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Does Charles Messier post here?


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Does Charles Messier post on on this forum?

I would like to ask him why on earth he started his ruddy list with one of the most difficult objects to see?

I've just wasted an evening trying to tick off the first one. 

Please start again Charles but do it properly and make something like the Andromeda Galaxy M1, Orion M2 and so on.

It's not as if the prizes on offer, when you finally tick them all off, are up to much.

Excuses si vous ne parlez pas anglais

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Does Charles Messier post on on this forum? I would like to ask him why on earth he started his ruddy list with one of the most difficult objects to see? I've just wasted an evening trying t

You could check with Lionel Messi. He did the original list called the Messi list. It includes the easiest objects to find like the Moon, the streetlight outside your back fence, and your neighbour's

I just checked and he last posted on the forum sometime in early 1817 so he might not reply very quickly 😉

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Hehe, funnily enough I have *finally* managed to get some decent weather to use my 8SE over the last few nights, and have been starting my "messier twitching" list.

I was rather surprised to find M1 quite nicely visible; although to be fair it was just a faint patch of light!

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You do know how that list was made?

Messier actually tried to find comets and kept "bumping" into these "smudges" that were comet like, and decided to make a list so that next time he bumped into one - he knew it was not a comet.

I guess he started with one he bumped into most often. That says something about how easy is to find that target? :D

 

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There are a lot of good and quite easy to see DSO's that are not on the Messier list. Messier concentrated on the parts of the sky that comets were thought most likely to be seen in, because that is what he was after. His list was just to remind him of stuff which might be mistaken for a comet.

I think that the Caldwell List is probably a more useful one for the budding deep sky observer.

 

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Viewing the Messier list can be very satisfying. There are a few that are difficult from the UK especially the globular clusters in Sagittarius. Finding the various objects allows you to get to know the constellations. Not sure which telescope you are using but star hopping using a finder scope certainly helps going to right location.

John mentions the Caldwell list which also has some wonderful objects - from the UK you can pick up about 67. I also enjoyed going through the Herschel 400 - there are some difficult objects but there are some brilliant ones as well.

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36 minutes ago, John said:

Messier concentrated on the parts of the sky that comets were thought most likely to be seen in, because that is what he was after.

Short period comets (observable more often and reliable) can more often be found near the ecliptic plane:

"The inclination of a comet's orbit with respect to the ecliptic (approximately, the plane spanned by the orbits of the major planets) depends on the origin of the comet. Long-period comets come from the Oort's cloud; since Oort's cloud is spherical, long-period comets approach the inner solar system at random angles as you correctly guessed (note that their orbit can be majorly perturbed as they pass near the giant planets). Short-period comets originate in Kuiper's belt and orbit roughly along the plane of the ecliptic." (quoted from here: /www.ucolick.org/~mountain/AAA/aaawiki/doku.php?id=do_all_comets_approach_the_sun_along_the_plane_of_the_ecliptic)

M 1 is located very close to the ecliptic, as are M 35, 44, 67, the two Leo triplets, M 64,....; have a look at your planisphere!

Stephan

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3 hours ago, Nyctimene said:

Short period comets (observable more often and reliable) can more often be found near the ecliptic plane:

"The inclination of a comet's orbit with respect to the ecliptic (approximately, the plane spanned by the orbits of the major planets) depends on the origin of the comet. Long-period comets come from the Oort's cloud; since Oort's cloud is spherical, long-period comets approach the inner solar system at random angles as you correctly guessed (note that their orbit can be majorly perturbed as they pass near the giant planets). Short-period comets originate in Kuiper's belt and orbit roughly along the plane of the ecliptic." (quoted from here: /www.ucolick.org/~mountain/AAA/aaawiki/doku.php?id=do_all_comets_approach_the_sun_along_the_plane_of_the_ecliptic)

 

Did Charles Messier know this ?

 

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2 hours ago, John said:

Did Charles Messier know this ?

Certainly not the 20th century concepts of the Kuiper belt and the Oort cloud, associated with the different orbits. I guess, that in the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century there was not enough statistic material and methodology known to Messier to develop the concept of accumulation of comets along the ecliptic plane. At least I didn't find any sources to answer this question.

Stephan

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4 hours ago, faulksy said:

i will pm him now john 🤣

I just checked and he last posted on the forum sometime in early 1817 so he might not reply very quickly 😉

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7 minutes ago, Stu said:

I just checked and he last posted on the forum sometime in early 1817 so he might not reply very quickly 😉

Yeh, didn’t he reply to one of your posts Stu? 😂

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On 06/01/2021 at 14:08, Spile said:

Please start again Charles but do it properly and make something like the Andromeda Galaxy M1, Orion M2 and so on.

It's not as if the prizes on offer, when you finally tick them all off, are up to much.

Excuses si vous ne parlez pas anglais

When and if he replies to that, I think we will hear that Messier objects to what you say ... 😀

Heather

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1 hour ago, Stu said:

I just checked and he last posted on the forum sometime in early 1817 so he might not reply very quickly 😉

i will check back later, hope he adds the cloud nebula to his list stu 🤣

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You could check with Lionel Messi. He did the original list called the Messi list. It includes the easiest objects to find like the Moon, the streetlight outside your back fence, and your neighbour's security light. It was followed up on later with the Messier List, but they're much more difficult to see.

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I have only ever seen the Crab Nebula once in a 8" reflector I have not had chance to look for it with my 5" Refractor I don't hold out much hope in my light polluted skies but there is always a chance. 

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1 hour ago, wookie1965 said:

I have only ever seen the Crab Nebula once in a 8" reflector I have not had chance to look for it with my 5" Refractor I don't hold out much hope in my light polluted skies but there is always a chance. 

Im pretty sure I snared it with my old 102mm f7 last year. Took me a while but with referring to SkySafari on my phone I'm confident I could make out the faintest of smudges through a 25mm BST eyepiece. From my light soaked back garden as well.

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2 hours ago, wookie1965 said:

I have only ever seen the Crab Nebula once in a 8" reflector I have not had chance to look for it with my 5" Refractor I don't hold out much hope in my light polluted skies but there is always a chance. 

I've always found M1 easier in smaller apertures with relatively wide fields. Your 5" & 4" refractors should be perfect for the job. At low power it looks like someone's sneezed on your lens. In the early 1980's I could pick it up easily in my 12X60 binoculars, sadly our skies have deteriorated significantly. Strange really, as we have no real industry polluting them as we did 40 years ago.  I blame the air traffic!  When the plane's were grounded due to the Icelandic volcanoe, and more recently during the first Covid lockdown, the seeing & air quality improved dramatically almost over night.

Once found, increasing the power a little, darkening the sky background and using averted vision, can reveal some vein like structure and uneven brightness within the nebulous glow. On a transparent night I can pick out hints of it's structure even in my 100mm frac! A trick that might increase your chances could be to block out the surrounding light from entering your eye from the side. I use a black dog blanket, (that's a black blanket meant for dogs and not a blanket meant for black dogs)!  

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I have not had a chance to try my Tal or my 5" on it yet my light pollution has got worse I have a UHC filter which I can try when I see it to darken the background.

I had a great viewing of it in the 8" but that was 2.5 years ago I am restricted to the area I can view I can see East and SE limited South is out the question as is west North is not bad but some nights I cannot see all the stars in Ursa Major as the house is in the way.

To see M1 I need the weather when it is in the East or slightly SE after that I have no chance.

This Lamp is directly south.

lamp2.jpg

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On 06/01/2021 at 22:08, Spile said:

Does Charles Messier post on on this forum?

I would like to ask him why on earth he started his ruddy list with one of the most difficult objects to see?

I've just wasted an evening trying to tick off the first one. 

Please start again Charles but do it properly and make something like the Andromeda Galaxy M1, Orion M2 and so on.

It's not as if the prizes on offer, when you finally tick them all off, are up to much.

Excuses si vous ne parlez pas anglais

I completely understand Spile. M1 is a tough first entry😵

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4 hours ago, wookie1965 said:

I have not had a chance to try my Tal or my 5" on it yet my light pollution has got worse I have a UHC filter which I can try when I see it to darken the background.

I had a great viewing of it in the 8" but that was 2.5 years ago I am restricted to the area I can view I can see East and SE limited South is out the question as is west North is not bad but some nights I cannot see all the stars in Ursa Major as the house is in the way.

To see M1 I need the weather when it is in the East or slightly SE after that I have no chance.

This Lamp is directly south.

lamp2.jpg

You send that photo with the fact that you’re an amateur astronomer to the council, they may do something about that for you 

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Why do people question M1 as the founding object of ‘Charlie’s list of annoying objects’. If the comet confusion idea is real, how did Messier include M40!
M40 is clearly just two stars of equal magnitude and I fail to see how anyone could get confused and mistake it for a comet.

I remember my first observations of M40 and saying out loud, “you have to be kidding me”.

As for M1, is there any possibility that it was much brighter in the 1800s than now?

Marvin

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6 minutes ago, Marvin Jenkins said:

M40 is clearly just two stars of equal magnitude and I fail to see how anyone could get confused and mistake it for a comet.

He didn't. Messier searched for a nebula supposedly seen here by Hevelius, found the double star and included it in his catalogue anyway. The first version of the Messier catalogue included 45 objects, it's remarkable that the last four are all well-known and bright objects that could not easily be mistaken for a comet. Seems like he wanted to increase the number of objects on his list for some reason.

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1 hour ago, Marvin Jenkins said:

As for M1, is there any possibility that it was much brighter in the 1800s than now?

I doubt it was, but I’m sure skies were much darker so it was easier to find. I spent years looking for, and failing to find M1 from home or local skies. The first time I went somewhere dark I found it straight away, really quite easy though not spectacular in smaller apertures. I’ve even managed it in 15x50is binoculars once as I recall.

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