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Observing the Messier Objects with a Small Telescope contains descriptions and photographs of the 103 Messier objects, with instructions on how to find them without a computerized telescope or even setting circles. The photographs show how the objects appear through a 127mm Maksutov (and other instruments, where applicable). The visual appearance of a Messier object is often very different from what can be imaged with the same telescope, and a special feature of this book is that it shows what you can see with a small telescope. It also contains binocular descriptions of some objects.
Messier published the final version of his catalog in 1781 (it contains 103 different objects), a catalog so good that it is still in common use today, well over two centuries later. In making a catalog of all the 'fixed' deep-sky objects that observers might confuse with comets, Messier had succeeded in listing all the major interesting deep-sky objects that today are targets for amateur astronomers. Messier's telescope (thought to be a 4-inch) was, by today's amateur standards, small. It also had rather poor optics by modern standards. Thus - and despite the fact that he was a master observer - all the things Messier saw can be found and observed by any observer using a commercial 127 mm (5-inch) telescope. "Observing the Messier Objects with a Small Telescope" lets the reader follow in Messier's footsteps by observing the Messier objects more or less as the great man saw them himself!
Ch. 1: Preface.- Ch. 2: Introduction.- Ch. 3: Messier's Catalogue.- Appendix A: Observing Techniques.- Appendix B: Photographic Techniques.
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Philip Pugh is a mathematician, member of the Institute of Technical and Scientific Communicators, and travels the world as a freelance trainer in science and business. He has had his articles published in Sky & Telescope, Astronomy, and Astronomy Now, and is the author/editor of Springer's forthcoming book, Observing the Sun with Coronado Telescopes.
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