Astrophotography is not easy. It takes a lot of time to start to get some decent pictures. There is a learning curve beginning with the correct equipment to have. To get good pictures, a very good tracking mount, a good telescope and a good camera are essential. The most important is probably the mount, because if the telescope cannot track the stars, then whatever the quality of the telescope and the camera, the picture will be trailed and can go right in the trash. Then the astrophotographer needs to master focusing, polar alignment and tracking.
   Here is my first picture of stars, M42, in January 2003, when I was beginning :
   Charles Messier was a French astronomer in the eighteen century. He was looking for comets. With his equipment, he saw some objects that could pass for comets, but because they were not moving, they could not be comets. He didn't know what they were, but wrote them down in a list so that other astronomers would know that they were not comets. He came with a list of 110 objects, from nebulae to galaxies, open clusters, globular clusters. Today, going through this list is a classic challenge for amateur astronomers, either visually or photographically, before going to other objects. It's a good way to learn the sky and astrophotography. My challenge here is to get a picture of each object, but I don't really care sometimes about the quality of the picture. I have another section for good pictures.
   As of the beginning of 2007, I have at least one picture for each object. I am now revisiting the list to take a much better quality picture. New pictures are recognizable by a blue background in the list below, a gold title name and a thumbnail giving the link to the picture.



Sorted by number

M1, Crab nebula
M2
M3
M4
M5
M6
M7
M8, Lagoon nebula
M9

M10
M11, Wild Duck Cluster
M12
M13, Great Hercules Cluster
M14
M15, Great Pegasus Cluster
M16, Eagle nebula
M17, Swan nebula
M18
M19

M20, Trifid nebula
M21
M22, Crackerjack Cluster
M23
M24
M25
M26
M27, Dumbbell nebula
M28
M29

M30
M31, Andromeda galaxy
M32
M33, Triangulum galaxy
M34
M35
M36
M37
M38
M39

M40
M41, Little Beehive
M42, Great Orion nebula
M43
M44, Beehive cluster
M45, the Pleiades
M46
M47
M48
M49

M50
M51, Whirlpool galaxy
M52, the Scorpion
M53
M54
M55
M56
M57
M58
M59

M60
M61
M62
M63, Sunflower galaxy
M64
M65
M66
M67
M68
M69

M70
M71
M72
M73
M74, the Phantom
M75
M76, Little Dumbbell nebula
M77
M78
M79

M80
M81, Bode's nebula
M82
M83
M84
M85
M86
M87
M88
M89

M90
M91
M92
M93
M94, Croc's Eye galaxy
M95
M96
M97
M98
M99

M100
M101, Pinwheel galaxy
M102 : duplicate observation of M101
M103
M104
M105
M106
M107
M108
M109

M110


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