This is Martyn’s booklet that accompanies the talk he gave for our July 2017 meeting. It is a fascinating insight into how astronomy can become a source of inspiration to an individual.
Messier objects are named after Charles Messier who originally catalogued them in the 18th century. Messier was a comet hunter, and listed these objects as things that could be mistaken for comets. It is a sad irony that a man who wished to be known for discovering comets is instead most remembered for his list of things which are not!
The catalogue includes galaxies, nebulae, clusters and all sorts of interesting things. This guide shows you what each object might look like to the backyard observer, so you will know what you are looking at and when you have found what you are looking for!