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Messier object

Plot of declination vs right ascension of the Messier objects relative to the modern constellations, ecliptic and Milky Way The Messier objects are a set of astronomical objects first listed by French astronomer Charles Messier in 1771. Messier was a comet hunter, and was frustrated by objects which resembled but were not comets, so he compiled a list of them, in collaboration with his assistant Pierre Méchain, to avoid wasting time on them.A similar list had been published in 1654 by Giovanni Hodierna, but had no impact and was probably not known to Messier. Cite error: There are tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).
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