By: "Tony Cecce, Corning, NY"

Twelve Month Tour of the Messier Catalog
February Messier Objects

This month highlights 10 messier objects, most are within reach of binoculars, and over half can be seen with the naked eye.

[M1 Image] M1 - The Crab nebula is a supernova remnant in Taurus. It is a hazy patch in small telescopes, large scopes can resolve some detail. It is difficult but possible to see in binoculars.

[M45 Image] M45 - The Pleiades are a large open cluster in Taurus. Easy to resolve six stars naked eye. Binoculars provide the best view. Large telescopes can show some nebulosity.

[M35 Image] M35, [M37 Image] M37, [M36 Image] M36, [M38 Image] M38
A series of open clusters in the winter milky way. M35 is in Gemini, the others are in Auriga. All can be seen naked eye as faint fuzzy stars, binoculars reveal fuzzy patches, low power telescopes can resolve these rich clusters.

[M42 Image] M42 [M43 Image] M43
M42 is the great Orion Nebula. It can be seen as small fuzzy patch naked eye. Binoculars show some detail, and the view is superb in most any scope. M43 is a small region of nebulosity next to M42, and probably requires the use of a telescope to view. Use low to moderate powers for the best view of this pair.

[M78 Image] M78 - A small emission nebula in Orion, a tough binocular object. Best viewed in a telescope at moderate powers.

[M79 Image] M79 - One of the smallest and dimmest globular clusters in the catalog. A tough binocular object in Lepus, best viewed in a telescope at moderate powers.

Last Month - M31, M32, M33, M34, M52, M74, M76, M77, M103, M110
Next Month - M41, M44, M46, M47, M48, M50, M67, M93
                                                Revision 11/95, A.J. Cecce