Try this on, for size

I had an interesting idea a while back. I thought, "Of all the pictures and collections of pictures of the objects in Messier's catalog, I've never seen one that showed them all at the same scale." The posters show them nicely, but you have no way to tell how the object should look in the eyepiece of your 8" SCT or Newtonian or 3" refractor. So, I thought I'd try to put together a series of pictures of each object with some kind of guide marks-a circle representing the field of view of my lowest power eyepiece in my C8 for starters. It may help to get to know a little better what to expect in the eyepiece when viewing these objects. One extremely important thing to keep in mind is that these photographs show a lot more detail than you will see in the eyepiece. For example, the picture of M31 shows the ENTIRE extent of this huge object, while your scope will show only about a third, and your eyepiece will only show a fraction of that. How much of the object you see depends a lot on the aperture of your instrument. I suppose I could make two outlines per picture, showing this phenomenon, but I think it would just clutter the images needlessly. Besides, once you get the idea of the comparative sizes, you should be able to visualize what can and can't be seen, as far as extent. And that's the whole idea behind this page!

At first, I thought I might photograph them all. But I wanted to finish this project before hell actually froze over, so I figured I'd borrow the pictures from the SEDS website and scale them. :-) (Most of the pictures here were borrowed from this site, or links obtained from this site.) I'll include the object number, apparent size, celestial coordinates and visual magnitudes under each object.

Clicking on an object number in the table sends you directly to the object for scale, stats etc. The number after the # sign is the rank, not the object number. For instance, if you click on "M11" in the table, it sends you to the 42nd object, since M11 is the 42nd largest object in the catalog. This number also appears to the left of the scaled image. Or, you can just scan down to the bottom of the page and follow the links to the next batch of images, previous images or back up to the table.

Also, if you click on the photo, you'll see a "full size" picture of the object without the circle, except for the objects that extend past the field of view. These will have the circle on them, to give an idea of the actual extent of the object. Clicking on the object name under the picture will send you to the SEDS site for a description of the object.

Keep in mind that these images may not be exact in scale, just as close as I can make them.

Well, here goes nothin'! Let me know what you think at the email address below or in the guest book..

P.S. Advanced apologies for how long it may take to load this page, but once it does, I'm sure you'll find it worth the wait. Clear skies!

M1 M2 M3 M4 M5 M6 M7 M8 M9 M10 M11 M12 M13 M14 M15
M16 M17 M18 M19 M20 M21 M22 M23 M24 M25 M26 M27 M28 M29 M30
M31 M32 M33 M34 M35 M36 M37 M38 M39 M40 M41 M42 M43 M44 M45
M46 M47 M48 M49 M50 M51 M52 M53 M54 M55 M56 M57 M58 M59 M60
M61 M62 M63 M64 M65 M66 M67 M68 M69 M70 M71 M72 M73 M74 M75
M76 M77 M78 M79 M80 M81 M82 M83 M84 M85 M86 M87 M88 M89 M90
M91 M92 M93 M94 M95 M96 M97 M98 M99 M100 M101 M102 M103 M104 M105
M106 M107 M108 M109 M110

Our Moon, just for scale
32.58'
The circle represents the prime focus field of view of ~42' and shall remain constant throughout this page, regardless of image size.
.
1
M31-Sb
178'x63'
V=3.5
00:42.7 +41 16'
2
M45-OC
110
V=1.2
03:47.0 +24 07'
3
M44-OC
95'
V=3.1
08:40.1 +19 59'
4
M24-OC
90'
V=11.1
18:18.4 -18 25'
5
M8-OC/EN
90'x40'
V=5.8
18:03.8 -24 23'
6
M7-OC
80'
V=3.3
17:53.9 -34 49'
7
M42-EN
66' x 60'
V=4
05:35.4 -05 27'
8
M33-Sc
62' x 39'
V=5.7
01:33.9 +30 39'
9
M48-OC
54'
V=5.8
08:13.8 -05 48'
10
M17-EN
46' x 37'
V=6.0
18:20.8 -16 11'
11
M41-OC
38'
V=4.5
06:47.0 -20 44'
12
M34-OC
35'
V=5.2
02:42.0 +42 47'
13
M25-OC
32'
V=4.6
18:31.6 -19 15'
14
M39-OC
32'
V=4.6
21:32.2 +48 26'
15
M47-OC
30
V=4.4
07:36.6 -14 30'
16
M67-OC
30
V=6.9
08:50.4 +11 49'
17
M20-EN/OC
29' x 20'
V=6.3
18:02.3 -23 02'
18
M35-OC
28'
V=5.1
06:08.9 +24 20'
19
M23-OC
27'
V=5.5
17:56.8 -19 01'
20
M46-OC
27'
V=6.1
07:41.8 -14 49'
21
M101-Sc
26.9' x 26.3'
V=7.7
14:03.2 +54 21'
22
M4-GC
26.3'
V=5.9
16:23.6 -26 32'
23
M81-Sb
25.7' x 14.1'
V=6.9
09:55.6 69 04'

24
M37-OC
24'
V=5.6
05:52.4 +32 33'
25
M22-GC
24'
V=5.1
18:36.4 -23 54'

Back to table
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Second 25 objects
Remaining objects

 

Page URL: http://www.stonehavenobservatory.com/Messier/Scalemess.htm


Copyright 1999, Steve Dodder
Webmaster: Steve Dodder
Revised: 9/7/00

Revised: 7/19/10