messier








               m1
                m2
                m3
              m4
               m5
M1Supernova Remnant in Taurus
The Crab Nebula, M1, was the first nebulous object observed by Charles Messier. It is a cloud of expanding gas left over from a supernova explosion. In the center of this nebula is a 16th magnitude star that is the collapsed core of the supernova. It is a pulsar, perhaps even a rotating neutron star. M1 can be seen easily with a pair of binoculars. A telescope will bring out more of the nebula's fine details
M2 Globular Cluster in Aquarius
M2 is a globular cluster of stars located in the constellation of Aquarius. This cluster is located about 50,000 light-years from Earth. It is believed to be about 175 light-years in diameter. M2 is one of the brightest and largest globular clusters in the sky. This cluster's visual magnitude of 6.5 means it can easily be found with a pair of binoculars. A telescope will be required to resolve the cluster's individual stars
M3Globular Cluster Canes Venatici
 Located in the constellation Canes Venatici, M3 is a tight cluster of almost 500,000 stars. This cluster is located approximately 30,000 light-years from Earth. It contains about 170 faint variable stars, which is more than any other globular cluster. A visual magnitude of 6.2 makes this bright cluster an easy target for binoculars and telescopes alike.

M4Globular Cluster in Scorpius
M4 is a globular cluster that lies in the constellation of Scorpius. It is located about 7,000 light-years from the Earth. This makes M4 one of the closest of the globular clusters. It is also one of the most open, or loose globular clusters. M4 is receding from us at a rate of 65 km/sec. With a visual magnitude of 5.6, this cluster can easily be seen with the naked eye on a dark, clear night. With the aid of a small telescope, it displays a central band of bright stars in a linear formation.
M5Globular Cluster in Serpens
Located in the constellation Serpens, globular cluster M5 is one of the few to show an elliptical shape. It is believed to be one of the oldest of the globular clusters, at an age of about 13 billion years. M5 is located about 23,000 light-years from Earth, and has a diameter of about 130 light-years. This cluster's visual magnitude of 5.6 males it easy to spot on a clear night with dark skies and a pair of binoculars. A telescope will resolve the cluster's individual stars.
                 m6
                 m7
                  m8
                  m9
                  m10
M6Galactic Cluster in Scorpius
M6 is a galactic, or open cluster of stars found in the constellation of Scorpius. It has a diameter of about 20 light-years and lies about 2,000 light-years from Earth. This cluster is composed mainly of blue and white stars with the brightest being a yellow or orange giant. The shape of this cluster somewhat resembles that of a butterfly, giving rise to its more common name, the butterfly cluster. At magnitude 5.3 it is an easy find with binoculars
M7Galactic Cluster in Scorpius
Another galactic cluster to be found in the rich hunting grounds of the constellation of Scorpius is M7, also known as Ptolemy's cluster. It is a large group of about 80 stars set against the background of fainter and more distant Milky Way stars. M7 is about 18 light-years in diameter and lies about 800 light-years from us. The brightest star of the cluster is a yellow giant with a magnitude of 5.6. This bright cluster makes a sine target for the binocular observer
M8Diffuse Nebula in Sagittarius
Known more commonly as the Lagoon Nebula, M8 is a beautiful cloud of gas illuminated by a 5.9 magnitude star inside. The nebula is about 150 light-years in diameter and lies about 5,200 light-years from Earth. M8 is a stellar nursery where many new stars are being formed from the great clouds of gas. With a visual magnitude of 6, this nebula can be easily seen in the constellation of Sagittarius with the naked eye on a dark, clear night. A telescope will reveal some of the more complex patterns of bright and dark areas within the nebula
M9Globular Cluster in Ophiuchus
M9 is a globular cluster of stars located within the constellation of Ophiuchus. It is located at the edge of a dark patch of dark nebulosity. This cluster is about 26,000 light-years from us and has a diameter of about 70 light-years. The central region of the cluster has a distinct oval shape. M9's visual magnitude of 7.7 makes it a bit more challenging to find than some of the other globular clusters. It can be found with binoculars, and can be quite impressive in a 4-inch telescope.
M10Globular Cluster in Ophiuchus
Globular cluster M10 lies in the constellation of Ophiuchus. This is a very bright cluster with a central region that appears slightly pear-shaped. It is about 70 light-years in diameter and lies about 16,000 light-years from Earth. With a visual magnitude of 6.6 and an apparent diameter of 15 arc minutes, this is one of the best clusters to be viewed with both binoculars and small telescopes.
                 m11
                   m12
                    m13
                   m14
                    m15
M11Galactic Cluster in Scutum
Located in the constellation Scutum, M11 has been described as one of the richest and most compact open clusters. This cluster lies 6,000 light-years from Earth and has a diameter of about 21 light-years. It is composed of more than 2,900 stars, 600 of which have a visual magnitude brighter than 15. To some, the shape of the cluster resembles that of a flock of flying ducks. This has helped it to earn the name, Wild Duck Cluster. This is an easy target to locate with a pair of binoculars.
M12 Globular Cluster in Ophiuchus
Globular cluster M12, in the constellation Ophiuchus, is nearly a twin of M10. It is just a bit fainter and only slightly larger. Like its twin, it does not contain a lot of variable stars. M12 lies at a distance of 18,000 light-years from Earth and has a diameter of about 75 light-years. Visually it is a fairly remarkable sight. Its visual magnitude of 6.7 makes it an easy target to find with binoculars, and a telescope will bring out its slightly irregular shape.
M13 Globular Cluster in Hercules
Also known as the Hercules cluster, M13 is perhaps the finest and most well known globular cluster in the Northern hemisphere. It originally was discovered by Edmond Halley in 1714. Halley noted that the cluster could easily be seen with the naked eye on dark, moonless nights. As its common name would imply, M13 lies in the constellation Hercules. It is about 25,000 light-years from us, and has an impressive diameter of about 150 light-years.
M14Globular Cluster in Ophiuchus
Located in the constellation Ophiuchus, globular cluster M14 has a slightly elliptical shape to it. This cluster is noticeably smaller than M10 and M12, but it contains a large number of variable stars, over 70 in all. This cluster has a diameter of about 55 light-years and lies about 23,000 light-years from Earth. It was the sight of a nova in 1938. With a magnitude of 7.6, it can be located with binoculars, although a telescope is required to show any detail in the cluster.
M15Globular Cluster in Pegasus
M15 is a globular cluster of stars in the constellation Pegasus. It is perhaps the densest of all the globular clusters in the Milky Way. It is also the only known globular cluster to contain a planetary nebula. M15 contains over 100 variable stars, which ranks it third for variables. It also contains 9 known pulsars. This cluster is 40,000 light-years distant, and with a visual magnitude of 6.2, is a beautiful sight in binoculars and telescopes alike
                  m16
                    m17
                   m18
                     m19
                      m20
M16Cluster & Nebula in Serpens
M16 is an open star cluster and cloud of hot gas about 7,000 light-years away in the constellation Serpens. It contains a diffuse nebula and several dark dust lanes known as the Eagle Nebula. The name comes from the shape of the nebula, which resembles a flying eagle. The stars in the cluster formed from the gasses in this nebula, and new stars are still in the process of forming. This bright object can easily be seen with any optical instrument. Color photographs will show off the bright red color of the nebula
M17Nebula & Cluster in Sagittarius
Located in the constellation Sagittarius, M17 is an open cluster of about 35 stars within a cloud of gas. As with M16, the hot stars cause the nebula to shine brightly. Located about 6,000 light-years from Earth, this is an area of active star formation. A small telescope will reveal the shape that gives this nebula its name, resembling a horseshoe or swan's neck. The glow of the nebula can be seen in a small telescope, while photographs will show the nebula's red and pink colors
M18Galactic Cluster in Sagittarius
M18 is a small open cluster of about 20 stars located in the constellation Sagittarius. It lies about 5,000 light-years away with a diameter of about 17 light-years. The cluster contains only 12 fairly bright stars, and the cluster is rather loose in appearance. It is not one of the best examples of a galactic cluster, but it is a pretty sight in a small telescope. This a fairly young cluster, containing bright blue as well as yellow and orange stars.
M19Globular Cluster in Ophiuchus
Globular cluster M19 can be found in the constellation Ophiuchus. It is situated about 20,000 light-years from Earth and has a diameter of about 30 light-years. M19 lies very close to the galactic center, only 4,600 light-years from it in fact. This is a relatively bright globular cluster, and is easily identifiable with binoculars. A telescope will reveal the fact that the cluster has an elliptical shape to it
M20Diffuse Nebula in Sagittarius
The Trifid Nebula, M20, is probably best known for its three-lobed appearance. The dark areas are lanes of dark dust that obscure the nebula's light. This diffuse nebula is very large, and is located about 5,000 light-years from Earth. It is illuminated by a hot 7th-magnitude star located deep within. M20 is a magnificent object easily visible with a pair of binoculars. The dark rifts that divide the nebula can be seen in a small telescope. Photographs will show the nebula's bright red, pink, and blue colors
                   m21
                     m22
                     m23
                        m24
                        m25
M21Galactic Cluster in Sagittarius
Located in the constellation Sagittarius, M21 is an open cluster of about 40 stars varying in magnitude from 9 to 12. The cluster is located about 3,000 light-years from Earth and has a diameter of about 10 light-years. M21 has a total visual magnitude of about 6.5, which makes it an impressive sight in any small telescope. It can also be easily located with binoculars just a short distance from M20, the Trifid Nebula.
M22Globular Cluster in Sagittarius
Yet another fine object to be found in the rich hunting grounds of Sagittarius a globular cluster known as M22. This bright cluster contains about 70,000 stars of which 32 are known to be variable. At a distance of around 10,000 light-years, M22 is one of the nearer globular clusters. It is nearly 200 light-years in diameter and is notable for containing a very faint planetary nebula. With a visual magnitude of 5.1, it can easily be seen with the naked eye and is a beautiful sight in any optical instrumen
M23Galactic Cluster in Sagittarius
M23 is a loose galactic cluster of stars found in the constellation Sagittarius. This cluster lies about 2,150 light-years from Earth and contains about 150 stars of magnitude 10 and fainter. It stretches over a distance of about 20 light-years in diameter and has a total visual magnitude of 6.9. M23 can easily be resolved with binoculars and its large size makes it a prime candidate for small, wide-field telescopes
M24Milky Way Patch in Sagittarius
Located in Sagittarius, M24 is not really a true deep sky object. It is actually a cloudy patch of stars in the Milky Way. The area is framed by dark patches of dust, which gives it the impression of being a separate object. M24 has a total visual magnitude of 4.6, which makes it easily visible to the unaided eye. A good telescope will reveal a small galactic cluster known as NGC 6603 hiding in the center of M24
M25 Galactic Cluster in Sagittarius
M25 is a relatively compressed galactic cluster found in the constellation Sagittarius. It contains about 86 stars, one of which is a known Cepheid variable. This cluster is located about 2,000 light-years from Earth and has a diameter of around 23 light-years. The 6.5 visual magnitude of M25 makes it easy to find with binoculars, but a small telescope will be able to reveal the many colors of its member stars
                   m26
                     m27
                       m28
                       m29
                          m30
M26Galactic Cluster in Scutum
Located in the constellation Scutum, M26 is a small galactic cluster of about 90 stars. It can be found only 3 1/2 degrees from its cousin, M11, but is not nearly as impressive. This cluster lies about 5,000 light-years from us and has a diameter of around 22 light-years. Its visual magnitude of 8 makes it less bright than most of the other galactic clusters. This cluster can easily be seen with binoculars, but a 4-inch refractor telescope will only resolve more of its fainter stars.
M27 Planetary Nebula in Vulpecula
Commonly known as the Dumbbell Nebula, M27 was the first planetary nebula to be discovered. It is a shell of gas that was expelled from the nebula's central star. This object gets the name "dumbbell" from its hourglass, or dumbbell-like shape. Its distance is estimated to be about 1,250 light-years from Earth. A 13th magnitude star at the center of the nebula illuminates it from within. M27 is the brightest and most impressive object of its kind, and with a magnitude of 7.4 can be easily seen using any optical instrument
M28Globular Cluster in Sagittarius
Located in the constellation Sagittarius, M28 is a tight globular cluster of several thousand stars. It lies about 19,000 light-years from Earth and has a diameter of around 75 light-years. This cluster's visual magnitude of 6.8 makes it a fine site in any optical instrument. A small telescope will reveal the cluster's slight oval shape. Some have even said it somewhat resembles a cucumber.
M29 Galactic Cluster in Cygnus
M29 is a small, coarse group of stars in the constellation Cygnus. It is located about 7,000 light-years from Earth. The cluster contains only six stars with a magnitude brighter than 9.5, which form a small, stubby dipper in the center. This is not a very impressive object when viewed in binoculars or small telescopes. Larger instruments will be needed to resolve the fainter stars in the cluster
M30Globular Cluster in Capricornus
Located in the constellation Capricornus, M30 is a globular cluster of stars located about 25,000 light-years from Earth. This dense cluster is around 75 light-years in diameter and contains 12 known variable stars. It is actually approaching us at a speed of 164 kilometers per second. M30's large size and dense structure make it a remarkable object when viewed through binoculars or small telescopes
                    m31
                      m32
                         m33
                       m34
                        m35
M31Galaxy in Andromeda
Located in the constellation Andromeda can be found M31, the famous Andromeda Galaxy. This spectacular object is a spiral galaxy similar to our own Milky Way. At a distance of only 2 million light-years, it is one of the closest galaxies to our own. Its enormous diameter of 200,000 light-years gives it a visual magnitude of 3.4, making it the brightest galaxy in the sky and the only galaxy visible to the naked eye. It can easily be seen with binoculars, and telescopes will bring out some of the galaxy's detail
M32Galaxy in Andromeda
M32 is one of the two small satellite galaxies of their more famous partner, M31. It is an elliptical dwarf galaxy with a diameter of only 8,000 light-years. M32 was the first elliptical galaxy to be discovered, and is the closest elliptical galaxy to us. Its close proximity gives it a visual magnitude of 8.1, which is quite bright for a galaxy. It can easily be seen with a good pair of binoculars or a small telescope
M33Galaxy in Triangulum
Located in the constellation Triangulum, M33 is a member of our local group of galaxies. It is a spiral galaxy with a diameter of 60,000 light-years, which makes it much smaller than its neighbor, M31. It is also a little farther away, at about 2,300,000 light-years from Earth. This is an extraordinary object with well-defined spiral arms. M33's visual magnitude of 5.7 makes it an easy target for binoculars and small telescopes. It is best seen at low power.
M34Galactic Cluster in Perseus
M34 is an open cluster of about 100 stars located in the constellation Perseus. The cluster lies about 1,400 light-years from Earth and is believed to be about 190 million years old. The brightest star in the group has a visual magnitude of 7.9, which makes it a bright and easy target for viewing. M34 is visible to the naked eye, and its apparent diameter is nearly that of the full moon. Binoculars and small telescopes with a wide field of view are recommended for this object.
M35Galactic Cluster in Gemini
Located in the constellation Gemini, M35 is a galactic cluster of around 200 stars. This cluster is 2,800 light-years from us and has a diameter of about 24 light-years. It is believed to be around 110 million years old, which makes it an intermediate-aged cluster. With an apparent diameter about the same as the full moon, M35 can easily be seen with the naked eye near the 3 "foot stars" of the constellation Gemini. It is best viewed with low-powered optical instruments.
                    m36
                      m37
                       m38
                     m39
                    m40
M36Galactic Cluster in Auriga
Nestled within the constellation Auriga is M36, a galactic cluster of about 60 stars. This cluster is around 4,100 light-years from Earth and has a diameter of about 14 light-years. At an age of only 25 million years, it is quite young and contains no red giant stars. M36 has a visual magnitude of 6.3 with the individual member stars ranging in magnitude from 9 to 14. This relatively large cluster is easy to spot with binoculars. In telescopes, it is best viewed at low powers.
M37Galactic Cluster in Auriga
M37 is a galactic cluster of about 150 stars located in the constellation Auriga. It has a diameter of about 200 light-years, making it roughly twice the size as nearby M36. At a distance of around 4,600 light-years, it is the richest and brightest of the Auriga clusters. It is also the oldest at about 300 million years. M37 is considered to be one of the finest open clusters in the heavens. It is easily viewed in binoculars and small telescopes
M38Galactic Cluster in Auriga
M38 is the third of the three Auriga clusters. It is about 4,200 light-years away and has a linear diameter of around 21 light-years. The cluster has a total visual magnitude of 7.4 and contains more than 100 stars. The brightest stars of the cluster have been said to form a Greek letter Pi, or according to some, an oblique cross. M38 is of intermediate age at about 220 million years. It is a large cluster and is easily viewed with binoculars. In telescopes, it is best viewed at low power.
M39Galactic Cluster in Cygnus
Located in the constellation Cygnus, M39 is a very loose cluster of about 30 stars. It lies only 800 light-years from Earth, which makes it one of the closest open clusters in the sky. The cluster has a diameter of about 7 light-years, and is believed to be over 250 million years old. With a visual magnitude of 5.2, it is a bright cluster although very loosely populated. This cluster is an easy target for binoculars and is best observed in telescopes at low power.
M40 Double Star in Ursa Major
M40 was discovered by Charles Messier while searching for a nebula that had been reported in the area. The nebula was never found, so this double star system was logged instead. M40 is a binary star system found in the constellation Ursa Major. It is located approximately 300 light-years from Earth. The two stars have a visual magnitude of 9.0 and 9.3. A 4-inch refractor telescope can easily split the two stars, which appear as a single star to the naked eye.
                    m41
                      m42
                      m43
                      m44
                       m45
M41Galactic Cluster in Canis Major
M41 is an open, or galactic, cluster located within the constellation of Canis Major. This cluster is located about 4 degrees South of Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky. M41 contains about 100 stars of varying colors. Several of these stars are red giants, the brightest of which is about 700 times brighter than the Sun. This cluster is about 26 light-years across and is situated approximately 2,300 light-years from Earth. M41's age is estimated at about 190 million years. It is easily visible with a pair of binoculars
M42Diffuse Nebula in Orion
Located in the constellation of Orion is one of the most impressive sights in the night sky. M42, also known as the Orion Nebula or the Great Nebula of Orion, is a gigantic cloud of gas and dust over 30 light-years in diameter. It is located about 1,500 light-years from the Earth. M42 is a site of active star formation, and the stars within this nebula cause it to shine with a magnitude of 4. This makes it one of the few nebulae that can be seen with the naked eye. The most famous of these stars is a small cluster known as the Trapezium. A pair of binoculars will show the basic structure of this nebula, while a small telescope will reveal intricate details within its dusty lanes
M43Diffuse Nebula in Orion
M43 is also located in the constellation of Orion, and is actually part of M42, the Orion Nebula. It is visually separated from the rest of M42 by an impressive dark lane of dense dust. The dust actually lies between the nebula and us. If you could see M42 from the other side of the dust lane it would appear to be all in one piece. M43 is easily visible in a 4-inch telescope, but an 8-inch instrument will reveal dark features and details along the nebula's eastern border.
M44Galactic Cluster in Cancer
Located in the constellation of Cancer is an impressive galactic cluster of stars known as M44. This famous cluster is also known as Praesepe, and more recently, the Beehive Cluster. The Beehive was given this name because to some it resembles a swarm of bees. It is one of the few deep-sky objects visible to the naked eye and has been known since ancient times. M44 consists of about 350 stars, 40 of which are bright enough to be seen in a small telescope. This cluster is about 577 light-years from Earth and is believed to be approximately 400 million years old.
M45Galactic Cluster in Taurus
M45 is an object that has been known since the earliest times. Most commonly known as the Pleiades, it is a galactic cluster of about 500 young stars located within the constellation of Taurus. This cluster has also been named the Seven Sisters, after its seven brightest stars. These stars can easily be seen with the naked eye. The Pleiades are believed to be very young - only 100 million years old. They are located only 380 light-years from Earth. Photographs of the cluster reveal traces of the nebula out of which the stars originally formed. Binoculars will show much more than the seven brightest stars, and a large telescope will show reveal some of the nebulous material surrounding the stars
                  m6
                  m47
                  m48
                 m49
                  m50
M46Galactic Cluster in Puppis
Located in the constellation Puppis, M46 is an open cluster of about 500 stars. About 150 of these have a magnitude of between 10 and 13. This cluster is believed to be around 300 million years old. It is 30 light-years across and is located approximately 5,400 light-years from the Earth. A large telescope will reveal a small planetary nebula within the cluster. This nebula is not a member of M46 but is actually located between the cluster and us. This object is easily visible in a pair of binoculars with good observing conditions
M47Galactic Cluster in Puppis
Another open star cluster in Puppis is M47. This is a bright cluster than can be seen with the naked eye under good conditions. It is a tight cluster, containing about 50 bright stars in a region approximately 12 light-years in diameter. M47 is located about 1,600 light-years from Earth. This close proximity gives the cluster an apparent diameter about equal to that of the full moon. With a magnitude of 5.2, M47 is an excellent object for observing with binoculars. A small telescope will reveal more of the fainter stars in the cluster
M48Galactic Cluster in Hydra
Located in the constellation of Hydra, M48 is an open cluster of about 80 stars. 50 of these are brighter than magnitude 13 and are easily visible in binoculars and small telescopes. The cluster is easily visible to the naked eye under ideal observing conditions. M48 is about 23 light-years in diameter and is located some 1,500 light-years from Earth. Its age is estimated at about 300 million years
M49Galaxy in Virgo
M49 is a small elliptical galaxy located in the constellation Virgo. It was the first member of the Virgo cluster of galaxies discovered by Messier in 1771. At a magnitude of 8.4, it is also the brightest of these galaxies. M49 is believed to be about 160,000 light-years in diameter, and is located approximately 60 million light-years from us. It will be visible as a faint point of light with binoculars. Large telescopes will reveal the fuzzy, nebulous nature of this object, as well as its bright center.
M50Galactic Cluster in Monoceros
Located in the constellation of Monoceros is an open cluster of stars known as M50. This cluster is estimated to contain about 200 stars. It is about 10 light-years in diameter and is believed to be located around 3,000 light-years from Earth. The appearance of this cluster has been described as a heart-shape. With a magnitude of 6.3, M50 is easily visible with a pair of binoculars. Telescopes will reveal more of the fainter members of the group
                    m51
                     m52
                    m53
                   m54
                    m55
M51 Galaxy in Canes Venatici
Located in the constellation of Canes Venatici is an exquisite object known as M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy. This was one of Messier's original discoveries. He found it in 1773 while observing a comet. M51 is a beautiful example of a face-on spiral galaxy. The obvious spiral shape of this object is what gave it the name, Whirlpool. It was the first spiral galaxy to be discovered. Careful observation reveals that this object is actually two galaxies. The second, known as NGC 5195, is interacting with M51. The outer regions of the two galaxies actually touch each other. M51 is located about 37 million light-years from Earth. Under dark skies, it is an easy target for small telescopes. It is one of the brightest and easiest galaxies to locate for the experienced amateur.
M52Galactic Cluster in Cassiopeia
M52 is an open cluster of stars situated within the constellation of Cassiopeia. It can be seen against the backdrop of a Milky Way field. This object has been described as a "salt and pepper" cluster due to its dense arrangement of about 200 bright stars. M52 is believed to be only 23 million years old. Its distance from Earth is not certain. Estimates range anywhere from 3,000 to 7,000 light-years. With a magnitude of 7.3, this cluster is easily visible to an observer with binoculars. A small telescope will reveal the cluster's fainter stars
M53Globular Cluster in Coma Berenices
A distant globular cluster can be found within the Coma Berenices constellation. This is M53. It is among the more distant globulars, situated about 60,000 light-years from the galactic center. This would put it at about 62,000 light-years from Earth. The cluster has a diameter of around 250 light-years. M53 has a magnitude of 7.6, which makes it a good target for binoculars. Viewing through a telescope will show the intricate glittery structure that is the trademark of most globular clusters
M54Globular Cluster in Sagittarius
Located in the constellation of Sagittarius is a globular cluster known as M54. It is one of the brighter globular clusters in the sky. This object's close proximity to Zeta Sagittarii, the southernmost star in the constellation, makes it very easy to find. Although this cluster is bright, it is small. It could be mistaken for a star in binoculars. A telescope is really the best way to view this fine object. M54 is estimated to be about 60,000 light-years from Earth. Some controversy has recently surfaced about this cluster. Some astronomers believe that it may not be a part of our galaxy at all, but of a newly discovered dwarf galaxy. If this turns out to be true, its distance from Earth could be as much as 80,000 light-years. It would also be the first extragalactic globular cluster to ever be discovered
M55Globular Cluster in Sagittarius
Another fine globular cluster to be found in Sagittarius is M55. This is a large cluster with a somewhat loose arrangement of stars. Its apparent size is about 2/3 that of the full moon. It has a diameter of about 110 light-years, and is believed to be located only 20,000 light-years from Earth. This would make it among the closest of the globular clusters. M55 has been described as very grainy in appearance, due to its loose structure. Its size and brightness make it easy to identify in binoculars. Through a small telescope, its grainy structure will be more apparent.
                 m56
                      m57
                   m58
                   m59
                   m60
M56 Globular Cluster in Lyra
In the constellation Lyra can be found a small, dim globular cluster known as M56. This cluster lacks the bright core that is visible in many other globulars. It is believed to have a diameter of only 60 light-years, and is located about 45,000 light-years from Earth. It is actually approaching us at a speed of about 145 km/sec. Due to its small size and magnitude of only 8.3, M56 is not a great object for the binocular astronomer. Telescopes larger than 10 inches can resolve the cluster quite nicely
M57Planetary Nebula in Lyra
The constellation Lyra is also home to one of the most famous objects on the sky. M57, the Ring Nebula, is probably the finest example of a planetary nebula anywhere in the sky. It was formed when a star about the size of the Sun neared the end of its life cycle and shed its outer shell of hydrogen gas. This shell of material is illuminated by the remains of the star, known as a white dwarf, in the center. The nebula is well known for its beautiful colors, ranging from red to yellow, green, and blue. Its age is estimated at about 5,500 years. Its distance from Earth is not very well known. M57 can easily be seen in a small telescope, but a large instrument is needed to see the 13th magnitude star at its center.
M58Galaxy in Virgo
The Virgo constellation is home to a small galaxy known as M58. This galaxy is classified as a barred spiral due to its elongated shape. It is one of four such objects in the Messier catalog. M58 is one of the brightest members of a cluster of galaxies known as the Virgo cluster. Its distance from Earth is around 60 million light-years. As with most distant galaxies, it requires a large telescope and excellent observing conditions to show any detail. An 8-inch or larger scope will reveal the galaxy's barred shape as well as a hint of its spiral arms
M59Galaxy in Virgo
Another member of the Virgo cluster of galaxies is M59. It is an elliptical galaxy about 90,000 light-years across and is located some 60 million light-years from the Earth. This is one of the larger elliptical galaxies in the Virgo cluster. The shape of this galaxy is quite flattened in appearance. With a magnitude of only 9.6, M59 is not a very suitable target for binoculars. Even in large telescopes it is only visible as an elongated fuzzy blob
M60Galactic Cluster in Monoceros
M60 is a large elliptical galaxy that is also located within the Virgo cluster of galaxies. It is the eastern most galaxy in the cluster. This galaxy is believed to be around 120,000 light-years in diameter. It is located about 60 million light-years from Earth. M60 is one of the brighter members of the Virgo cluster. It can be found with binoculars, but is not a very impressive sight. Telescopes will reveal the galaxies bright central core. As with most ellipticals, it will only be visible as a fuzzy blob
                   m61
                      m62
                     m63
                   m64
                   m65
M61Galaxy in Virgo
Located in the constellation of Virgo, amidst the cluster of galaxies know as the Virgo cluster, is a spiral galaxy known as M61. This is one of the larger galaxies in the cluster, measuring in at about 100,000 light-years in diameter. It is estimated to be located some 60 million light-years from Earth. Messier originally mistook this object for a comet. This galaxy's low luminosity, about magnitude 10, makes it appear as nothing more than a fuzzy spot in small optic instruments. A large telescope and good sky conditions are needed to see any amount of detail.
M62 Globular Cluster in Ophiuchus
The constellation Ophiuchus is home to an unusual globular cluster known as M62. This cluster is known for its highly irregular shape. This deformation is believed to have been caused by gravitational tidal forces acting on the cluster due to its close proximity to the galactic center. It is only 6,100 light-years from the center of our galaxy. The cluster is located about 21,000 light-years from Earth. At magnitude 6.5, this is a bright object that can easily be found with a par of binoculars. As with most globular clusters, a small telescope will bring out its glittery details.
M63Galaxy in Canes Venatici
Located within in the constellation of Canes Venatici is M63, a spiral galaxy also known as the Sunflower Galaxy. It earned this name due to its sunflower-like appearance. It was originally discovered in 1779 by Messier's friend, Pierre Mechain. This galaxy is located about 37 million light-years from Earth, and is part of a group of galaxies that includes M51. A good telescope and optimal sky conditions will reveal the galaxy's spiral arms as a grainy background that brightens considerably towards its center. Color photos of this galaxy show star-forming regions throughout its spiral arms.
M64Galaxy in Coma Berenices
M64 is a very unusual-looking spiral galaxy located in the constellation of Coma Berenices. This is the famous Blackeye galaxy. It has also been called the Sleeping Beauty galaxy. The name Blackeye comes from a dark dust lane that obscures the light near the center of this galaxy. This dust lane is believed to be a site of active star formation. This dust lane is visible even in small telescopes. The distance of this galaxy is not very well known, but best guesses place it at around 20 million light-years from Earth. At magnitude 8.5, the Blackeye can be located on a good night with a pair of binoculars. A large telescope is required to see any real amount of detail in this galaxy
M65 Galaxy in Leo
Located in the constellation of Leo is a small triplet of galaxies. One of its members is M65. This is a spiral galaxy located about 35 million light-years from us. It has an obvious elliptical shape, due to the fact that we are viewing it from an angle. The galaxy's magnitude of 9.3 may make it a bit challenging to find with binoculars, but it is an easy target for the telescope. As is the rule with most galaxies, bigger is definitely better. The light gathering power of a large telescope will reveal much more detail in the galaxy's disk
                    m66
                   m67
                   m68
                    m69
                   m70
M66Galaxy in Leo
Another member of this triplet of galaxies in Leo is a spiral galaxy known as M66. This galaxy is much larger than its close neighbor, M65. Its visual appearance is a bit unusual in that its spiral is irregular in shape. The galaxy's spirals are believed to have been deformed by close encounters with its neighbors. M66 is located about 35 million light-years from Earth. Its magnitude of 8.9 makes it a little easier to observe with binoculars. A good telescope and dark skies will reveal some of the detail in this galaxy.
M67Galactic Cluster in Cancer
The constellation of Cancer is the site of an open star cluster called M67. It is one of the oldest known open clusters and is believed to be over 3 billion years old. It is also the oldest cluster in the Messier catalog. This cluster is located about 2,700 light-years from Earth. It contains around 500 stars, some 200 of which are believed to be white dwarfs. At magnitude 6.1, it is an easy target for the binocular observer. Viewing through a telescope will reveal some of the cluster's fainter stars.
M68Globular Cluster in Hydra
The constellation Hydra contains a globular cluster of stars known as M68. This cluster is around 140 light-years in diameter and is located about 40,000 light-years from Earth. This is a relatively small cluster that may be difficult to locate with binoculars. It is an easy target for any telescope 4-inches or large
M69  Globular Cluster in Sagittarius
Sagittarius is a constellation that literally swarms with interesting deep-sky objects. One of these is a globular cluster known as M69. It is one of the smaller and fainter globular clusters in the Messier catalog. In fact, Messier originally missed this object when he looked for it in 1764 but later found it with a better telescope in 1780. This cluster is believed to be about 55 light-years in diameter and is located some 27,000 light-years from Earth. It can just barely be seen on a dark night with a pair of 7x50 or 10x50 binoculars, as long the observer is not too far north.
M70Globular Cluster in Sagittarius
A close neighbor to M69 in Sagittarius is the globular cluster M70. This cluster is nearly identical to its neighbor in size and brightness, although it is just a bit larger. It is also somewhat more distant, located about 28,000 light-years from Earth. It is believed to be around 65 light-years in diameter. Like M69, this cluster is also very low in the southern sky and is difficult to observe from northern locations. It is rapidly receding from us at a speed of about 200 km/sec. M70 became somewhat famous in 1995 when the comet Hale-Bopp was discovered near it by two astronomers who were observing the cluster. With a magnitude of 7.9, it makes a good candidate for binocular observing
                    m71
                      m72
                  m73
                     m74
                   m75
M71Globular Cluster in Sagitta
Located in the constellation of Sagitta is a globular cluster known as M71. This is an extremely loose cluster, and for some time there was doubt as to whether this was a globular cluster at all. Some astronomers believed it to be a condensed open cluster. This globular is located about 11,700 light-years from Earth and has a diameter of only 25 light-years. This makes it one of the smallest known globular clusters. Recent findings suggest that the size may actually be 90 light-years, but it is uncertain at this point how many of the surrounding stars are actually part of the cluster. At magnitude 8.2 it can be seen through binoculars on a good night.
M72Globular Cluster in Aquarius
In the constellation Aquarius lies a globular cluster known as M72. This object is one of the more remote globular clusters in the Messier catalog. It has a diameter of about 90 light-years, and is located over 53,000 light-years from Earth. Although its apparent magnitude is only 9.3, this cluster's extreme distance means that it is one of the brightest globulars yet discovered. Visually, it is a somewhat loose cluster. M72 is approaching us at over 250 km/sec. This object may be difficult to locate with binoculars but makes an easy target with a telescope.
M73Asterism in Aquarius
Another interesting object to be found in Aquarius is M73. This object is unlike most of Messier's other discoveries. M73 is a small cluster of four stars. It is officially classified as an asterism. An asterism is a star pattern, and is different from a constellation. For example, the big dipper is an asterism within the constellation of Ursa Major. M73 may appear as a nebula at first glance with small instruments. Some astronomers believe this object to be a true star cluster, but there is little evidence at this time to support that claim. M73 is easily visible in binoculars, but it takes a telescope to resolve the individual stars in the formation
M74Galaxy in Pisces
In the constellation of Pisces can be found a fine example of a face-on spiral galaxy. This is M74. It is a beautiful spiral around 95,000 light-years in diameter. It is located about 35 million light-years from Earth. It is moving away from us at nearly 800 km/sec. Color photographs of this galaxy reveal that its spiral arms are littered with clusters of young, blue stars. It is believed to be very similar in size and shape to our own Milky Way galaxy. With a magnitude of 9.4, it may be a challenging object to locate in binoculars. Larger telescopes will reveal the best amount of detail.
M75Globular Cluster in Sagittarius
The galactic hunting grounds of Sagittarius is the home of yet another globular cluster known as M75. At a distance of 60,000 light-years, it is one of the most remote globular clusters in the Messier catalog. It is believed to be around 100 light-years in diameter. It is a very compact and concentrated cluster. Because of its small size, larger telescopes are required to resolve it into individual stars. A pair of binoculars on a good night should be able to find it as a small, fuzzy blob.
                      m76
                     m77
                      m78
                      m79
                      m80
M76Planetary Nebula in Perseus
Located in the constellation of Perseus is a faint planetary nebula known as M76. This nebula is also known as the Little Dumbbell Nebula. Other names that have been given to this object include Cork Nebula, Butterfly Nebula, and Barbell Nebula. At magnitude 10.1 it is one of the fainter of the Messier objects. The appearance of this nebula is very similar to that of M27, the Dumbbell Nebula. As with most planetary nebulae, its distance it not very well known. Best estimates put it at between 1,700 and 15,000 light-years from Earth. It takes a good telescope to be able to see any amount of detail on this object.
M77Galaxy in Cetus
The constellation Cetus is the location of a beautiful spiral galaxy known as M77. This is one of the largest galaxies in the Messier catalog. The brightest parts of this galaxy measure about 120,000 light-years in diameter, but its fainter extensions bring it out to a total of 170,000 light-years. This galaxy is believed to be located around 60 million light-years from Earth and is receding from us at a whopping 1100 km/sec. Visually, it appears as a large spiral with broad structured arms. At a magnitude of 8.9, it can easily be located with a pair of binoculars on a good night. Large telescopes will reveal some of the more intricate details in this galaxy
M78 Diffuse Nebula in Orion
In the constellation of Orion can be found the brightest diffuse reflection nebula in the sky. This is M78. It is a member of the Orion complex, which is a large cloud of dust ad gas near the Orion Nebula, M42. It is the brightest part of a large dust cloud that includes several other small nebulae. This bright nebula is about 1,600 light-years from Earth and measures nearly 4 light-years in diameter. It shines with the reflected light of several bright blue stars. Visually, this nebula resembles a faint comet. It can easily be seen with just about any size telescope.
M79Globular Cluster in Lepus
The constellation Lepus is the site of a beautiful globular cluster known as M79. This cluster is unusual because of its location in the sky. Most globular clusters are grouped near the center of our galaxy. This one is much closer to us. It is only 40,000 light-years from Earth but 60,000 light-years from the galactic center. It is believed to have a diameter of around 100 light-years. It has a slightly elliptical shape and is receding from us at about 200km/sec. At magnitude 7.7, it is a bright object and should be relatively easy to spot in binoculars. A telescope is required to resolve the individual stars in the cluster
M80Globular Cluster in Scorpius
Located in the constellation Scorpius is an 8th magnitude globular cluster called M80. This cluster has a diameter of around 90 light-years and is located roughly 36,000 light-years from the Earth. This cluster was the site of a nova in 1860, which completely changed its appearance for several days. A second nova occurred in 1938, but was only observed photographically. Visually, this globular cluster resembles a comet. A large telescope is required to reveal the cluster's individual stars
                  m81
                     m82
                       m83
                   m84
                     m85
M81Galaxy in Ursa Major
The constellation of Ursa Major is the site of a beautiful spiral galaxy known as M81. This is one of the easiest and most rewarding galaxies for the amateur astronomer. It is a bright object, at magnitude 6.8, and can be easily located with any optical instrument. Some say it can be spotted with the naked eye under dark skies and ideal observing conditions. M81 is the brightest member of a group of galaxies called the M81 group. This galaxy is believed to have interacted with its close neighbor, M82, at some point in the past. It was also the site of a supernova explosion in 1993. M81 is located approximately 12 million light-years from Earth
M82   Galaxy in Ursa Major
M82 is another member of the M81 group of galaxies found in the region of Ursa Major. This object is officially classified as an irregular galaxy. Its shape contains no discernable structure. It is believed that this galaxy's core has suffered from a close encounter with its neighbor, M81. The elongated shape of this galaxy has earned it the name Cigar Galaxy. M82 is a strong source of infrared radiation. In fact, it is the brightest galaxy in the sky in infrared light. This galaxy is located about 12 million light-years from Earth. Its close proximity to M81 makes it easy to find, although it is a somewhat disappointing sight in anything but the largest telescopes
M83   Galaxy in Hydra
In the constellation Hydra can be found a spectacular face-on spiral galaxy. This is M83, the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy. It earned its name from the distinct pinwheel shape of its long spiral arms. Color photographs of this galaxy reveal a wide range of colors from the yellow central core of old stars to the blue spiral arms of young stars. Several red knots can also be seen. These are gaseous nebulae where active star formation is taking place. Dark lanes of dust are also visible throughout the galaxy's disk. M83 is situated about 15 million light-years from Earth. It is receding from us at around 337 km/sec. This galaxy has been the site of six supernovae, which is more than any other Messier galaxy. It was also the first galaxy to be discovered beyond the local group
M84   Galaxy in Virgo
The constellation Virgo is the location of a small and dim galaxy known as M84. It was originally thought to be an elliptical galaxy. But more recent evidence suggests that is it actually a face-on lenticular galaxy. Lenticular galaxies are characterized by a disk shape with no conspicuous structure. M84 is a member of the Virgo cluster of galaxies, which contains a total of 16 galaxies in the Messier catalog. This galaxy was the site of a supernova in 1957 and two others in 1980 and 1991. It is located about 60 million light-years from Earth. With a magnitude of only 9.1, it is best suited for viewing with a large telescope.
M85Galaxy in Coma Berenices
Coma Berenices is the home of M85, a lenticular galaxy that is part of the Virgo cluster of galaxies. It is very similar in appearance and brightness to M84. It was the site of a supernova in 1960 that reached a magnitude of 11.7. This galaxy is located some 60 million light-years from Earth and is believed to have a diameter of around 125,000 light-years. It appears to be composed almost entirely of old yellow stars and is receding from us at about 700 km/sec. As with M84, this galaxy is a disappointing sight in anything but a large telescope.

                   m86
                      m87
                    m88
                     m89
                      m90
M86  Galaxy in Virgo
Yet another lenticular galaxy to be found in the Virgo cluster is M86. This is a large, bright object that some believe may actually be an elliptical galaxy. It is surrounded by an extremely faint system of globular clusters. M86 is located at the heart of the Virgo cluster and lies about 60 million light-years from Earth. It forms a close group with another large galaxy, M84. Unlike many of the other galaxies in this cluster, M86 is actually approaching us at the blinding speed of 1500 km/sec. It is believed that the high gravitational field of this massive cluster of galaxies is responsible for M86's unusually high velocity. At magnitude 8.9 this galaxy can be located with binoculars on a good night, but the best observing will be done with a telescope
M87 Galaxy in Virgo
The constellation Virgo is the site of an elliptical galaxy known as M87. This galaxy is also a member of the famous Virgo cluster of galaxies. It is located about 60 million light-years from Earth and has a diameter of around 120,000 light-years. M87 lies within the heart of the Virgo cluster. It is well known for huge system of globular clusters that can be easily seen on long exposure photographs. This galaxy also features an unusual jet of gaseous material that extends out thousands of light-years. A supernova explosion occurred in this galaxy in 1919 but was not discovered until 1922 when it discovered on photographs of the galaxy

M88Galaxy in Coma Berenices
One of the brighter members of the Virgo cluster is the spiral galaxy, M88. Located about 60 million light-years from Earth, this galaxy is inclined approximately 30 degrees to our line of sight. This gives it an elongated visual appearance, which resembles that of the Andromeda Galaxy, M31. M88 is believed to be nearly 130,000 light-years in diameter and is receding away from us at about 2000 km/sec. This is one of the more rewarding galaxies in the Virgo cluster for observers using small instruments. A large telescope will bring out some of the more subtle details

M89  Galaxy in Virgo
M89 is also a member of the incredible Virgo cluster of galaxies. This is an elliptical galaxy and is almost exactly circular in appearance. It is not known if it is actually circular in shape or if it is an elliptical in shape viewed end-on. This galaxy is unusual in that is appears to be surrounded by a type of enveloping structure which extends 150,000 light-years from the galaxy. It also features a jet-like structure that extends over 100,000 light-years. M89 is located some 60 million light-years from Earth. At a magnitude of only 9.8, it is best suited for viewing with a large telescope.

M90   Galaxy in Virgo
Also found in the constellation of Virgo is a spiral galaxy known as M90. This is one of the larger spiral galaxies in the Virgo cluster. It is located about 60 million light-years from Earth and is approaching us at a speed of 383 km/sec. Its visual appearance is that of a tightly wound spiral with smooth, bright spiral arms. It is believed that the only active star formation is taking place within the dark dust lanes near the center of the galaxy. M90 has a visual magnitude of only 9.5, making it a tough target for binocular observers. Large telescopes will provide the best viewing.

                 m91
                   m92
                       m93
                   m94
                     m95
M91Galaxy in Coma Berenices
Located in the constellation of Coma Berenices is a small, dim galaxy known as M91. Until recently, this galaxy had been missing. Messier's notes had given the wrong position for this object. An amateur astronomer from Texas finally figured out its true location in 1969. This galaxy is classified as a barred spiral. The center part of the galaxy displays a prominent bar-shape, which can be seen even in small telescopes. M91 is a member of the Virgo cluster of galaxies and it located about 60 million light-years from Earth. It is receding from us at a rate of 400 km/sec. With a magnitude of only 10.2 it is best observed with a large telescope.
M92Globular Cluster in Hercules
The constellation of Hercules is the site of a globular cluster known as M92. This cluster is located about 26,000 light-years from Earth and has a diameter of around 85 light-years. It is believed to be around 16 billion years old and is approaching us at a rate of 112 km/sec. This is an outstanding object, and with a magnitude of 6.4, it can actually be seen with the naked eye on a dark night. It is a prime candidate for observing with binoculars. A telescope will be able to resolve the individual stars in the cluster.

M93Galactic Cluster in Puppis
M93 is an open cluster of stars located within the Puppis constellation. This is a small but bright cluster with a visual magnitude of 6. Its visual appearance has been said to resemble that of a butterfly. Some have even identified it with a starfish. The cluster contains about 80 stars scattered over a distance of around 25 light-years. The brightest of these stars are blue giants. M93 is believed to be located some 3,600 light-years from Earth. Its can easily be seen with a pair of binoculars. A small telescope will reveal more of the clusters fainter stars.

M94Galaxy in Canes Venatici
In the constellation of Leo, the lion, can be found an interesting spiral galaxy known as M94. This galaxy has an extremely bright inner region, surrounded by a ring of active star-forming regions. Color photographs of the galaxy reveals the blue colors of these young stars. Another region of moderate star formation is also visible. The distance of this galaxy is not well known, but best estimates place it at about 15 million light-years from us. With a magnitude of 8.2, it can be found with binoculars. Telescopes will reveal much more detail in this galaxy.
M95    Galaxy in Leo
Leo is also the constellation in which the spiral galaxy, M95, can be found. It is a member of a small group of galaxies known as the M96 group. This is a barred spiral galaxy with a visual magnitude of 9.7. It is located about 38 million light-years from Earth. Visually, it shows a definite bar-shaped center with nearly circular spiral arms. Because of this, it has also been referred to as a ringed galaxy. This is not a very bright object, and may be a difficult target for binoculars. Telescopes will provide the best viewing

                   m96
                   m97
                     m98
                    m99
                  m100
M96  Galaxy in Leo
Yet another galaxy to be seen in the constellation of Leo is M96. It is the brightest member of the M96 group of galaxies, with a visual magnitude of 9.2. This object is located about 38 million light-years from Earth and has a diameter of around 100,000 light-years. Visually it has a bright inner disk composed of old yellow stars surrounded by blue knots of young stars. It is inclined about 35 degrees to our line of sight, which gives it a slightly elongated appearance. Although it can be spotted with binoculars on a good night, a telescope is required to see any real detail in this galaxy.

M97Planetary Nebula in Ursa Major
The constellation of Ursa Major is the location of the famous Owl Nebula, M97. This planetary nebula got its name from the two round dark regions, which resemble the eyes of an owl. It is one of the fainter objects in the Messier catalog with a magnitude of only 9.9. The structure of M97 is unusually complex for a planetary nebula. It is illuminated by a 16th-magnitude star at its center. As with most planetary nebulae, its distance is not certain. Best guesses place it at about 2,600 light-years from Earth. This dim object requires a large telescope for any serious viewing

M98Galaxy in Coma Berenices
M98 is a small, dim galaxy located in the constellation of Coma Berenices. It is a member of the Virgo cluster of galaxies, which contains a total of 16 galaxies from the Messier catalog. It is one of the most difficult galaxies in the cluster to observe. Some astronomers believe that this could actually be a foreground object and not actually a member of the cluster, but there is no compelling evidence to support this claim. It is located about 60 million light-years from Earth and is approaching us at a rate of 1200 km/sec. M98 is a spiral galaxy situated nearly edge-on to our line of sight. This gives it an extremely elongated shape. It is best viewed with a large telescope

M99Galaxy in Coma Berenices
Another Virgo cluster member in Coma Berenices is a spiral galaxy known as M99. It is unusual in appearance in that its shape is very asymmetric. It is believed that this asymmetric shape is the result of a recent encounter of another member of the Virgo cluster. It is located about 60 million light-years from Earth and is receding from us at an unusually high rate of 2324 km/sec. Three supernovae have been observed in this galaxy. One was seen in 1967 while two other occurred in 1972 and 1986. With a magnitude of only 9.9, this galaxy may be a difficult find for the binocular observer. Large telescopes will provide the best views

M100Galaxy in Coma Berenices
M100 is one of the brightest members of the Virgo cluster of galaxies. It is located in the constellation of Coma Berenices and is a beautiful example of a nearly face-on spiral galaxy. Visually, this galaxy has two bright spiral arms and several fainter arms. Color photographs reveal the young blue stars in these spiral arms. The galaxy has a slightly asymmetric shape, which may be the result of interaction with neighboring galaxies. M100 can be located with a pair of binoculars, although the best detail can be seen with a large telescope.

                  m101
                      m102
                  m103
                  m104
                  m105
M101Galaxy in Ursa Major
The constellation of Ursa Major is the site of a spiral galaxy known as M101. This a nearly face-on spiral with a bright center and symmetric shape. It is located about 27 million light-years from Earth. With an estimated linear diameter of over 170,000 light-years, this is one of the largest disk galaxies known. M101 is a bright object with a magnitude of 7.9. It is easily visible in binoculars and small telescopes, but an instrument larger than 4-inches is required to see any evidence of the galaxy's faint spiral arms

M102  Galaxy in Draco
M102 is the last of the "missing" Messier objects. There is some uncertainty as to whether the galaxy pictured here is M102. Due to an 18th century error, M101 may have been misclassified as M102. It is widely believed that M102 may be a lenticular galaxy located in the constellation Draco. It is a dim object with a visual magnitude of only 9.9 and can be hard to find without dark skies and ideal observing conditions.
M103Galactic Cluster in Cassiopeia
M103 is one of the latest additions to the Messier catalog. It was discovered by Pierre Mechain and included in the catalog before Messier had a chance to observe it directly. It was also the last object to be included in the first publication of Messier's catalog. This is an open cluster of stars situated in the constellation of Cassiopeia. It consists of about 40 stars located some 8,000 light-years from Earth. Visually, M103 is said to form an arrowhead shape. This bright cluster is an easy target for a pair of binoculars. A small telescope will be able to resolve the cluster's fainter stars.
M104  Galaxy in Virgo
The famous sombrero galaxy is located within the constellation of Virgo. Its designation is M104. This edge-on spiral galaxy got its name from the sombrero hat-like appearance. It is the first object in the catalog that was not included in the original publication. Messier added it by hand to his personal copy in 1781. M104 is characterized by a dark dust lane that spans the length of the galaxy's disk. It is located about 50 million light-years from Earth. This object can be located with binoculars but is best seen in a 4-inch or larger telescope.

M105  Galaxy in Leo
M105 is the brightest member of a group of galaxies in the constellation of Leo known as the M96 group. It is an elliptical galaxy located about 38 million light-years from Earth. This object was discovered by Pierre Mechain in 1781. It was found 3 days earlier than M101 but was not included in the original publication of Messier's catalog. With a visual magnitude of only 9.3, this galaxy is best observed in a 4-inch or larger telescope

                    m106
                     m107
                     m108
                   m109
                     m110
M106Galaxy in Canes Venatici
Canes Venatici is the home of spiral galaxy known as M106. It is located about 25 million light-years from Earth and is receding from us at the rate of 537 km/sec. This galaxy is rotated to our line of sight, which gives is an elongated appearance. In color photographs, the spiral arms end in bright blue knots. These are believed to be young star clusters composed of giant, hot blue stars. M106 can be spotted in binoculars but requires a small telescope to reveal any details.

M107Globular Cluster in Ophiuchus
In the constellation Ophiuchus lies a globular cluster of stars known as M107. It was discovered by Messier's colleague, Pierre Mechain, in 1782 and was not included in the original publication of the catalog. It is located about 20,000 light-years from Earth and is believed to have a diameter of around 60 light-years. This cluster is approaching us at a rate of about 147 km/sec. It can be easily found with binoculars and is an impressive sight in a 4-inch telescope at medium magnification.

M108 Galaxy in Ursa Major
M108 is a spiral galaxy located in the constellation of Ursa Major. It is oriented nearly edge-on to our line of sight, which gives it an elongated visual appearance. This galaxy is unusual in that is has no pronounced central core and the disk is mottled with dark dust lanes. Its distance from Earth is believed to be about 45 million light-years. In spite of this galaxy's visual magnitude of only 10, it is considered an easy target for amateur astronomers. Its details can be seen even in small instruments

M109 Galaxy in Ursa Major
The constellation Ursa Major is the site of a spiral galaxy called M109. It is classified as a barred spiral. The elongated shape of its central core can be seen even in small instruments. This galaxy is located about 55 million light-years from Earth and is believed to be receding from us at a whopping 1142 km/sec. It was the site of a supernova in 1956 that reached a magnitude of 12.8. M109 is easily visible in small instruments where its bright central region appears pear-shaped. Larger instruments will reveal more detail.

M110 Galaxy in Andromeda
The last object in the Messier catalog is an elliptical galaxy in the constellation of Andromeda. It is the second brighter of the two satellite galaxies of M31, the Andromeda galaxy. All three of these galaxies are members of the local group. M110 was discovered by Messier in 1783 when he discovered M31, but it was not included in his catalog at the time. It is located about 2.9 million light-years from Earth. At magnitude 8.5, it can easily be found with binoculars. It is an impressive sight in a 4-inch or larger telescope