Messier Object Discovery Statistics

Discoverers are given together with their scores (format: Number of Original Discoveries "+" Number of Independent Re- or Codiscoveries) and the objects discovered (codiscoveries in parentheses, uncounted "other" pre-discoveries in brackets). Here ordered alphabetically by name.

It is certainly known that the discoveries of some objects may be disputed and thus the list modified. Note we take NGC 5866 as M102 (discovered by Méchain and co- or rediscovered by Messier as well as (later) by William Herschel).

Note: Very recently awareness arose on several additional independent co-discoveries of a number of Messier objects by Johann Elert Bode which are currently worked into this list.
Note: We now include the discoveries of the two objects M51B (NGC 5195) and M109B (NGC 3953), both acknowledged to Pierre Méchain.


Discoverer Score Objects
Al Sufi 1 31 Aratus 1 44 Aristotle [39?][41] Bevis 1+1 1 (35) Bode 4+14 (2) (10) (12) (15) (29) (33) (34) (37) (39) (43) (48) (50) (51) 53 (64) 81 82 92 Cassini GD [50] Cysatus +1 (42) Darquier 1 57 De Chéseaux 6+1 4 (6) 16 17 25 35 71 De Mairan 1 43 Flamsteed +2 (8) (41) Halley 1 13 Herschel C +2 (48)(110) Herschel W +9 (47) (91)(102)(104)(105)(106)(107)(108)(109) Hesiod +1 [45] Hevelius [40] Hipparchus +1 (44) Hodierna 9+2 6 8 (31) 33 34 36 37 38 41 (42) 47 Homer 1 45 Huygens +1 (42) Ihle 1 22 Kirch 2 5 11 Koehler 3+3 59 60 67 (71) (81) (82) Lacaille 2+3 (4) (6) (7) 55 83 Le Gentil 1+2 32 (36) (38) Maraldi 2 2 15 Marius +1 (31) Méchain 26+4 51B 63 (71) 72 74 75 76 77 78 79 (80) (81) (82) 85 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109B Messier 45+21 (1) (2) 3 (5) 9 10 12 14 (16) (17) 18 19 20 21 23 24 (25) 26 27 28 29 30 (32) (33) (34) (35) (37) 39 40 46 (47) 48 49 50 51 52 (53) 54 56 (57) 58 (59) (60) (61) 62 (64) 65 66 (67) 68 69 70 73 80 84 86 87 88 89 90 91 (92) 93 (102) 109 110 Oriani 1+1 (60) 61 Peiresc 1 42 Pigott E 1 64 Ptolemy 1 7 Winnecke +1 (40)
Total 112
Ordered by score, the original discoverers of the Messier Objects are:
Messier (45), Méchain (26), Hodierna (9), De Chéseaux (6), Bode (4), Koehler (3), Kirch, Lacaille and Maraldi (2 each), and Al Sufi, Aratus, Bevis, Darquier, De Mairan, Halley, Homer, Ihle, Le Gentil, Oriani, Peiresc, Edward Pigott and Ptolemy (1 each).

Independent discoveries, including co-discoveries, of Messier Objects lead to the following ranking:

Messier (66), Méchain (30), Bode (18), Hodierna (11), William Herschel (9), De Chéseaux (7), Koehler (6), Lacaille (5), Le Gentil (3), Bevis, Flamsteed, Caroline Herschel, Kirch, Maraldi and Oriani (2 each), and Al Sufi, Aratus, Cysatus, Darquier, De Mairan, Halley, Hesiod, Hipparchus, Homer, Huygens, Ihle, Marius, Peiresc, Edward Pigott, Ptolemy and Winnecke (1 each).


Hartmut Frommert [contact]
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