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Messier Marathon
Messier Maps
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Messier Biography
Observing Tips
Messier Certificate

The Messier Objects

As an amateur astronomer, the observation of all of the star clusters, nebulae, asterisms, and galaxies that make up the Messier List will help to teach you the night sky.  The Astronomical League offers a certificate and distinctive pin to members that complete a formalized observing program.

This section has much of what you will need to guide you towards your goal of completing the Messier List for the first time, and for experienced observers, tips for completing the list in just one night at a Messier Marathon.  The Observing Tips section has a wealth of information and practical advice.

A special section is devoted solely to the Virgo Cluster of galaxies that represent the most difficult challenge to most Messier observers, because it's so easy to get lost among the fields of galaxies.

Of special note is the program TUMOL, which stands for "The Ultimate Messier Object Locator."  This is a great program that generates maps with Telrad circles, tracks your progress, and even provides  preview images of what the object will look like through your telescope's eyepiece.

You will find the extensive amateur astronomy links quite interesting.