Messier objects

Having found everything
I wasn’t looking for,

I have forgotten
the crucial thing

I had to have,
too long distracted by

the beauty of all
I thought superfluous.


Interested in comets and only comets, 18th-century French astronomer Charles Messier doggedly catalogued 103 not-comet celestial objects that frustrated his search, including star clusters and nebulae, supernova remnants and galaxies.  Not a bad consolation prize, one might observe.  The Crab Nebula (top of post) is Messier 1; the Andromeda Galaxy (bottom), M31. 







  1. Not really needing anything else to make us feel insignificant, we have recently been talking about galactic things (and quantum things!), driven by our grandson’s interests. Given that light travels 186,000 miles in a second, a light year is a long way. Our rather small Milky Way is around 105,000 light years across, and is one of a nearly uncountable number of galaxies that we know about. It certainly puts into perspective the silly things we worry about, eh? … I guess Messier was somewhat blinded by the light. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed it does, Russ! The perspective you describe always helps me when I get caught up in any manmade drama. And Messier’s focus on comets — cataloguing all these other gorgeous objects because they weren’t what he was looking for — makes me smile. Humans are silly creatures.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ‘Silly’ is being polite, though it probably does apply to most of us. ‘Frightening’ is the word I most think of, but likely only applies to the small handful that dominate our news… I like silly better. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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