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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index M > Charles Messier Quotes

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Charles Messier
(26 Jun 1730 - 12 Apr 1817)

French astronomer.


Science Quotes by Charles Messier (1 quote)

What caused me to undertake the catalog was the nebula I discovered above the southern horn of Taurus on September 12, 1758, while observing the comet of that year. ... This nebula had such a resemblance to a comet in its form and brightness that I endeavored to find others, so that astronomers would not confuse these same nebulae with comets just beginning to shine. I observed further with suitable refractors for the discovery of comets, and this is the purpose I had in mind in compiling the catalog.
After me, the celebrated Herschel published a catalog of 2000 which he has observed. This unveiling the sky, made with instruments of great aperture, does not help in the perusal of the sky for faint comets. Thus my object is different from his, and I need only nebulae visible in a telescope of two feet [focal length].
— Charles Messier
Connaissance des Temps for 1800/1801. In Charles Coulston Gillespie (ed.), Dictionary of Scientific Biography (1974), Vol. 9, 330.
Science quotes on:  |  Aperture (4)  |  Brightness (5)  |  Catalog (2)  |  Comet (20)  |  Compilation (2)  |  Difference (135)  |  Discovery (360)  |  Form (70)  |  Sir William Herschel (14)  |  Instrument (40)  |  Nebula (13)  |  Object (47)  |  Observation (264)  |  Resemblance (15)  |  Sky (32)  |  Telescope (44)  |  Undertaking (6)  |  Visibility (6)


See also:
  • todayinsci icon 26 Jun - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Messier's birth.
  • todayinsci icon Charles Messier - Astronomer

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