My project to photograph all of the Messier objects. I figured this would be a good way to get me out with a good combination of my stuff and help me figure out how to run the photography side of the hobby. It's a lot different than the film days. If the picture ain't there then I ain't taken it yet. I started the project 2017-07-16. At least that's when I got this web page ready to go.

Getting set up.

The order of the items in the title for each picture are:

Messier calalog number
New General Catalogue (NGC) or Index Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars (IC) number
The object type
Visual magnitude
Object size or diameter
Right ascension and declination
Best viewing season
Common name

I stole the list of objects from It's a really nice site.

M1, NGC-1952, Sn, m8.4, 6'x4', 6300ly, 5h34.5m +22°01', Tau, winter, Crab Nebula

M2, NGC-7089, Gc, m6.5, 12.9', 37900ly, 21h33.5m +00°49', Aqr, autumn

M3, NGC-5272, Gc, m6.2, 16.2', 33900ly, 13h42.2m +28°23', CVn, spring

M4, NGC-6121, Gc, m5.6, 26.3', 7200ly, 16h23.6m -26°32', Sco, summer

M5, NGC-5904, Gc, m5.6, 17.4', 24500ly, 15h18.6m +02°05', Ser, summer

M6, NGC-6405, Oc, m4.2, 25', 1600ly, 17h40.1m -32°13', Sco, summer, Butterfly Cluster

M7, NGC-6475, Oc, m3.3, 80', 800ly, 17h53.9m -34°49', Sco, summer, Ptolemy's Cluster

M8, NGC-6523, Di, m6.0, 90'x40', 5200ly, 18h03.8m -24°23', Sgr, summer, Lagoon Nebula

2018-07-07: Just playing with my T6i, Edge 800, Evolution mount combo. I know I can do better than this even with the Evolution mount. I was just showing someone what they could see in their C8 vs what you can see in 20 seconds with a camera. They were impressed. It looked a lot better on the view screen. Hook 'em while they are young.

M9, NGC-6333, Gc, m7.7, 9.3', 26700ly, 17h19.2m -18°31', Oph, summer

M10, NGC-6254, Gc, m6.6, 15.1', 14400ly, 16h57.1m -04°06', Oph, summer

M11, NGC-6705, Oc, m6.3, 14', 6000ly, 18h51.1m -06°16', Sct, summer, Wild Duck Cluster

M12, NGC-6218, Gc, m6.7, 14.5', 16000ly, 16h47.2m -01°57', Oph, summer

M13, NGC-6205, Gc, m5.8, 16.6', 25100ly, 16h41.7m +36°28', Her, summer, Great Hercules Globular

This was an exceptionally crappy picture taken by my old "Sedona" scope and mount. This not so bad one was with my Mach1GTO mount, Edge 8" and Canon T6i.


Later in the evening I took a comparison shot of M13 and Omega Centauri. The pictures are the same scale. Quite a size difference. I guess the Great Nebula in Hercules isn't quite so great.

Sedona looking for Mr. Omega Centauri.

M14, NGC-6402, Gc, m7.6, 11.7', 29000ly, 17h37.6m -03°15', Oph, summer

M15, NGC-7078, Gc, m6.2, 12.3', 33600ly, 21h30m +12°10', Peg, autumn, Great Pegasus Globular

M16, NGC-6611, Oc, m6.4, 7', 7000ly, 18h18.8m -13°47', Ser, summer, Eagle Nebula

M17, NGC-6618, Di, m7.0, 11', 5000ly, 18h20.8m -16°11', Sgr, summer, Omega Nebula

M18, NGC-6613, Oc, m7.5, 9', 4900ly, 18h19.9m -17°08', Sgr, summer

M19, NGC-6273, Gc, m6.8, 13.5', 28400ly, 17h02.6m -26°16', Oph, summer

M20, NGC-6514, Di, m9.0, 28', 5200ly, 18h02.6m -23°02', Sgr, summer, Trifid Nebula

M21, NGC-6531, Oc, m6.5, 13', 4250ly, 18h04.6m -22°30', Sgr, summer

M22, NGC-6656, Gc, m5.1, 24', 10400ly, 18h36.4m -23°54', Sgr, summer, Sagittarius Cluster

2018-07-07: Just playing around at the end of the First Saturday outreach party at the Etscorn Observatory. This was my Canon T6i on the Edge 800 on the Evolution mount. Not horrible. Took some quick snaps of the Lagoon and Trifid nebulas. They were horrible.

M23, NGC-6494, Oc, m6.9, 27', 2150ly, 17h56.8m -19°01', Sgr, summer

M24, NA, MW, m4.6, 90', 10000ly, 18h16.9m -18°30', Sgr, summer, Sagittarius Star Cloud

M25, IC-4725, Oc, m6.5, 40', 2000ly, 18h31.6m -19°15', Sgr, summer

M26, NGC-6694, Oc, m8.0, 15', 5000ly, 18h45.2m -09°24', Sct, summer

M27, NGC-6853, Pl, m7.4, 8.0'x5.7', 1250ly, 19h59.6m +22°43', Vul, summer, Dumbbell Nebula

Still just messing. This is with a C8 Edge on my Mach1GTO mount. I still don't have the alignment right. Could be my polar scope needs adjusting. The exposure was 60sec, unguided with an ASI1600MC camera at prime focus. The ASiair was controlling things. It's OK. There's always a lot of noise. I don't know yet if it is the camera or what. Maybe the chip is being driven harder than the program says it is. More experimenting needed.

M28, NGC-6626, Gc, m6.8, 11.2', 18600ly, 18h24.5m -24°52', Sgr, summer

M29, NGC-6913, Oc, m7.1, 7', 4000ly, 20h23.9m +38°32', Cyg, summer

M30, NGC-7099, Gc, m7.2, 11', 26100ly, 21h40.4m -23°11', Cap, autumn

M31, NGC-224, Sp, m3.4, 178'x63', 3Mly, 0h41.8m +41°16', And, autumn, Andromeda Galaxy

M32, NGC-221, El, m8.1, 8'x6', 3Mly, 0h42.8m +40°52', And, autumn

M33, NGC-598, Sp, m5.7, 73'x45', 3Mly, 1h33.9m +30°39', Tri, autumn, Triangulum Galaxy

So this is a 125 second exposure with a lot of Moon in the area. I was mostly just zipping around testing the Mach1GTO mount and not shooting pictures for National Geographic.

M34, NGC-1039, Oc, m5.5, 35', 1400ly, 2h42m +42°47', Per, autumn

A 30 second exposure with a Canon T6i, C8 Edge, and Mach1GTO mount.

M35, NGC-2168, Oc, m5.3, 28', 2800ly, 6h08.9m +24°20', Gem, winter

M36, NGC-1960, Oc, m6.3, 12', 4100ly, 5h36.1m +34°08', Aur, winter

M37, NGC-2099, Oc, m6.2, 24', 4400ly, 5h52.4m +32°33', Aur, winter

M38, NGC-1912, Oc, m7.4, 21', 4200ly, 5h28.7m +35°50', Aur, winter

M39, NGC-7092, Oc, m4.6, 32', 825ly, 21h32.2m +48°26', Cyg, autumn

M40, Win4, Ds, m8.4, 0.8', 510ly, 12h22.4m +58°05', UMa, spring, Winnecke 4

M41, NGC-2287, Oc, m4.6, 38', 2300ly, 6h47m -20°44', CMa, winter

M42, NGC-1976, Di, m4.0, 85'x60', 1600ly, 5h35.4m -05°27', Ori, winter, Great Nebula in Orion
M43, NGC-1982, Di, m9.0, 20'x15', 1600ly, 5h35.6m -05°16', Ori, winter, De Mairan's Nebula

I think this is a 1/2 second C11/Hyperstar picture. It can only get better from here. M42 is the big one with M43 below it.

M44, NGC-2632, Oc, m3.7, 95', 577ly, 8h40.1m +19°59', Cnc, winter, Beehive Cluster

M45, NA, Oc, m1.6, 110', 380ly, 3h47m +24°07', Tau, winter, Pleiades

M46, NGC-2437, Oc, m6.0, 27', 5400ly, 7h41.8m -14°49', Pup, winter

I was testing a Celestron Evolution mount with my WOZ61/T6i combination to see if the Evo mount could handle photography. The picture is crappy, because I was testing the mount and had the ISO cranked way up.

M46 has a planetary nebula, NGC-2438, not in it but in front of it a few thousand lightyears. I thought it was a flaw in the camera chip. North is roughly up in both of these pictures.

Some of the pictures were taken with this test setup to see if my Celestron Evolution mount could do it. This setup was quick and easy to get going, and the go-to nature of the mount made finding the objects a breeze. That's a William Optics Zenithstar 61 scope, Flat61 field flattener, and a Canon T6i camera.

M47, NGC-2422, Oc, m5.2, 30', 1600ly, 7h36.6m -14°30', Pup, winter

An equally crappy picture taken while I was testing the Evo mount (see M46). The clump of stars near the top is a separate cluster from M47 and is NGC-2423.

M46, M47 and NGC-2423 are right right next to each other in the sky, but not in real life. Nice. I'll get back to these once I stop playing around.

M48, NGC-2548, Oc, m5.5, 54', 1500ly, 8h13.8m -05°48', Hya, winter

M49, NGC-4472, El, m8.4, 9'x7.5', 60Mly, 12h29.8m +08°00', Vir, spring

Doesn't look like much, especially in a wide Hyperstar'ed image. I'll have to redo it.

M50, NGC-2323, Oc, m6.3, 16', 3000ly, 7h03.2m -08°20', Mon, winter

M51, NGC-5194, Sp, m8.4, 11'x7', 37Mly, 13h30m +47°11', CVn, spring, Whirlpool Galaxy

More experimentin'. Cropped from a C11/Hyperstar shot, so it was kinda small. Will try again later.

M52, NGC-7654, Oc, m7.3, 13', 5000ly, 23h24.2m +61°35', Cas, autumn

M53, NGC-5024, Gc, m7.6, 12.6', 59700ly, 13h12.9m +18°10', Com, spring

M54, NGC-6715, Gc, m7.6, 9.1', 88700ly, 18h55.1m -30°29', Sgr, summer

M55, NGC-6809, Gc, m6.3, 19', 17600ly, 19h40m -30°58', Sgr, summer

M56, NGC-6779, Gc, m8.3, 7.1', 32900ly, 19h16.6m +30°11', Lyr, summer

M57, NGC-6720, Pl, m8.8, 1.4x1.0, 2300ly, 18h53.6m +33°02', Lyr, summer, Ring Nebula

Taken with my C6 (Walter) and a ZWO ASI174MM at prime focus, single 15s exposure. This was the first time using my ASI cameras for anything other than solar work. The pointing may be a little off and/or the factory grease in my Losmandy GM-8 mount was starting to get stiff from the temperature being in the 30's F. It became an undeniable problem later in the evening. I later figured out that the scope needed to be collimated a bit too. Tried stacking pictures, but just about every single shot looked better than any combination of stacked pictures. It's hard starting at 1500mm focal length, but there you go. It looks like six hot pixels!

M58, NGC-4579, Ba, m9.7, 5.5'x4.5', 60Mly, 12h37.7m +11°49', Vir, spring

M59, NGC-4621, El, m9.6, 5'x3.5', 60Mly, 12h42m +11°39', Vir, spring

M60, NGC-4649, El, m8.8, 7'x6', 60Mly, 12h43.7m +11°33', Vir, spring

M61, NGC-4303, Sp, m9.7, 6'x5.5', 60Mly, 12h21.9m +04°28', Vir, spring

M62, NGC-6266, Gc, m6.5, 14.1', 22500ly, 17h01.2m -30°07', Oph, summer

M63, NGC-5055, Sp, m8.6, 10'x6', 37Mly, 13h15.8m +42°02', CVn, spring, Sunflower Galaxy

M64, NGC-4826, Sp, m8.5, 9.3'x5.4', 19Mly, 12h56.7m +21°41', Com, spring, Black Eye Galaxy

M65, NGC-3623, Sp, m9.3, 8'x1.5', 35Mly, 11h18.9m +13°05', Leo, spring

M66, NGC-3627, Sp, m8.9, 8'x2.5', 35Mly, 11h20.2m +12°59', Leo, spring

M67, NGC-2682, Oc, m6.1, 30', 2700ly, 8h50.4m +11°49', Cnc, winter

M68, NGC-4590, Gc, m7.8, 12', 33300ly, 12h39.5m -26°45', Hya, spring

M69, NGC-6637, Gc, m7.6, 7.1', 28000ly, 18h31.4m -32°21', Sgr, summer

M70, NGC-6681, Gc, m7.9, 7.8', 29400ly, 18h43.2m -32°18', Sgr, summer

M71, NGC-6838, Gc, m8.2, 7.2', 12700ly, 19h53.8m +18°47', Sge, summer

M72, NGC-6981, Gc, m9.3, 5.9', 55400ly, 20h53.5m -12°32', Aqr, summer

M73, NGC-6994, As, m9.0, 2.8', 2000ly, 20h59m -12°38', Aqr, summer

M74, NGC-628, Sp, m9.4, 10.2'x9.5', 35Mly, 1h36.7m +15°47', Psc, autumn

M75, NGC-6864, Gc, m8.5, 6', 61300ly, 20h06.1m -21°55', Sgr, summer

M76, NGC-650, Pl, m10.1 2.7'x1.8', 3400ly, 1h42.4m +51°34', Per, autumn, Little Dumbbell Nebula

M77, NGC-1068, Sp, m8.9, 7'x6', 60Mly, 2h42.7m +00°02', Cet, autumn

M78, NGC-2068, Di, m8.3, 8'x6', 1600, 5h46.7m +00°03', Ori, winter

M79, NGC-1904, Gc, m7.7, 8.7', 42100ly, 5h24.5m -24°33', Lep, winter

M80, NGC-6093, Gc, m7.3, 8.9', 32600ly, 16h17m -22°59', Sco, summer

M81, NGC-3031, Sp, m6.9, 21'x10', 12Mly, 9h55.6m +69°04', UMa, spring, Bode's Galaxy

M82, NGC-3034, Ir, m8.4 9'x4', 12Mly, 9h55.8m +69°41', UMa, spring, Cigar Galaxy

M83, NGC-5236, Sp, m7.6 11'x10', 15Mly, 13h37m -29°52', Hya, spring, Southern Pinwheel

M84, NGC-4374, Ln, m9.1, 5', 60Mly, 12h25.1m +12°53', Vir, spring

M85, NGC-4382, Ln, m9.1, 7.1'x5.2', 60Mly, 12h25.5m +18°12', Com, spring

M86, NGC-4406, Ln, m8.9, 7.5'x5.5', 60Mly, 12h26.2m +12°57', Vir, spring

M87, NGC-4486, El, m8.6, 7', 60Mly, 12h30.8m +12°24', Vir, spring

M88, NGC-4501, Sp, m9.6, 7'x4', 60Mly, 12h32.1m +14°26', Com, spring

M89, NGC-4552, El, m9.8, 4', 60Mly, 12h35.7m +12°33', Vir, spring

M90, NGC-4569, Sp, m9.5, 9.5'x4.5', 60Mly, 12h36.8m +13°10', Vir, spring

M91, NGC-4548, Ba, m10.2, 5.4'x4.4', 60Mly, 12h35.5m +14°30', Com, spring

M92, NGC-6341, Gc, m6.4, 11.2', 26700ly, 17h17.1m +43°08', Her, summer

M93, NGC-2447, Oc, m6.0, 22', 3600ly, 7h44.6m -23°52', Pup, winter

Taken with my WOZ61/T6i combo. I was testing a Celestron Evolution mount to see if it was good enough for quick-shot photography. While the goal of this picture was to test the mount, and not take a good picture, it didn't turn out terrible.

M94, NGC-4736, Sp, m8.2, 7'x3', 15Mly, 12h50.9m +41°08', CVn, spring

M95, NGC-3351, Ba, m9.7, 4.4'x3.3', 38Mly, 10h44m +11°42', Leo, spring

M96, NGC-3368, Sp, m9.2, 6'x4', 38Mly, 10h46.8m +11°49', Leo, spring

M97, NGC-3587, Pl, m9.9, 3.4'x3.3', 2600ly, 11h14.8m +55°01', UMa, spring, Owl Nebula

M98, NGC-4192, Sp, m10.1, 9.5'x3.2', 60Mly, 12h13.9m +14°55', Com, spring

M99, NGC-4254, Sp, m9.9, 5.4'x4.8', 60Mly, 12h18.9m +14°26', Com, spring

M100, NGC-4321, Sp, m9.3, 7'x6', 60Mly, 12h23m +15°50', Com, spring

M101, NGC-5457, Sp, m7.9, 22', 27Mly, 14h03.2m +54°21', UMa, spring, Pinwheel Galaxy

A super bad 30 second picture of M101 with my C8 Edge/T6i on the Mach 1. Just testing.

Better, but, ugh. This is a crop from a 2°x2° picture taken with a Hyperstar lens on a C11 with an ASI1600MC-C camera. The cooling was not on. This is also from the Jpeg image on my iPad downloaded from an ASiair (Raspberry Pi) computer. It's November 2019 and I still don't know what to do with the FITs files that the ASiair produces to see if there is a better picture to be had.

A step up. In June 2018 I went on a road trip to Austin, TX and picked up an Astro-Physics Mach1GTO mount. That Celestron EdgeHD 800 (C8) looks a little whimpy on that mount.

M102, NGC-5866, Ln, m9.9, 5.2'x2.3', 40Mly, 15h06.5m +55°46', Dra, summer

One of the first pictures with my Mach1GTO mount. C8 Edge and Canon T6i, 30 seconds. Way better than the Evolution mount.

M103, NGC-581, Oc, m7.4, 6', 8500ly, 1h33.2m +60°42', Cas, autumn

M104, NGC-4594, Sp, m8.0, 9'x4', 50Mly, 12h40m -11°37', Vir, spring, Sombrero Galaxy

M105, NGC-3379, El, m9.3, 2', 38Mly, 10h47.8m +12°35', Leo, spring

M106, NGC-4258, Sp, m8.4, 19'x8', 25Mly, 12h18.9m +47°19', CVn, spring

M107, NGC-6171, Gc, m7.9, 10', 20900ly, 16h32.5m -13°03', Oph, summer

M108, NGC-3556, Sp, m10.0, 8'x1', 45Mly, 11h11.5m +55°40', UMa, spring

M109, NGC-3992, Ba, m9.8, 7'x4', 55Mly, 11h57.6m +53°23', UMa, spring

M110, NGC-205, El, m8.5, 17'x10', 3Mly, 00h40.4m +41°41', And, autumn

Taken with C6 (Walter) and an ASI174MM camera. No filters or anything. Just black and white. Was on my way from IC-10 to NGC-1049 and stopped to take a quick pic. This is a stack of a few shots, but there were mount tracking troubles. Will need to figure that out.

Where in the sky are we?

Stolen from Wikipedia.