What does the Charles Messier Biography have to do with amateur Astronomy?

Now that is a very good question. The Charles Messier Biography may be short, but his contribution to the world of Astronomy is huge.

The Life of Charles Messier

Charles Messier was born in Badonvillier, Lorraine, France to Nicolas Messier and Francoise b. Grandblaise. He was the tenth of twelve children, and six of his brothers and sisters died very young. He passed away on April 12, 1817 in Paris, France.

Messier’s interest in astronomy began when he saw a six tailed comet and then a solar eclipse a couple of years later. He went on to becoming employed by Joseph Nicolas Delisle, the French Navy’s astronomer. It was here that he learned to keep detailed reports of what he saw. In his lifetime, Messier discover 13 comets on his own and 6 with the aide of others.

In his later years Messier finally received partial recognition for his work. He was present the Cross of the Legion of Honor by Napoleon.

Messier Catalogue

The Charles Messier biography talks about Messier’s catalogue. It included objects seen in deep space such as galaxies, nebulae, open clusters, and globular clusters. The original version contained 45 objects. When the final version came out there was 103 objects Shortly after the final version was released Messier and his assistant Pierre Mechain observed 7 more objects, but a revised version of the catalogue was never done. . A lot of Messier’s Objects were easily visible by the small telescopes used by amateur astronomers. These are the most viewed and spectacular objects viewed by amateur astronomers using the higher powered telescopes available today.

Things named for Messier

  • Messier Objects
  • Messier marathon
  • Messier crater, the moon
  • Asteroid 7359 Messier

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