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Messier Marathon: Tips to Capture All 110 Objects in One Night!

Updated: May 30, 2023


The end of winter is a cause for celebration for northern hemisphere stargazers. Why? It's the perfect time for a Messier Marathon!


In a single evening, you can view or take images of each of the 110 objects in the Messier Catalog. Learn more about Charles Messier, find info about each object, and get tips for how to plan a successful evening in the guide below.


Guide for the Messier Marathon astronomy

 

Who is Charles Messier?

Portrait image of Charles Messier, inspiration for the Messier Marathon.
The man, the legend: Charles Messier

If you've heard of the Messier Catalog, you may know the man it's named after - Charles Messier. An astronomer in the 1700s, Messier was an avid comet chaser and had a hand in finding many of them!


With a keen eye on the evening sky, he noticed a faint, fuzzy object while looking for comets. This turned out to be Messier 1, or M1 - the Crab Nebula. He continued to accidentally find new objects that were not comets, so he created a catalog of his findings titling each one M1, M2, and so on.



In his lifetime, Messier cataloged over 40 objects, and more were added by other astronomers with some even added after his death. The last entry, M110, was added in 1967!



Fun fact: Galactic Hunter created a crowdfunding campaign to clean up Messier's unkempt grave after visiting it in Paris in 2021.


We were saddened to see how overgrown and forgotten it had become. To us, he is an inspiration and the reason we do astrophotography today. A page was set up for donations and we succeeded in meeting the original goal and met several more! With support from the Astro community, we raised enough funds to ensure that Charles Messier's grave will be tended to for at least 25 years. Along with being kept clean, it will also be decorated with flowers regularly and is now easier to find with the addition of a shiny plaque. Read more about that project.


 

What's a Messier Marathon?

A Messier Marathon is an all-night challenge with the goal of observing all 110 objects in the Messier Catalog. It was invented by American astronomers Tom Holfelder, Donald Machholz, and Tom Reiland in the 1970s. The goal is to see all objects in a single evening before the sun comes up, and if you're wondering whether it's possible - it is! This astronomical challenge starts at sundown, so there's just enough time to see each one if you have a good strategy and the conditions are right. Below you can see all the Messier objects on a map, which can be useful if you are creating your own Messier Marathon field guide!


Map of all Messier objects with constellations
Plot of all Messier objects with constellations

Doing the marathon alone might be the most efficient method, but it's also great to meet with others and work on something in good company! Since its invention, astronomical societies and star parties began to gather at dark sky sites annually to enjoy checking off each item in close proximity. It's fun like a sleepover, but don't be fooled, it's called a marathon for a reason.


If you're a stargazer looking for a challenge, this could be right up your alley. Are you up for it?


 

Messier Marathon Tips

A person wishing to take on the challenge can only do so in the proper conditions. We've compiled several tips for first-timers or those looking for the best strategy to finally knock out this challenge.


  1. Start at astronomical twilight. This is the time in the evening when it's just dark enough to see objects. Time and Date is a great place to check what time astronomical twilight is in your area. Depending on your location and the view you have on the horizon, you might need to start before the sky even gets dark, and hope to get a glimpse of the first deep-sky objects before they set.

  2. View objects from the west to the east. As the earth rotates, targets in the west will disappear first, which is why those should be observed first.

  3. Observe from the best possible area in the northern hemisphere. Unfortunately, not all objects can be seen from the southern hemisphere. M81, M82, M52, and M103 will not rise high enough, so if you're down there, you're out of luck. The best areas to accomplish a Messier Marathon are between latitudes of 20 degrees south and 55 degrees north.

  4. Search for a location with dark skies. If you're able to, find a place to set up that's safe, away from light pollution, and is as close to a Bortle 1 sky as possible. The darker the site, the easier it is to spot the deep sky objects. Check out Dark Sky Finder to scout for a dark sky site near you.

  5. Expect to stay up all night. Get comfortable! Consider taking a nap and don't forget to pack your essential items. Prepare to settle in for a long evening because once you start, you won't be able to stop! Think about nourishment, bathroom breaks, table, chairs... All that you need to help you stay awake and alert.

  6. Get familiar with your setup. It goes without saying, but we'll say it anyway - know what you're working with. Whether it's a telescope and camera combo or binoculars, ensure you are capable of handling your gear/equipment and know how to move from object to object. Without a GoTo mount, the challenge might be harder, but you should have enough time to make out what you see. Also, if you're using electronic gear, be sure you bring what you need to maintain power all night. Keep extra batteries or have a steady source of power nearby!

  7. Have a keen eye and a quick hand. You have several minutes to find each object before you need to move on to the next one. It's important to stay sharp and not to get stuck. Time is not on your side, and although you can take breaks until the next object appears, don't spend too much time looking for something. This leads us to the next tip...

  8. Know what you're looking for. If you've never seen the Messier Catalog or know the designations, now's the time! You'll be looking for deep sky objects that may not be easy to spot and are not the same type of celestial body. You'll be searching for nebulae, galaxies, clusters of stars, etc. See all objects further below!

  9. Check if the weather is optimal for stargazing. While it can't be controlled, the weather does have a significant impact on this challenge. The conditions have to be just right with both clear AND dark skies. Additionally, it's wise to pack clothes that agree with the weather that night because it will most likely be very cold.

  10. Plan around the best time of year for a Messier Marathon. The best time to take on this challenge is between mid-March and the beginning of April. As you plan around this time period, consider the moon phases. Find a day closest to the new moon when the sky is the darkest at night.

  11. Have a strategy. The best way to tackle the challenge is to chart a course in the sky because of how quickly you have to bounce from target to target. If you don't have a plan, you risk wasting precious time. You can use planetarium software like Stellarium or SkySafari to chart your path. Below you'll find a recommended strategy.



 

The Optimal Messier Marathon Strategy


Give yourself the best chance at succeeding on your first try by studying a strategy ahead of time. The best way to complete the Messier Marathon without a GoTo mount is to star hop and have a good understanding of the constellations. You can also make a Messier Marathon planner with the information below to take with you on the field.


We have outlined the optimal strategy for you to follow and capture all 110 objects below. Follow the list from top to bottom and start with the objects in sequence from left to right. For reference, each line lists the Messier designation(s) and the constellation it's found in.

  • M77 - Cetus

  • M74 - Pisces

  • M33 - Triangulum

  • M31, M32, then M110 - Andromeda

  • M52, M103 - Cassiopeia

  • M76, M34 - Perseus

  • M45 - Taurus

  • M79 - Lepus

  • M42, M43, M78 - Orion

  • M1 - Taurus

  • M35 - Gemini

  • M37, M36, M38 - Auriga

  • M41 - Canis Major

  • M93, M47, then M46 - Puppis

  • M50 - Monoceros

  • M48 - Hydra

  • M44, M67 - Cancer

  • M95, M96, M105, M65, then M66 - Leo

  • M81, M82, M97, M108, M109, then M40 - Ursa Major

  • M106, M94, M63, then M51 - Canes Venatici

  • M101, M102 - Ursa Major

  • M53, M64 - Coma Berenices

  • M3 - Canes Venatici

  • M98, M85, M99, then M100 - Coma Berenices

  • M84, M86, M87, M89 then M90 - Virgo

  • M88, M91 - Coma Berenices

  • M58, M59, M60, M49, M61, then M104 - Virgo

  • M68, M83 - Hydra

  • M5 - Serpens

  • M13, M92 - Hercules

  • M57, M56 - Lyra

  • M29, M39 - Cygnus

  • M27 - Vulpecula

  • M71 - Sagitta

  • M107, M10, M12, M14, then M9 - Ophiuchus

  • M4, M80 - Scorpius

  • M19, M62 - Ophiuchus

  • M6, M7 - Scorpius

  • M11 - Scutum

  • M26 - Sagittarius

  • M16 - Serpens

  • M17, M18, M24, M25, M23, M21, M20 - Sagittarius

  • M8, M28, M22, M69, M70, M54, M55, then M75 - Sagittarius

  • M15 - Pegasus

  • M2, M72, M73 - Aquarius

  • M30 - Capricornus


 

All 110 Messier Catalog Objects


If you need a refresher on all the objects found in the Messier Catalog, we've got you covered. Find information about all the designations below. As you read about each, you may discover that some objects have been given names in relation to how they appear to the naked eye, and others simply have a designation of Messier #. When objects are not able to be seen with the naked eye, it means they are best viewed through binoculars or a telescope. Additionally, some designations are hyperlinked to blog posts with more information, so be sure to click these if you want to learn much more about each Messier object.


For a deeper dive into each object, including a brief history, statistics, and star charts for reference, consider purchasing our comprehensive Messier Catalog Workbook.



M1 - Messier 1 - Crab Nebula picture

Type: Supernova remnant

Constellation: Taurus

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: It looks like a crab's claw when observed.


M2 - Messier 2 picture

Type: Globular cluster

Constellation: Aquarius

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: One of the largest globular clusters.



M3 - Messier 3 picture

Type: Globular cluster

Constellation: Canes Venatici

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: It looks very similar to M2. Has 274 variable stars.



M4 - Messier 4 picture

Type: Globular cluster

Constellation: Scorpius

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: One of many globular clusters, it is the closest one to earth.



M5 - Messier 5 picture

Type: Globular cluster

Constellation: Serpens

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: The most interesting object in the constellation of Serpens.



M6 - Butterfly Cluster

Type: Open cluster

Constellation: Scorpius

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: It looks like an outline of a butterfly with open wings.


M7 - Ptolemy Cluster

Type: Open cluster

Constellation: Scorpius

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: A bright open cluster named after the Greek astronomer, Ptolemy.


M8 - Messier 8 - Lagoon Nebula picture

Type: Emission nebula

Constellation: Sagittarius

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: The brightest and largest nebula visible in the Milky Way core.


Messier 9

Type: Globular cluster

Constellation: Ophiuchus

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: Has several bright yellow and blue stars in the cluster.


M10 - Messier 10 picture

Type: Globular cluster

Constellation: Ophiuchus

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: Similar to M9 but appears more round and slightly brighter.


M11 - Messier 11 - Wild Duck Cluster picture

Type: Open cluster

Constellation: Scutum

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: Named "wild duck" after its V-shape - like a flock of ducks.



M12 - Gumball Globular

Type: Globular cluster

Constellation: Ophiuchus

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: Most of the stars are blue when photographed.


M13 - Messier 13 - Hercules Cluster picture

Type: Globular cluster

Constellation: Hercules

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: Very easy to spot because it is large and bright.



Messier 14

Type: Globular cluster

Constellation: Ophiuchus

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: It does not rise high in the sky and is difficult to see even from a dark location without binoculars.


M15 - Pegasus Cluster

Type: Globular cluster

Constellation: Pegasus

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: A dense cluster that is large with a small core.


M16 - Messier 16 - Eagle Nebula picture

Type: Emission Nebula

Constellation: Serpens

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: It looks like an eagle and holds the famous Pillars of Creation.


M17 - Messier 17 - Omega Nebula picture

Type: Emission Nebula

Constellation: Sagittarius

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: Easy to capture with amateur astrophotography equipment.


Messier 18

Type: Open cluster

Constellation: Sagittarius

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: Best seen with binoculars or a telescope. It's possible to see both M18 and M17 in the same frame.


Messier 19

Type: Globular cluster

Constellation: Ophiuchus

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: Best seen by northern hemisphere observers at the beginning of summer since it's low on the horizon.


M20 - Messier 20 - Trifid Nebula picture

Type: Reflection/Dark Nebula

Constellation: Sagittarius

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: It looks like two blobs divided by dust lanes.



M21 - Messier 21 picture

Type: Open cluster

Constellation: Sagittarius

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: Located next to M20 and can be seen in the same frame with small telescopes.


Messier 22

Type: Globular cluster

Constellation: Sagittarius

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: Easy to see on a very dark and clear night.


Messier 23

Type: Open cluster

Constellation: Sagittarius

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: Great target for beginner astrophotographers because it is easy to find.


M24 - Sagittarius Star Cloud

Type: Star cloud

Constellation: Sagittarius

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: It is the largest entry in the entire Messier Catalog.


Messier 25

Type: Open cluster

Constellation: Sagittarius

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: Home to about 600 stars.


M26 - Messier 26 picture

Type: Open cluster

Constellation: Scutum

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: Too dim to see and appears to be overlapped by dark clouds in photographs.


M27 - Messier 27 - Dumbell Nebula picture

Type: Planetary nebula

Constellation: Vulpecula

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: Called the Dumbell Nebula, or Apple Core Nebula, because of its shape.


Messier 28

Type: Globular cluster

Constellation: Sagittarius

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: Home to at least 50,000 stars and has 12 millisecond-pulsars. It's the Messier cluster with the most millisecond pulsars.


M29 - Messier 29 picture

Type: Open cluster

Constellation: Cygnus

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: Not often photographed, but contains bright nebulosity only seen in photos.


M30 - Messier 30 picture

Type: Globular cluster

Constellation: Capricornus

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: Messier described it as a nebula without stars but it turned out to be a star cluster.


M31 - Messier 31 - Andromeda Galaxy picture

Type: Spiral galaxy

Constellation: Andromeda

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: Andromeda is the brightest galaxy visible to the naked eye.



M32 - Messier 32 - Le Gentil Galaxy picture

Type: Elliptical galaxy

Constellation: Andromeda

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: Dwarf galaxy orbiting M31. Can be seen in the same frame as M31.


M33 - Messier 33 - Triangulum Galaxy picture

Type: Spiral galaxy

Constellation: Triangulum

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: Can be seen with the naked eye in a dark location away from light pollution.


M34 - Messier 34 picture

Type: Open cluster

Constellation: Perseus

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: One of two objects located in Perseus. The other is M76.



M35 - Messier 35 picture

Type: Open cluster

Constellation: Gemini

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: An open cluster of stars that is the size of the full moon.



M36 - Messier 36 picture

Type: Open cluster

Constellation: Auriga

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: Similar in size and shape to M45 (the Pleiades) but fainter and smaller.


M37 - Messier 37 picture

Type: Open cluster

Constellation: Auriga

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: The largest, brightest, and most populous of three open clusters in Auriga.


M38 - Messier 38 picture

Type: Open cluster

Constellation: Auriga

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: Nicknamed the "Starfish Cluster" because it is shaped like a star.


M39 - Messier 39 picture

Type: Open cluster

Constellation: Cygnus

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: Contains about 30 stars that are blue in color when photographed.


M40 - Messier 40 - Winnecke 4 picture

Type: Double star

Constellation: Ursa Major

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: Mistaken for a nebula by its discoverer, Messier viewed M40 through his telescope and found it to be a double star.


Messier 41

Type: Open cluster

Constellation: Canis Major

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: Located very close to the brightest star in the sky: Sirius.


M42 - Messier 42 - Orion Nebula picture

Type: Reflection/Emission nebula

Constellation: Orion

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: Easiest nebula to find in the Messier Catalog, and is one of the most popular and impressive to view through binoculars or a telescope.


M43 - Messier 43 - De Mairan's Nebula picture

Type: Emission nebula

Constellation: Orion

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: Easily appears in every photograph of the Orion Nebula, and was named after Jean-Jacques d'Ortous de Mairan.


M44 - Beehive Cluster

Type: Open cluster

Constellation: Cancer

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: Very large and easy to spot and photograph, it is the third brightest object in the Messier Catalog.


M45 - Messier 45 - Pleiades picture

Type: Open cluster

Constellation: Taurus

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: Very easy to spot. Also called the Seven Sisters, it is the brightest cluster in the night sky visible to the naked eye.


M46 - Messier 46 picture

Type: Open cluster

Constellation: Puppis

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: It is a unique cluster that does not rise high, but can be found easily because it trails Sirius - the brightest star in the sky.


M47 - Messier 47 picture

Type: Open cluster

Constellation: Puppis

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: Similar to M46, it does not rise high for northern hemisphere observers.


Messier 48

Type: Open cluster

Constellation: Hydra

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: Also known as "the lost Messier object" because Messier made a mistake when recording its location.


Messier 49

Type: Open cluster

Constellation: Puppis

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: It is a unique cluster that does not rise high above the horizon, but can be found easily because it trails Sirius - the brightest star in the sky.


M50 - Messier 50 picture

Type: Open cluster

Constellation: Monoceros

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: The object is bright but not dense enough to be visible to the naked eye.


M51 - Messier 51 - Whirlpool Galaxy picture

Type: Interacting Spiral Galaxy

Constellation: Canes Venatici

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: One of the most famous entries in the Messier Catalog. It's a spiral galaxy that is merging with a smaller galaxy, NGC 5195.


Type: Open cluster

Constellation: Cassiopeia

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: Although it can be seen with the naked eye, is not easy to spot. Located right next to the Bubble Nebula.


Messier 53

Type: Globular cluster

Constellation: Coma Berenices

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: It has a very bright core so it is not difficult to find.


Messier 54

Type: Globular cluster

Constellation: Sagittarius

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: Along with M79, M54 is one of the only extragalactic globular clusters in the catalog.


M55 - Summer Rose Star

Type: Globular cluster

Constellation: Sagittarius

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: Messier usually observed from Paris and did not find this object for a long time because it did not rise high in the sky.


M56 - Messier 56 picture

Type: Globular cluster

Constellation: Lyra

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: M56 travels in a retrograde orbit to the Milky Way - meaning it's going in the opposite direction of the spiral arms of our galaxy.


M57 - Messier 57 - Ring Nebula picture

Type: Planetary nebula

Constellation: Lyra

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: One of the smallest objects in the catalog yet very bright visually, M57 is easiest to find with a telescope.


Messier 58

Type: Intermediate barred spiral galaxy

Constellation: Virgo

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: It is the brightest member of the Virgo cluster of galaxies.


M59 - Messier 59 picture

Type: Elliptical galaxy

Constellation: Virgo

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: M59 is believed to hold 2,200 globular clusters.


M60 - Messier 60 picture

Type: Elliptical galaxy

Constellation: Virgo

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: Lies within the Virgo cluster of galaxies. Elliptical galaxies don't have any distinguishable details, but the nearby NGC 4647 does.


Messier 61

Type: Intermediate barred spiral galaxy

Constellation: Virgo

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: M61 is a very faint object, which may make it difficult to spot and looks best when photographed.


Messier 62

Type: Globular cluster

Constellation: Ophiuchus

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: A compact cluster of stars that appears mostly yellow when photographed with a white and blueish core.


M63 - Messier 63 - Sunflower Galaxy picture

Type: Spiral galaxy

Constellation: Canes Venatici

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: M63 resembles a colorful flower with its bright yellow core and blue spiral arms.


Type: Spiral galaxy

Constellation: Coma Berenices

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: It is difficult to see without a pair of large binoculars at the very least. It appears to be shrouded in dark clouds.


M65 - Messier 65 picture

Type: Intermediate spiral galaxy

Constellation: Leo

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: It is a part of the "Leo Triplet." It does not contain much gas and has little star-forming activity.


M66 - Messier 66 picture

Type: Intermediate spiral galaxy

Constellation: Leo

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: Also a part of the Leo Triplet. It is believed that it looks somewhat deformed as a result of a collision with the other objects in the group.


M67 - Messier 67 - King Cobra Cluster picture

Type: Open cluster

Constellation: Cancer

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: M67 is very close to M44, the Beehive Cluster, and is rarely captured in photographs.


Messier 68

Type: Globular cluster

Constellation: Hydra

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: It has mostly white and yellow stars and is not very difficult to spot.


Messier 69

Type: Globular cluster

Constellation: Sagittarius

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: A cluster of stars dotted with yellow and blue stars. Somewhat tricky to spot because it is not high in the sky.


Messier 70

Type: Globular cluster

Constellation: Sagittarius

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: A cluster that's slightly larger than its neighbors M54 and M69.


M71 - Messier 71 picture

Type: Globular cluster

Constellation: Sagitta

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: This object is difficult to find with binoculars. The cluster has a lot of yellow-colored stars.


Messier 72

Type: Globular cluster

Constellation: Aquarius

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: A small and faint cluster containing at least 43 variable stars. It is not often observed or photographed.


Messier 73

Type: Asterism

Constellation: Aquarius

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: This object is actually an asterism made up of four bright stars! This entry is not considered a deep sky object.


M74 - Messier 74 - Phantom Galaxy picture

Type: Spiral galaxy

Constellation: Pisces

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: This galaxy is about the same size as the Milky Way but has a very low surface brightness so is hard to see visually. It looks bright in pictures though!


Messier 75

Type: Globular cluster

Constellation: Sagittarius

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: An extremely dense cluster with a bright core.


M76 - Little Dumbell Nebula

Type: Planetary nebula

Constellation: Perseus

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: Best seen with a large telescope. Also named the "Little Dumbell Nebula," M76 is similar in shape and composition to M27 but appears much smaller.


M77 - Cetus A

Type: Barred spiral galaxy

Constellation: Cetus

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: Also known as "Cetus A," M77 is the brightest galaxy in the constellation of Cetus.


M78 - Messier 78 picture

Type: Reflection Nebula

Constellation: Orion

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: An impressive broadband target for astrophotographers with a lot of hydrogen alpha in the background. You can spot it easily by its two bright stars.


Messier 79

Type: Globular cluster

Constellation: Lepus

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: Depending on your location, it may be hard to find because it does not rise high for observers in the northern hemisphere.


Messier 80

Type: Globular cluster

Constellation: Scorpius

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: A densely populated cluster found near Antares, a very bright orange star.


M81 - Messier 81 - Bode's Galaxy picture

Type: Grand design spiral galaxy

Constellation: Ursa Major

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: The largest galaxy of the M81 group of galaxies in the constellation of Ursa Major.


M82 - Messier 82 - Cigar Galaxy picture

Type: Starburst galaxy

Constellation: Ursa Major

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: Unlike M81, which is a spiral galaxy seen face-on, the shape of this target is different because it is seen edge-on.


M83 - South Pinwheel Galaxy

Type: Barred spiral galaxy

Constellation: Hydra

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: No - M83 is not the popular French synth band. This object can be a challenge to find because it does not rise high in the sky.


M84 - Messier 84 picture

Type: Elliptical galaxy

Constellation: Virgo

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: It is very faint when observed through a telescope so it may be difficult to spot without it.


Messier 85

Type: Lenticular or elliptical galaxy

Constellation: Coma Berenices

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: It is similar in shape to M84, and just like it, scientists are unsure whether it is a lenticular or elliptical galaxy.


M86 - Messier 86 picture

Type: Lenticular or elliptical galaxy

Constellation: Virgo

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: And yet again, here is another object that is not fully classified as lenticular or elliptical.


M87 - Messier 87 - Virgo A picture

Type: Supergiant elliptical galaxy

Constellation: Virgo

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: It has a bright core and is home to an active supermassive black hole that expels a jet of gas out of the galaxy.


Messier 88

Type: Spiral galaxy

Constellation: Come Berenices

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: A spiral galaxy that looks similar to M63, the Sunflower Galaxy, but appears much smaller.


Messier 89

Type: Elliptical Galaxy

Constellation: Virgo

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: It is a part of the Virgo cluster and is an almost perfectly round elliptical galaxy which is quite rare.


Messier 90

Type: Intermediate spiral galaxy

Constellation: Virgo

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: One of the brightest and largest galaxies of its kind in the Virgo Supercluster.


Messier 91

Type: Barred spiral galaxy

Constellation: Coma Berenices

Visible to the Naked Eye: No

Description: Can only be seen through a telescope and under dark skies. The faintest object in the entire Messier Catalog - with a magnitude of 11.0.


M92 - Messier 92 picture

Type: Globular cluster

Constellation: Hercules

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: Can be spotted without binoculars or a telescope, but it can be challenging depending on the amount of light pollution near you. This bright cluster might be as old as the universe itself.


Messier 93

Type: Open cluster

Constellation: Puppis

Visible to the Naked Eye: Yes

Description: Is in close proximity to Sirius, and is believed to be home to several hundreds of stars.