Charles Messier

18th- and 19th-century French astronomer

Charles Messier (June 26, 1730 – April 12, 1817) was a French astronomer who is remembered for publishing a list of famous objects in space that came to be called the 103 "Messier objects".

Charles Messier

Messier's life


Messier was born in Badonviller in the Lorraine region of France. Six of his brothers and sisters died as children and in 1741, his father died. Charles became interested in astronomy after he saw the great six-tailed comet in 1744 and by a solar eclipse on July 25, 1748.

In 1751 he started working for Joseph Nicolas Delisle, the astronomer of the French Navy, who told him to write down everything he saw.

Messier discovered thirteen comets :[1]

  • C/1760 B1 (Messier)
  • C/1763 S1 (Messier)
  • C/1764 A1 (Messier)
  • C/1766 E1 (Messier)
  • C/1769 P1 (Messier)
  • D/1770 L1 (Lexell)
  • C/1771 G1 (Messier)
  • C/1773 T1 (Messier)
  • C/1780 U2 (Messier)
  • C/1788 W1 (Messier)
  • C/1793 S2 (Messier)
  • C/1798 G1 (Messier)
  • C/1785 A1 (Messier-Mechain)


  1. "Maik Meyer. Catalog of comet discoveries". Archived from the original on 2008-07-16. Retrieved 2009-03-11.

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