Possibly a very stupid question, but i was wondering why a lot of the galaxies are named Messier [number]? What does Messier mean?


Messier numbers come from 18th century astronomer Charles Messier:

Messier compiled the catalog during his career, and even discovered new deep-space objects in the process. Funnily enough, Messier’s catalog consists entirely of things he wanted to ignore. Charles Messier’s great passion was comet-hunting, and the catalog we now use as an official scientific designation essentially originated as a list of Things That Aren’t Comets.

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