The Messier Objects
The Deep Sky Section Handbook No.2 – A Messier Catalogue – is now almost sold out. Although the data it contains is as relevant as ever, the handbook has a slightly dated look to it in an age when people expect to see glorious colour images in publications. The Messier objects are usually the first serious list of deep sky objects that a newcomer observes and I can still recall my thrill at completing the list.
Because Messier was observing with poor quality instruments relative to the telescopes of today, he only saw the brightest and best objects (with a few exceptions). They are a lovely selection of objects of various classes and an excellent introduction to the wonders of the deep sky. I intend to reissue the Messier Handbook but would like to brighten it up with some images and sketches. Of course, there are many Messier guides already on bookshelves, but it would be nice to have one that is illustrated with images from Section members. In order to keep costs down it will not be possible to have illustrations for all objects but I would like to include a fair selection. Please send me any images and sketches that you have, along with details of instrumentation and observing conditions.