top of page

The Messier Catalog Workbook - A Guide to Capture 110 Messier Objects

Updated: Jun 8, 2023

The Messier Catalog Workbook is a complete guide to help you observe and photograph all objects in the Messier catalog. Are you determined to capture every deep sky Messier object?


Get the Messier Catalog Workbook

The Messier Catalog Workbook Cover

Digital Store

  • Price: $18.00

  • Available as a digital PDF in our online store

  • Total Number of Pages: 147


  • Price: $29.99

  • Published on: Amazon (US)

  • If you live in a different country, please type the name of the book on your "local" Amazon website.


About the Workbook

Whether you are a visual astronomer or an amateur astrophotographer, this book will help you complete the entire Messier catalog! Learn about all 110 Messier objects, when and where in the sky to find them, and get some advice on how to capture them.

Complete some challenges along the way and write down what came to your mind when observing or photographing these objects for the first time.

Each target listed in this guide contains a "Sketch box" in which you can write and sketch what you see through the eyepiece, or attach your own printed photograph of the object to complete your OWN Messier catalog!


Format of the Workbook

All 110 objects in the Messier catalog are listed in this book. Most of them are on single pages while some others, which we deemed are some of the most important targets, are displayed on double pages.

Each page is filled with useful information about the object, such as its designation, type, magnitude, how to find it in the sky, and more. You will also find two interactive areas: The objectives list and the observation canvas.

Some images were taken by amateur astrophotographers from the Galactic Hunter community. When possible, we included the acquisition details in the corner of the image. It will show the total integration time as well as the telescope and camera used.

Messier Catalog Workbook 2-page spread example


Breakdown of Each Object

1 - Target Designation

This a quick way to see which deep sky object you are currently reading about. The Messier objects are listed in order starting from 1 to 110.

2 - Statistics Table

A table to quickly learn important data about the object. The target’s common name, if any, the astronomical designation, the type, constellation, magnitude, and year of discovery. The table also has visibility icons (naked eye, binoculars, telescope) letting you know if you need a specific instrument to spot it under dark skies.

3 - Objectives

This is a list of personal challenges related to the object. Check off the objectives when you complete them. Be aware that it may take you years to complete all the objectives in this book! 4

4 - Object Description

A quick description of the object with a few interesting facts and occasional astrophotography tips.

5 - Constellation Map

A map of the constellation in which the object is located. The orange rectangle marks the exact location of the target.

6 - Extra Notes

Some additional notes worth mentioning about the object.

7 - Object Image

A photograph of the object, taken either by us, one of our readers, or by NASA. Head over to the credits page to discover the photographer behind the image!

observation canvas of Messier Catalog workbook

8 - Observation Canvas

The observation canvas is where you can add notes about your first time seeing the object. Here, you can include your equipment, the magnification, the moon phase, the time and date, and the rating you would give the object.

The first thing you should do before starting this book is decide whether you want to dedicate the canvas to drawings or photographs. If you pick drawing, you can directly sketch what you see through the eyepiece on the canvas, then check it off from the objective list! If you pick astrophotography, you can print out and glue a small version of your image onto the page.

If you want to keep track of both sketches and photographs, you can get either The Astrophotographer’s Journal or The Stargazer’s Journal to use on the side.

9 - Object Type Background Frame

The background frame of each page reflects the type of object you are reading about. A bright group of stars represents a cluster, spiral arms are for galaxies, and expanding gas means you have opened the page to a nebula.


Images from the Galactic Hunter Community

Many of the images featured in this book were taken by YOU! Prior to the book's release, we gathered photos and did our best to include as many as possible. For those looking if they made the cut, you'll know you made it in if your name appears on the Credits pages!

Milky Way with Messier Catalog objects annotated
Transition pages showing the Milky Way (credit: Amit Kamble) and annotated with the location of several Messier objects.

Would you like to be added to the credits in the second edition of this book?

If you love an image you've taken that is in the Messier Catalog, we're open to replacing any image that is currently credited to NASA, All Sky Survey, ESO, and ourselves with one of your images.

To submit a photo, visit the GALACTIC FORUM. Enter the “Member image uploads” section and add your image to the thread named “Invitation to be featured in Galactic Hunter’s next book - Submit your images here!

Please note that a second edition of this book is tentative. Additionally, we cannot promise that your images will be featured. Thank you for your understanding!

We are always trying to include the Astro community in as many projects as possible because we are happy to feature your work whenever possible.


Messier Catalog Summary Tables

The last pages of this book contain summary tables where all objects are listed along with their magnitude, designation, image, and constellation.

There is also a check box next to each target that you can tick off whenever you have captured each object! Your goal is of course to either sketch or photograph every Messier object!

Messier Marathon pages of the Messier Catalog Workbook


Final Thoughts

Astrophotography book in backyard with telescope

We have been working hard on this book for over a year and a half, and we hope you enjoy it! If you already own the book, it would be fantastic if you could leave a review about it on Amazon!

If you have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to reach out to us!

Get a physical version of The Messier Catalog Workbook HERE or get the digital version HERE!

The image on the right was sent to us by @marko_pola on Instagram. Thank you so much for this beautiful picture! 😃

Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to stay up to date with our work!

Clear Skies,

Galactic Hunter


Browse Galactic Hunter Books

Galactic Hunter Astrophotography Books

2,645 views0 comments


PixInsight Processing Guides

Subscribe to our newsletter and instantly receive 7 free wallpapers!

Messier Workbook 300x300px ad.jpg

Learn astrophotography with our premium online course. Get lifetime access to all types of imaging content!

Galactic Course Logo transparent.png
bottom of page