Gary Imm

GaryI

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A backyard amateur astrophotographer enjoying retirement with my wife on beautiful Lake Livingston in Onalaska, Texas, about 90 minutes north of Houston.

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The Messier Catalog is one of the most useful tools in astronomy. In the middle of the 18th century, during the return of Halley's comet, a French astronomer named Charles Messier began a life-long search for comets. He would eventually discover 15 of them. For his own convenience and to avoid confusion, he began keeping a journal of sky objects such as galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters which could mistakenly appear as a comet through a small telescope. Over time, this journal evolved into the Messier Catalog, a list of 110 of the most famous deep sky objects. Looking at these astrophotography images, it is hard to believe that these objects could have been mistaken for comets at one time, but the visual instruments of that day revealed much less detail than these images. Note that there are less than 110 images in this section because some images capture multiple Messier objects. The objects are listed in order starting with M1, after my Messier compilation poster.