A Great Messier Object Workbook
This book and a telescope are all you need to find, view, and record your observations of the 110 most popular stargazing targets. But what makes this list of objects so famous? Over 200 years ago, the French comet hunter Charles Messier published a list of fuzzy, comet-like objects he saw through his telescope. To him, they were a nuisance. We now know them as star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies! Modern astronomers later expanded his list from 103 to 110 objects – and they’re some of the finest celestial sights to explore with your backyard telescope, especially after you’re ready to move beyond the Moon and planets. This book is your guide to seeing each deep sky object in Messier’s list - plus a complete how-to for budding astronomers.
Finding the 110 Messier (pronounced Messy-ay) objects has never been easier! We provide a star map for each target - plus written directions for how to find it by star-hopping, an “eyepiece view” image to confirm you’re seeing it, observing tips from two veteran stargazers, and interesting facts. We also highlight additional nearby objects.
These objects are presented in their recommended viewing order - either by season, or during an all-night marathon! Each page contains an observation log so you can track your progress, and later apply for a Messier Observing Certificate from the Astronomical League and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Certificate Application instructions are provided in the appendix of the book.
John is the host of the Learn To Stargaze YouTube channel and a member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. In 2020, he graduated with a degree in astrophysics from Saint Mary’s University and was presented with an RASC award for Excellence in Science Communication. He is currently a student at Johns Hopkins University, working on his Master’s in Space Systems Engineering.