Updated: Dec 7, 2020
The Messier Catalog Workbook is a complete guide to help you observe and photograph every Messier object in the Messier catalog.
Read more below!
Are you determined to visit every deep sky object in the Messier catalog?
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!
Published on: Amazon (US link, if you live in a different continent, please type the name of the book in your "local" Amazon website).
Available as a digital PDF on Simple Goods
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 their 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 also decided to include the acquisition details in the corner of the image. It will show the total integration time as well as the telescope and camera used.
Here is a rundown on the information you can expect to find for each object:
1 - TARGET DESIGNATION A quick way to see which deep sky object you are currently reading about. The Messier objects are listed in order and go 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 - 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!
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 in this book were taken by YOU GUYS! We have been looking at the work you submitted during the months prior to the book's release, and have tried our best to include as many of you as possible. If one of your images is featured in the book, your name appears in the Credits pages!
Would you like to be added to the credits in the event of a second edition of this book? If you have taken an image of a Messier object you are proud of, we could add it to this book! We are willing to replace any image that are currently credited to NASA, All Sky Survey, ESO and ourselves with one of your images.
Submitting an image is simple, visit navigate to the GALACTIC FORUM. From there, enter the “Member image uploads” section and add your image into the thread named “Invitation to be featured in Galactic Hunter’s next book - Submit your images here!”. You will see instructions and a table showing which images are open or locked for submission.
Please note that we may or may not decide to do a second edition of this book and cannot promise that your images will be featured. Thank you for your understanding!
We are always trying to include the community in as many projects as possible, and are happy to feature your work whenever possible.
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!
We have been working hard on this book for the past year and a half, and hope you guys will enjoy it!
If you already own the book and enjoy it, it would be fantastic if you could give it a review on Amazon!
If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to reach out to us!
The image on the right was sent to us by @marko_pola on Instagram! Thank you so much for this beautiful picture 😃
Galactic Hunter Books