2017 April 10
Bicentenary of Charles Messier’s death
April 2017 marks the bicentenary of the death of Charles Messier, the man whose name is synonymous with many of the best deep-sky objects in the northern sky.
It was while comet hunting in 1758 that he discovered an unknown nebula in Taurus. This became M1, the first object in his list of comet look-a-likes.
Messier was a comet hunter and as has been noted many times it is rather ironic that he is now remembered not for his comets but for the nebulae that just added confusion to his searches.
In March 2015, Stewart Moore presented a biography of Messier to the Association, concentrating on Messier the person, from his birth in 1730 in north-eastern France to his death in Paris in 1817.
To commemorate the anniversary of his death, we have re-released the video of his talk on YouTube, which you can watch below, or access using this link.