"Historic M" - Explanation

Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke

1 September 2022

The "Historic M" contains the list of the 110 Messier objects, sorted by M-number (see explanation of columns below). Click here for download (xls-File). All information presented here is part of my scientific research. My book "Obervation and Cataloguing Nebulae and Star Clusters - from Herschel to Dreyer's New General Catalogue" contains more information about this data. It has been published in August 2010 (see here; a german version is on the market since January 2009).

All data are copyright by the author and, if used in a publication or in other datasets, must be credited properly (please inform me in any case). Please inform the author about any errors found in the dataset.


Columns in the "Historic M"

M Messier number
C Catalogue: 1 = 1774, 2 = 1780, 2a = 1780 (addition), 3 = 1781, x = later addition
N N = NGC, I = IC
NI NGC- or IC-number
Class Class & number in W. Herschel's catalogues
h No. in J. Herschel's Slough- and Cape catalogues
GC No. in J. Herschel's General Catalogue
Other Other designation (Lac = Lacaille, D = Dunlop, Σ = W. Struve)
Discoverer Name of discoverer
Y, M, D Date of discovery
Ap Aperture of discovery telescope (inch)
Type of discovery telescope: Rl = Reflector, Rr = Refractor
Observer1 & 2
Independent (later) discoverers
RH ... DS
Rect. & Decl. for 2000.0 (mainly from Revised NGC/IC)
Constellation (mainly from Revised NGC/IC)
Dist Distance in kly
Visual magnitude (mainly from Revised NGC/IC)
Object type (mainly from Revised NGC/IC)
S Object status: 1 = galaxy, 2 = galactic nebula, 3 = planetary nebula, 4 = open cluster, 5 = globular cluster, 6 = part of nebula, 7 = NGC dublicate, 9 = star(s), 10 = not found
Remarks Designations, observers, popular names (historic and modern)