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Deep-Sky Companions: The Messier Objects
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  • 330 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 324 pages
  • Size: 246 x 189 mm
  • Weight: 0.995 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 523.8
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: QB65 .O44 1998
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Astronomy--Charts, diagrams, etc
    • Astronomy--Observers' manuals
    • Galaxies--Charts, diagrams, etc
    • Stars--Clusters--Charts, diagrams, etc
    • Nebulae--Charts, diagrams, etc

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521553322 | ISBN-10: 0521553326)

  • Published December 1998

Replaced by 9781107018372


If there were a canon for viewing the night sky, Charles Messier would be its author. The galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae cataloged by the famous comet hunter in the late 1700s are still the most widely observed celestial wonders in the heavens. They are the favorite targets of amateur astronomers, with such rich variety and detail that they never cease to fascinate. This book 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, 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. Expand your universe and test your viewing acumen with this truly modern Messier Guide. It is a must for budding night watchers. Stephen James O'Meara is a contributing editor to Sky and Telescope.


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; Index.


"All the essentials are here...O'Meara's book will be an invaluable guide to some of the finest showpieces in the heavens." New Scientist

"For those planning to...enjoy many fine celestial vistas, there is no better guide than Stephen O'Meara's book. For each object, a 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 studies." Nature

"An excellent guide for anyone interested in observing this class of fascinating deep-sky objects." SpaceViews

"This delightful observing companion by veteran astronomical observer, photographer, and writer O'Meara summarizes the basics of observing (including definitions, concepts, and sky descriptions), and methods and equipment involved...amateur observers...will find this book to be exceptionally useful because it also gives one of the best approaches to observing. Coordinates, size and brightness, distance, excellent description, finding chart, photograph, and a drawing are listed for each object....Highly recommended." Choice

"...will become the standard reference book of the Messier objects for years to come." Science Books & Films

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