Messier Monday: The Ultimate Trip

After more than two years, we’ve visited all 110 objects. Have a look back at each one!


“If you keep your eyes open enough, oh, the stuff you will learn. Oh, the most wonderful stuff.” -Dr. Seuss

In October of 2012, twenty-six months and one blog ago, we began a journey through the Messier catalogue, the first major, comprehensive effort to map the fixed, extended clusters, nebulae and (as we now know) galaxies in the night sky. It took 110 Mondays for us to complete it all, but now that we have, let’s take a tour, in incomparable pictures (and links, for those of you who want more information) through each and every one!

Image credit: NASA, ESA, J. Hester and A. Loll (Arizona State University).
Image credit: NASA / ESA / HST / STScI, via WikiSky.
Image credit: NASA / ESA / Hubble Space Telescope, via the Hubble Legacy Archive and Wikimedia Commons user FabianRRRR.
Image credit: Adam Block, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, University of Arizona.
Image credit: Rolf Wahl Olsen of http://www.pbase.com/rolfolsen/.
Image credit: ESO / IDA / Danish 1.5 m / R. Gendler, U.G. Jørgensen, and K. Harpsøe.
Image credit: NASA & ESA, via http://spacetelescope.org/images/heic1205a/.
Image credit: Daniel Verschatse of http://www.astrosurf.com/antilhue/m10.htm.
Image credit: Jim Misti of Misti Mountain Observatory, via http://www.mistisoftware.com/astronomy/Clusters_m11.htm.
Image credit: ESO, Guido De Marchi (ESA), Kristina Boneva & Haennes Heyer (ESO).
Image credit: Tony and Daphne Hallas of http://www.astrophoto.com/.
Image credit: Blue Mountain Vista Observatory, New Ringgold, PA, via http://www.star-watcher.org/M14.html.
Image credit: ESA / Hubble & NASA.
Image credit: T.A.Rector (NRAO/AUI/NSF and NOAO/AURA/NSF) and B.A.Wolpa (NOAO/AURA/NSF), viahttp://www.noao.edu/image_gallery/html/im0725.html.
Image credit: Jim Thommes, via http://jthommes.com/Astro/M18.htm.
Image credit: Jim Misti of Misti Mountain Observatory, via http://www.mistisoftware.com/astronomy/Clusters_m19.htm.
Image credit: Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona, via http://skycenter.arizona.edu/gallery/Nebulae/M20TheTrifidNebula.
Image credit: Eugine Magnier (UH IfA), Peter Draper & Nigel Metcalfe (Durham University), ©PS1 Consortium, via http://astro.dur.ac.uk/~pdraper/panstarrs/pr/triffid.html.
Image credit: James Cormier of flickr, viahttps://www.flickr.com/photos/12598495@N08/7777609032/.
Image credit: Sergio Equivar of Buenos Aires Skies, via http://www.baskies.com.ar/PHOTOS/M23%20LRGB.htm.
Image credit: ©2009 FotisRizos, via user FSQ106 — Artemis11002c2, at http://www.astrophotographos.com/apps/photos/photo?photoid=20936751.
Image credit: Jean-Charles Cuillandre (CFHT) & Giovanni Anselmi (Coelum Astronomia), Hawaiian Starlight.
Image credit: R.Sparenberg, S.Binnewies, V.Robering, via http://www.airglow.de/html/starclusters/m26.html.
Image credit: Matthew T. Russell, viahttp://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100826.html.
Image credit: Hubble / ESA / NASA, via the Hubble Legacy Archive at http://hla.stsci.edu/hlaview.html, from HST and Wikimedia Commons’ user Fabian RRRR. Color correction corrected again by me.
Image credit: Bernhard Hubl of http://www.astrophoton.com/.
Image credit: NASA and ESA/Hubble.
Image credit: Rogelio Bernal Andreo of Deep Sky Colors, via http://www.deepskycolors.com/cat/21839.
Image credit: NASA Hubble Space Telescope’s — Space Telescope Imageing Spectrograph (STIS).
Image credit: © Oriol Lehmkuhl and Ivette Rodríguez of http://astrosurf.com/.
Image credit: Martin Helm at http://www.astro-auersthal.at/M34.htm.
Image credit: © 2003 Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Corporation, using the MegaPrime cam, via http://www.cfht.hawaii.edu/News/MegaPrime/MegaPrime-PR-AstroImage-M35NGC2158.html.
Image credit: NOAO / AURA / NSF.
Image credit: Emil Ivanov of http://www.emilivanov.com/.
Image credit: © 2010 — 2013 Dean Jacobsen of http://www.astrophoto.net/.
Image credits: Heidi Schweiker, WIYN, AURA, NSF, NOAO.
Image credit: NOAO / AURA / NSF.
Image credit: Slovak Association of amateur astronomers, from http://knm.szaa.org/?q=node/48.
Image credit: © 2006 — 2012 by Siegfried Kohlert, via http://astroimages.de/en/gallery/Orion-Mosaik.html.
Image credit: NASA, ESA, M. Robberto ( Space Telescope Science Institute/ESA) and the Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team; full image available athttp://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic0601a/.
Image credit: Jose Sendon of La Bitacora de Galileo, via http://www.bitacoradegalileo.com/2010/10/28/m44-el-cumulo-del-pesebre-praesepe/.
Image credit: Marco Lorenzi of Astrosurf.
Image credit: Kfir Simon of Pbase, at http://www.pbase.com/image/133973249.
Image credit: Donald P. Waid of http://www.waid-observatory.com/.
Image credit: NOAO/AURA/NSF.
Image credit: NASA / Hubble, via the Wikisky tool.
Image credit: NOAO / AURA / NSF.
Image credit: Adam Block / Mount Lemmon SkyCenter / University of Arizona.
Image credit: Dr. Richard Steinberg of Drexel University.
Image credit: © Frank Zierhut, via http://www.nightviews.de/cluster/m53.html.
Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, via http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1145a/.
Image credit: ESO/J. Emerson/VISTA. Acknowledgment: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit, via http://www.eso.org/public/images/eso1220a/.
Image credit: © Jim Misti, Misti Mountain Observatory, via http://www.mistisoftware.com/.
Image credit: NASA / ESA / Hubble Space Telescope / WFC3, processing by André van der Hoeven, via http://www.astro-photo.nl/deepsky/nebulae/m57-the-most-detailed-image-ever-taken-hubble-space-telescope.
Image credit: Adam Block / Caelum Observatory / Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter / University of Arizona, viahttp://www.caelumobservatory.com/gallery/m58.shtml.
Images credit: NASA / Chandra (Left); Sloan Digital Sky Survey (Right).
Image credit: NASA / STScI / WikiSky snapshot tool.
Image credit: ESO/INAF-VST/OmegaCAM. Ack: OmegaCen/Astro-WISE/Kapteyn Institute.
NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration. Acknowledgement: Davide De Martin and Robert Gendler, via http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic1006a/.
Image credit: Velimir Popov of ELATE Observatory.
Image credit: ESA / Hubble & NASA, cropping by me, via http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1240a/.
Image credit: NASA / Hubble / Wikisky snapshot tool, via Wikimedia Commons user Friendlystar.
Image credit: © 2006 — 2012 by Siegfried Kohlert of http://www.astroimages.de/.
Image credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble, HPOW, via http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap120819.html.
Image credit: REU program / NOAO / AURA / NSF.
Image credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration; Acknowledgment: R. Chandar (U. Toledo) and J. Miller (U. Michigan).
Image credit: Jim Misti / Misti Mountain Observatory / DSS, via http://www.mistisoftware.com/astronomy/Clusters_m75.htm.
Image credit: Fred Herrmann, 2014, via http://cs.astronomy.com/asy/m/nebulae/489616.aspx.
Image credit: NASA, ESA & A. van der Hoeven.
Image credit: Ignacio de la Cueva Torregrosa, from http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100302.html.
Image credit: Paul and Liz Downing, via http://www.paulandliz.org/Star_Clusters/Globulars.htm.
Image credit: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA).
Image credit: Pablo Rodríguez-Gil (IAC) y Pablo Bonet (IAC), with the William Herschel Telescope.
Image credit: European Southern Observatory (ESO) / Lars Christiansen.
Image credit: Makis Palaiologou, Stefan Binnewies, Josef Pöpsel of Capella Observatory, via http://www.capella-observatory.com/ImageHTMLs/Galaxies/MarkariansChain.htm. M84 is the one at the bottom; M86 (its neighbor) is above it.
Image credit: © 2006 — 2012 by Siegfried Kohlert, via http://www.astroimages.de/en/gallery/M85.html.
Image credit: David W. Hogg, Michael R. Blanton, and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Collaboration.
Image credit: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA).
Image credit: Adam Block, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, U. Arizona, viahttp://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100130.html.
Image credit: ESA / Hubble and NASA, WIKISKY snapshot tool, via Wikimedia commons user Friendlystar.
Image credit: Andrea Tamanti, via http://www.tamanti.it/Galaxies/M_90_RC.htm.
Image credit: NOAO / AURA / NSF, via http://www.noao.edu/image_gallery/html/im0704.html.
Image credit: NOAO/AURA/NSF.
Image credit: © 2013 Mazlin, via Star Shadows Remote Observatory, http://www.starshadows.com/.
Image credit: European Southern Observatory, via http://www.eso.org/public/images/potw1212a/.
Image credit: NASA / ESA / Hubble’s hidden treasures contest; Robert Gendler.
Image credit: © 2013 Harvey, processed by Vicent Peris, José Luis Lamadrid, Jack Harvey and Steve Mazlin with the program PixInsight. Via SSRO.
Image credit: Bruce Waddington, via http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=27624.
Image credit: Adam Block / Mount Lemmon SkyCenter / University of Arizona.
Image credit: Judy Schmidt, using Hubble Space Telescope data (via NASA / ESA), via Wikimedia Commons.
Image credit: ESA / NASA, Davide De Martin, and K.D. Kuntz (GSFC), F. Bresolin (University of Hawaii), J. Trauger (JPL), J. Mould (NOAO), and Y.-H. Chu (University of Illinois, Urbana).
Image credit: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA).
Image credit: Jim Misti of Misti Mountain Observatory, via http://www.mistisoftware.com/astronomy/Clusters_m103.htm.
Image credit: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), via http://astropix.ipac.caltech.edu/avm_image/8939.
Image credit: Rick Beno of Conferring with the Sky Observatory, via http://www.conferringwiththesky.org/displayimage.php?pid=500.
Image credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), and R. Gendler (for the Hubble Heritage Team). Acknowledgment: J. GaBany.
Image credit: NASA/STScI/WikiSky.
Image credit: Ken Crawford at Rancho Del Sol Observatory.
Image credit: Bob Franke of Focal Pointe Observatory, via http://bf-astro.com/.
Image credit: Adam Block / NOAO / AURA / NSF, via RC Optical Systems.

It’s easy to simply say thing like “oh, another star cluster” or “big deal, another globular,” but if you take the time to actually peer into, examine and learn about each one, you start to very quickly see how diverse and varied each type of object can be. That glimpse into what this Universe is truly like, and how the laws of nature and the particles that exist come together to form all that we can perceive is what science is all about.

I hope you enjoyed this journey through the first major astronomical catalogue, and hope you’ll continue to join me for the next part of the journey. We’re just getting started!