RAC Member Awards
Viewing the Messier objects is a great introduction to the night sky. A wide assortment of deep sky objects is represented in the list, providing great variety for the beginning and more experienced observer. The Messier objects were cataloged in the 18th century by French astronomer Charles Messier. Messier's primary passion was the discovery of comets and he started his catalog to identify object that might easily be mistaken as comets. Many of the 110 objects on the list could never be mistaken for comets, so it is likely that the catalog eventually became a list of objects he prized simply for their own beauty. Pierre Mechain, Messier's colleague, discovered many of the objects and added them to the Messier list.

A list of the 110 Messier objects organized by month for best viewing can be downloaded here.

Happy Hunting!


The following esteemed amateur astronomers are certified RAC Messier Award winners:

 Membership Level
(Click to view member's observation log)
Member's Name Date of Award
Michael Swanson Nov 1, 2002


Club Level - attained by observing 70 of the 110 Messier objects
Expert Level - attained by observing all 110 of the Messier objects