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Charles Messier

1730 - 1817

Click the image to go to the download page

About the Messier Catalog Greenberg Companion    


Anyone who attended a star party will have heard the name of Charles Messier.  Many have viewed the night jewels this 18th century French astronomer cataloged in his 1784 catalog of comet like objects.    


As I gradually progressed from a 6 inch Newtonian telescope to a 12 inch scope, easily resolving stars in globular clusters I  felt in awe of the amazing work Messier achieved with very limited optical equipment by today's standards. His notes stating that globular cluster M13 is a beautiful nebula that contains no stars, makes for a good story at star parties but all joking aside his work documented some of the favorite and most viewed objects by amateur astronomers.    


As I started delving deeper into astrophotography that appreciation grew deeper when I looked at Messier's illustrations of the Orion nebula  and the Andromeda galaxy. Messier objects are great astrophotography targets, so about 4.5 years ago I decided that it would be nice to one day view and image all 110 objects in Messier's catalog. In theory this is a task that could be completed within 12 months, but life, work and those damn clouds prolonged the experience.      


After imaging each object I would spend time reading about it on the internet and that is when I got the idea that it would be nice to have a single interactive source of information for each of the messier objects - the Messier Catalog Greenberg Companion was born.  Putting this interactive file together is my way of paying homage to Messier and all the other great astronomers who long before the advent of high quality optics, tracking mounts, auto-guiding, computers and CCD chips, with great effort and skill did remarkable work we all benefit from to this day.    


Since I started this journey over 5 years ago, the quality of the images is not consistent and often reflects different stages in my own learning curve of astrophotography and occasionally is the result of poor conditions. In time I may revisit some of these objects and try and produce better images. The file may be distributed freely for educational purposes. The Messier Catalog Greenberg Companion includes the following items:


1. An interactive table of all images of the 110 objects - clicking on anyone of the 110 images links to a dedicated page.


2. 110 object pages -  each object has its image and text I gathered from the internet  about the object.


3. Full English translation of all entries


4. Brief Bio page on Charles Messier    


If you find errors or have suggestions please feel free to contact me from the contact page on my website




I dedicate this work to my wife Ayelet, my children Ronnie and Adam for their love, patience and support and in loving memory of my parents Yasha and Hilary Greenberg  who gave me life and guided me how to live it, in memory of my grandfather Emmanuel Fagin for making my childhood so special and who is largely responsible for sowing the seed that has driven my interest in astronomy and in memory of my father in-law Moti Aharoni with whom I spent many hours conversing about the wonders of the universe.

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