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The 110 galaxies, star clusters and nebulae catalogued by the comet hunter Charles Messier in the late 1700s are still the most widely observed celestial wonders in the heavens. They are the favourite targets of amateur astronomers, with such rich variety and detail that they never cease to fascinate. The Messier Objects provides new and experienced observers with a fresh perspective on the Messier objects. Stephen James O'Meara has prepared a visual feast for the observer. Using the finest optical telescopes available for amateur work, superior eyepieces and the darkest site on Earth, he describes and sketches the view from the telescope as never before. There are new drawings, improved finder charts, and new astronomical data on each object, including findings from the Hubble Space Telescope. This is truly the Messier Guide for the modern age.
Foreword David H. Levy
1. Charles Messier and his catalogue David H. Levy
2. How to observe the Messier objects
3. The making of this book
4. The Messier objects by number
5. Some thoughts on Charles Messier
6. Twenty spectacular non-Messier objects
Appendix A. Objects Messier could not find
Appendix B. Messier marathons
Appendix C. A quick guide to navigating the Coma-Virgo cluster
Appendix D. Suggested reading
"[...] there is no better guide than Stephen O'Meara's book. For each object photograph, a finder chart, basic data and a quote from Messier's accounts are provided, with a discussion of what is seen through small telescopes, and some history of telescopic ideas. This is not a treatise on the astrophysics of Messier object, but an observer's guide, a worthy and superior successor to previous attempts."
- Stephen P. Maran, Nature
"[...] impressive [...] contains careful descriptions of each object, finder maps, telescopic drawings, and photographs. The text is spirited and informed, and the result is a must-have on the bookshelf of deep-sky enthusiasts."
- Astronomy Magazine
"A great value for money book which will delight any keen deep space watcher."
"The Messier Objects is packed with useful advice, historical facts, and interesting anecdotes."
- Robert Argyle, The Observatory
"[...] this is an excellent book and it deserves a place on the bookshelf of both the novice and experienced amateur astronomer."
- The Journal of the British Astronomical Association
"Steve O'Meara says the purpose of the book is to provide new and experienced observers with a fresh perspective on the Messier objects. He has succeeded brilliantly."
- Astronomy & Space
"[...] to be recommended to any serious backyard astronomer."
- A. D. Andrews, Irish Astronomical Journal
"All in all, the book lives up to the author's claim about offering a new perspective and is thoroughly up to date and very readable book on the subject. I feel that it offers all deep sky observers something. Even if you have seen all the Messier Objects – and I suspect most of us take them rather for granted – it will inspire you to go out and have another look at them (it has me). Highly recommended."
- Faith Jordan, Webb Society Quarterly Journal
"The book is well printed on heavy paper and both drawings and most of the photographs appear to have reproduced well. [...] I think this is an excellent book and a worthy replacement for The Messier Album and deserves a place on the bookshelf of both the novice and experienced amateur astronomer."
- Owen Brazell, Webb Society Quarterly Journal
"I thoroughly enjoyed this book."
- Ronald Morales, Webb Society Quarterly Journal