular cluster
M4 NGC 6121 Mel 144 Scorpius globular cluster
M5 NGC 5904 Mel 133 Serpens globular cluster
M6 NGC 6405 Cr 341 Mel 178 Butterfly Cluster Scorpius open cluster
M7 NGC 6475 Cr 354 Mel 183 Ptolemy's Cluster Scorpius open cluster
M8 NGC 6523 Lagoon Nebula Sagittarius emission nebula
M9 NGC 6333 Mel 167 Ophiuchus globular cluster
M10 NGC 6254 Mel 157 Ophiuchus globular cluster
M11 NGC 6705 Cr 391 Mel 213 Wild Duck Cluster Scutum open cluster
M12 NGC 6218 Mel 151 Ophiuchus globular cluster
M13 NGC 6205 Mel 150 Great Globular Cluster Hercules globular cluster
M14 NGC 6402 Mel 175 Ophiuchus globular cluster
M15 NGC 7078 Mel 234 Pegasus globular cluster
M16 NGC 6611 Cr 375 Mel 198 Eagle Nebula Serpens emission nebula and open cluster
M17 NGC 6618 Horseshoe Nebula, Ω Nebula, Swan Nebula Sagittarius emission nebula
M18 NGC 6613 Cr 376 Sagittarius open cluster
M19 NGC 6273 Mel 160 Ophiuchus globular cluster
M20 NGC 6514 Triffid Nebula Sagittarius nebula
M21 NGC 6531 Cr 363 Mel 188 Sagittarius open cluster
M22 NGC 6656 Mel 208 Sagittarius globular cluster
M23 NGC 6494 Cr 356 Mel 184 Sagittarius open cluster
M24 IC 4715 part of the Milky Way Sagittarius star cloud
M25 IC 4725 Cr 382 Mel 204 Sagittarius open cluster
M26 NGC 6694 Cr 389 Mel 212 Scutum open cluster
M27 NGC 6853 Dumbbell Nebula Vulpecula planetary nebula
M28 NGC 6626 Mel 200 Sagittarius globular cluster
M29 NGC 6913 Cr 422 Cygnus open cluster
M30 NGC 7099 Mel 237 Capricornus globular cluster
M31 NGC 224 Andromeda Galaxy Andromeda spiral galaxy
M32 NGC 221 Andromeda elliptical galaxy
M33 NGC 598 Triangulum Galaxy Triangulum spiral galaxy
M34 NGC 1039 Cr 31 Mel 17 Perseus open cluster
M35 NGC 2168 Cr 82 Mel 41 Gemini open cluster
M36 NGC 1960 Cr 71 Mel 37 Auriga open cluster
M37 NGC 2099 Cr 75 Mel 38 Auriga open cluster
M38 NGC 1912 Cr 67 Mel 36 Auriga open cluster
M39 NGC 7092 Cr 438 Mel 236 Cygnus open cluster
M40 Winnecke 4 Ursa Major binary star
M41 NGC 2287 Cr 118 Mel 41 Canis Major open cluster
M42 NGC 1976 Great Orion Nebula Orion diffuse nebula
M43 NGC 1982 part of the Orion Nebula Orion emission nebula
M44 NGC 2632 Cr 189 Mel 88 Beehive Cluster, Praesepe Cancer open cluster
M45 Cr 42 Mel 22 Pleiades Taurus open cluster
M46 NGC 2437 Cr 159 Mel 75 Puppis open cluster
M47 NGC 2422 Cr 152 Mel 68 Puppis open cluster
M48 NGC 2548 Cr 179 Mel 85 Hydra open cluster
M49 NGC 4472 Virgo elliptical galaxy
M50 NGC 2323 Cr 124 Mel 58 Monoceros open cluster
M51 NGC 5194 Whirlpool Galaxy Canes Venatici spiral galaxy
M52 NGC 7654 Cr 455 Mel 243 Cassiopeia open cluster
M53 NGC 5024 Mel 117 Coma Berenices globular cluster
M54 NGC 6715 Mel 216 Sagittarius globular cluster
M55 NGC 6809 Mel 221 Sagittarius globular cluster
M56 NGC 6779 Mel 220 Lyra globular cluster
M57 NGC 6720 Ring Nebula Lyra planetary nebula
M58 NGC 4579 Virgo barred spiral galaxy
M59 NGC 4621 Virgo elliptical galaxy
M60 NGC 4649 Virgo elliptical galaxy
M61 NGC 4303 Virgo spiral galaxy
M62 NGC 6266 Mel 159 Ophiuchus globular cluster
M63 NGC 5055 Sunflower Galaxy Canes Venatici spiral galaxy
M64 NGC 4826 Blackeye Galaxy Coma Berenices spiral galaxy
M65 NGC 3623 Leo spiral galaxy
M66 NGC 3627 Leo spiral galaxy
M67 NGC 2682 Cr 204 Mel 94 Cancer open cluster
M68 NGC 4590 Mel 113 Hydra globular cluster
M69 NGC 6637 Mel 202 Sagittarius globular cluster
M70 NGC 6681 Mel 211 Sagittarius globular cluster
M71 NGC 6838 Mel 226 Sagitta globular cluster
M72 NGC 6981 Mel 233 Aquarius globular cluster
M73 NGC 6994 Cr 426 Aquarius asterism of four stars
M74 NGC 628 Pisces spiral galaxy
M75 NGC 6864 Mel 228 Sagittarius globular cluster
M76 NGC 651 Butterfly Nebula, Little Dumbbell Nebula Perseus planetary nebula
M77 NGC 1068 Cetus spiral galaxy
M78 NGC 2068 Orion diffuse nebula
M79 NGC 1904 Mel 79 Lepus globular cluster
M80 NGC 6093 Mel 142 Scorpius globular cluster
M81 NGC 3031 Bode's Galaxy Ursa Major spiral galaxy
M82 NGC 3034 Cigar Galaxy Ursa Major irregular galaxy
M83 NGC 5236 Southern Pinwheel Galaxy Hydra barred spiral galaxy
M84 NGC 4374 Virgo lenticular galaxy
M85 NGC 4382 Coma Berenices lenticular galaxy
M86 NGC 4406 Virgo lenticular galaxy
M87 NGC 4486 Virgo A Virgo elliptical galaxy
M88 NGC 4501 Coma Berenices spiral galaxy
M89 NGC 4552 Virgo elliptical galaxy
M90 NGC 4569 Virgo spiral galaxy
M91 NGC 4548 Coma Berenices barred spiral galaxy
M92 NGC 6341 Mel 168 Hercules globular cluster
M93 NGC 2447 Cr 160 Mel 76 Puppis open cluster
M94 NGC 4736 Canes Venatici spiral galaxy
M95 NGC 3351 Leo barred spiral galaxy
M96 NGC 3368 Leo spiral galaxy
M97 NGC 3587 Owl Nebula Ursa Major planetary nebula
M98 NGC 4192 Coma Berenices spiral galaxy
M99 NGC 4254 Coma Berenices spiral galaxy
M100 NGC 4321 Coma Berenices spiral galaxy
M101 NGC 5457 Pinwheel Galaxy Ursa Major spiral galaxy
M102 There is some controversy as to the identity of this object. Some think that Messier made a mistake and re-identified M101 as M102. Others believe that this object is actually the lenticular galaxy NGC 5866, known as the Spindle Galaxy, in the constellation Draco.
M103 NGC 581 Cr 14 Mel 103 Cassiopeia open cluster
M104 NGC 4594 Sombrero Galaxy Virgo spiral galaxy
M105 NGC 3379 Leo elliptical galaxy
M106 NGC 4258 Canes Venatici spiral galaxy
M107 NGC 6171 Mel 148 Ophiuchus globular cluster
M108 NGC 3556 Ursa Major spiral galaxy
M109 NGC 3992 Ursa Major barred spiral galaxy
M110 NGC 205 Andromeda elliptical galaxy


IC Index Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars
NGC New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars
Cr Collinder's Catalogue of Open Star Clusters
Mel Melotte Catalogue of Star Clusters