The 18th century French Astronomer Charles Messier is best known for his catalog of nebulae and cluster, 1st published in 1771. This list of 110 deep-sky objects is known to today's astronomers as the 'Messier Catalog'.
As an astronomer, Messier's primary job was to hunt for comets. During his comet searches, he kept running into these diffuse non-comet objects that would frustrate him. So Messier began a list to help comet hunters avoid these false comets.
Over the centuries, Messier's list became popular targets for amateurs because these 'M-objects' could be easily visually observed with small-aperture telescopes.


This page displays sketches and video capture images of all 110 objects of the Messier Catalog.   The sketches were created by visually observing the object thru a telescope and using pencil on white paper to sketch the best view of the object using the telescope and eyepiece indicated.

All video capture images were made with an 8" Celestron or Meade SCT, and either a AstroVid StellaCam Ex or StellaCam II, unless otherwise indicated.   The video camera was attached at the telescopes prime focus, where the eyepiece would normally go.  For larger extended objects, an F6.3 focal reducer was also used.   Images were recorded using the camera's longest exposure speed of ~2.5 seconds for the EX, or 8 seconds for the SCII. Depending on the object, multiple single capture images have been stacked using either Astrostack or Registax.   Additional post-processing done using Adobe PhotoDeluxe.

Messier Objects You Might See Tonight! PDF

To view the sketches and images of an individual object, just click on the object button in the left hand frame.

If you have a high-speed broadband connection, and would like to see the entire Messier Catalog as a scrollable page,
click this link: Messier Objects: Sketches & Images

Most of the Sketches were made with the following telescopes:

Homemade 10" Dobsonian Reflector

a 'classic' 13" Coulter Dobsonian Reflector

8" Coulter Dobsonian Reflector

The Deep-Sky images were made with either an AstroVid StellaCam Ex or StellaCam II, and a 8" SCT or small 80mm Refractor.


If you would like to learn more about sketching or video imaging, please visit my 'Deep Sky Sketches' or 'Astro Videography' webpages. Links are available below or from my home webportal page.

Neat links:
Webb Society
Messier objects
SEDS Messier Database
Larry's Deep-Sky Sketches
Larry's Astro Videography
Larry's home webportal

You may E-mail me at:

This is it. Hope you enjoyed the visit. Come again soon!