Hubble reboots Messier Catalogue

Back in the 1940s, Miss Williamson of the Montreal Centre of the RASC, got many enthusiastic star gazers interested in amateur astronomy by challenging them to find all the objects in the Messier Catalogue.  The idea caught on, and is now every astronomer’s first major challenge. In Miss Williamson’s day, there were no GoTo telescopes; the object was to learn your way around the night sky by finding the 110 Messier objects by “Star Hopping“. This is still the way to earn your Messier certificate. I’m more than halfway through, having mostly the Virgo cluster to explore.  More about the Messier Club.

And if they ever publish this Hubble version as a book, I WANTS IT!!!       CPL

Hubble reboots Messier Catalog

NASA used images from the Hubble Space Telescope to create their own version of the Messier catalog.
For this stunning image of the spiral galaxy M106, multiple exposures from Hubble were combined with ground-based images from the amateur astronomer Robert Gendler. The galaxy was initially discovered in 1781 by Pierre Mechain, Charles Messier’s observing assistant.
Today, NASA published the Hubble Space Telescope’s version of the Messier catalogue, a list of 110 deep-sky objects (including nebulae, star clusters, and galaxies) that French astronomer Charles Messier began almost 250 years ago.

This new reboot of the Messier collection features beautiful Hubble images of 63 deep-sky objects from the original catalog. While astronomy enthusiasts may see some images they have seen before (such as the Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula), the catalog also includes several unpublished images that NASA processed specifically for this project.