Discovery Table of the Deep Sky Objects

Here is the discovery table of the Deep Sky objects discovered during the compilation of the Messier catalog and before. Please report me any errors, additions, or comments. Also available:
Disc-#  Rec-#  Object               Year        Discoverer/Notes

0 0 Milky Way pre-hist (doesn't count here) 0 0 UMa cluster pre-hist (doesn't count here; recognized as cluster by Proctor 1869) 1 1 M45 Pleiades pre-hist (mentioned by Homer c. 750 B.C., Amos c. 750 B.C., Hesiod c. 720-700 BC, Book of Job c. 1,600-300 B.C., MUL-APIN c. 1,100-300 B.C., Nebra disk 1,600 c. B.C.) 2 2 Hyades pre-hist (mentioned by Homer c. 750 B.C., Hesiod c. 720-700 BC; cataloged by Hodierna I.2, 1654) 3 8 LMC pre-hist (Southern Hemisphere; Al Sufi, 964 AD; Vespucci, 1503-4 ?; Magellan, 1519) 4 9 SMC pre-hist (Southern Hemisphere; Vespucci, 1503-4 ?; Magellan, 1519) 5 3 M44 Praesepe 300-250 BC Aratus/Theophrastus; Hipparchos 130 BC. Recognized as cluster by Galileo 1609. 6 4 NGC 884 (Chi Per) 130 BC Hipparchus 7 5 NGC 869 (h Per) 130 BC Hipparchus 8 6 M7 138 AD Ptolemy, Halley No. 29 1678, Lac II.14 1752 Jun 15 9 7 Coma st.cl Mel 111 138 AD Ptolemy, Melotte 1915. Cluster: Trumpler 1938. 10 10 M31 < 905 AD Al Sufi; S. Marius 1612 Dec 15 telescopic 11 [26-52] o Vel (IC 2391) 964 AD Al Sufi; Lac II.5 1752 Feb 11 12 Brocchi's Cl Cr 399 964 AD Al Sufi; Hodierna < 1654 13 11 M42 1610 Peiresc; Cysatus 1611; Hodierna <1654; Huygens 1656 [14-27] Alpha Persei Cl. <1654 Hodierna I.4; Eddington, 1910 [14-27][26-52] NGC 6231 <1654 Hodierna I.7, Lac. II.13 1751-52 [14-27][26-52] M6 <1654 Hodierna II.4, de Chéseaux No. 1, 1745-46, Lacaille III.12, 1752 Jun 16 [14-27] 14 M8 <1654 Hodierna II.6, Flamsteed 1680 (No. 2446), De Chéseaux No. 8 1745-46; Le Gentil 1749, Lacaille III.13, 1752 Apr 6; Messier 1764 May 23 [14-27] 23 M36 <1654 Hodierna II.7, Le Gentil 1749 [14-27] 76 M37 <1654 Hodierna II.7, Messier 1764 Sep 2, Bode (#13) 1774 Nov 2 [14-27] 24 M38 <1654 Hodierna II.7, Le Gentil 1749 [14-27] [80] M47 <1654 Hodierna IV.1, Messier 1771 Feb 19 (but missed) W. Herschel H VIII.38 1785 Feb 4 [14-27] 17 M41 <1654 Hodierna IV.2, Flamsteed 1702 Feb 16; perhaps seen by Aristotle 325 BC. [14-27] NGC 2362 <1654 Hodierna V.1, W. Herschel H VII.17 1785 Mar 6 [14-27] 73 M33 <1654 Hodierna IV.4 (?), Messier 1764 Aug 25, Bode (#5) 1775 Aug 18 [14-27] NGC 752 <1654 Hodierna IV.4 (?), W. Herschel VII.32 1786 Sep 21 [14-27] 74 M34 <1654 Hodierna IV.12 (?), Messier 1764 Aug 25, Bode (#7) 1774 Sep 2 [14-27] NGC 2451 <1654 Hodierna V.2 (?) ? NGC 2169 <1654 Hodierna IV.10 ??, W. Herschel H VIII.24 1784 Oct 15 ? NGC 2175 <1654 Hodierna IV.11 ??, Bruhns?, Auwers No. 21 (NGC) 28 12 M22 1665 Aug 26 Ihle (Hevelius may have seen it before) 29 13 Omega Centauri 1677 Halley, Lac. I.5 1752 Feb 17 30 15 M11 1681 Kirch; resolved by Derham 1733 31 16 NGC 2244 (12 Mon) 1690 Flamsteed 32 18 M5 1702 May 5 Kirch, Messier May 23, 1764 33 19 M13 1714 Halley 34 20 M43 1731 de Mairan; Bode (with M42=# 10) late 1775 35 53 M1 1731 Bevis; Messier 1758 Aug 21 36 IC 4665 1745-46 de Chéseaux No. 2; Bode <1782; C. Herschel 1783 Jul 31; Bailey 1908 37 NGC 6633 1745-46 de Chéseaux No. 3; C. Herschel H VIII.72 1783 38 59 M16 (cluster) 1745-46 de Chéseaux No. 4; nebula: Messier 1764 Jun 3 39 67 M25 1745-46 de Chéseaux No. 5; Messier 1764 Jun 20 40 75 M35 1745-46 de Chéseaux No. 12; in Bevis' Atlas 1750; Messier 1764 Aug 30 41 93 M71 1745-46 de Chéseaux No. 13; Koehler 1772-8; Méchain 1780 Jun 28 42 [26-52] M4 1745-46 de Chéseaux No. 19; Lac I.9 1752 Apr 13 43 60 M17 1745-46 de Chéseaux No. 20; Messier 1764 Jun 3 44 21 M15 1746 Sep 7 Maraldi; Messier 1764 Jun 3, Bode (#71) 1774 Sep 23 45 22 M2 1746 Sep 11 Maraldi; Messier 1760 Sep 11, Bode (#70) 1775 Sep 22 46 25 M32 1749 Oct 29 Le Gentil; Messier 1757 and 1764 Aug 3 47 NGC 6712 1749 Jul 9 Le Gentil; W. Herschel H I.47 1784 Jun 16 [48-74][26-52] 47 Tuc 1751 Sep 14 Lacaille I.1 [48-74][26-52] NGC 2070 1751 Dec 5 Lacaille I.2 [48-74][26-52] NGC 2516 1752 Jan 4 Lacaille II.3 [48-74][26-52] NGC 3293 1752 Jan 25 Lacaille II.8 [48-74][26-52] NGC 3532 1752 Jan 25 Lacaille II.10 [48-74][26-52] IC 2488 1752 Jan 25 Lacaille III.4 [48-74][26-52] Eta Carinae Nebula 1752 Jan 25 Lacaille III.6 [48-74][26-52] NGC 3228 1752 Feb 11 Lacaille II.7 [48-74][26-52] NGC 2547 1752 Feb 15 Lacaille III.2 [48-74] vdB-Ha 47? 1752 Feb 17 Lacaille III.3; IC 2395 ? Bailey 1908; van den Bergh/Hagen 1975 [48-74] Trumpler 10? 1752 Feb 19 Lacaille II.6; Trumpler 1930 [48-74][26-52] M83 1752 Feb 23 Lacaille I.6, Messier 1781 Mar 18 [48-74][26-52] NGC 5281 1752 Mar 3 Lacaille I.7 [48-74][26-52] IC 2602 1752 Mar 3 Lacaille II.9 [48-74][26-52] Kappa Cru, NGC 4755 1752 Mar 5 Lacaille II.12 [48-74] Collinder 228? 1752 Mar 5 Lacaille III.5; Collinder 1931 [48-74][26-52] NGC 3766 1752 Mar 5 Lacaille III.7 [48-74][26-52] NGC 6025 1752 Mar 5 Lacaille III.10 [48-74][26-52] NGC 4833 1752 Mar 17 Lacaille I.4 [48-74][26-52] NGC 2477 1752 Mar 19 Lacaille I.3 [48-74][26-52] NGC 6242 1752 Mar 19 Lacaille I.10 [48-74][26-52] NGC 5662 1752 May 17 Lacaille III.8 [48-74][26-52] M55 1752 Jun 16 Lacaille I.14, Messier 1778 Jul 24 [48-74][26-52] NGC 6397 1752 Jul 18 Lacaille III.11 [48-74][26-52] NGC 6124 1751-52 Lacaille I.8 [48-74][26-52] NGC 2546 1751-52 Lacaille II.4 [48-74] Collinder 140? 1751-52 Lacaille II.2; Collinder 1931 75 54 M3 1764 May 3 Messier 76 55 M9 1764 May 28 Messier 77 56 M10 1764 May 29 Messier, Bode (# 33) 1774 Aug 14 78 57 M12 1764 May 30 Messier, Bode (# 32) 1774 Aug 14 79 58 M14 1764 Jun 1 Messier 80 61 M18 1764 Jun 3 Messier 81 62 M19 1764 Jun 5 Messier 82 63 M20 1764 Jun 5 Messier 83 64 M21 1764 Jun 5 Messier 84 65 M23 1764 Jun 20 Messier [85] [66] M24 1764 Jun 20 Messier (may be not counted, because starcloud) 86 68 M26 1764 Jun 20 Messier 87 69 M27 1764 Jul 12 Messier 88 70 M28 1764 Jul 27 Messier 89 71 M29 1764 Jul 29 Messier, Bode (#69) 1774 Dec 5 90 72 M30 1764 Aug 3 Messier 91 77 M39 1764 Oct 24 Messier, Bode (#75) 1774 Oct 27; Burnham: Le Gentil 1750 ? Aristotle 325 BC ? [92] [78] M40 1764 Oct 24 Messier (Double star, thus may not be counted) 93 79 M46 1771 Feb 19 Messier 94 [81] M48 1771 Feb 19 Messier (but missed); Bode <1782; Caroline Herschel (#5) H VI.22 1783 Mar 8 95 82 M49 1771 Feb 19 Messier 96 83 M62 1771 Jun 7 Messier (measured 1779 Jun 4) 97 84 M50 1772 Apr 5 Messier; perhaps seen by G.D. Cassini 1711, Bode (#16) 1774 Dec 2 98 [85] M110 1773 Aug 10 Messier (not measured; added 1966 Glyn Jones), Caroline Herschel (#9) H V.18 1783 Aug 27 99 86 M51 1773 Oct 13 Messier (NGC 5194 only; 5195 seen by Méchain 1781), Bode (#25) 1774 Jan 5 100 87 M52 1774 Sep 7 Messier 101 88 M81 1774 Dec 31 Bode (#17), Koehler (# 8A) 1772-78, Méchain 1779 Aug 102 89 M82 1774 Dec 31 Bode (#18), Koehler (# 8B) 1772-78, Méchain 1779 Aug 103 90 M53 1775 Feb 3 Bode (#26), Messier 1777 Feb 26 104 91 M92 1777 Dec 27 Bode (#76), Messier 1781 Mar 18 105 92 M54 1778 Jul 24 Messier 106 94 M67 <1779 Koehler (#19), Messier 1780 Apr 6 107 95 M57 1779 Jan Darquier, Messier 1779 Jan 31 108 96 M56 1779 Jan 19 Messier 109 97 M64 1779 Mar 23 Pigott, Bode (#77) 1779 Apr 4, Messier 1780 Mar 1 110 98 M59 1779 Apr 11 Koehler, Messier 1779 Apr 15 111 99 M60 1779 Apr 11 Koehler, Oriani 1779 Apr 12, Messier 1779 Apr 15 112 100 M58 1779 Apr 15 Messier 113 101 M61 1779 May 5 Oriani, Messier 1779 May 11 (saw it May 5!) 114 102 M63 1779 Jun 14 Méchain 115 103 M78 1780 "begin" Méchain 116 104 M65 1780 Mar 1 Messier 117 105 M66 1780 Mar 1 Messier 118 106 M68 1780 Apr 9 Messier 119 107 M75 1780 Aug 27 Méchain, Messier 1780 Oct 5 120 108 M72 1780 Aug 30 Méchain, Messier 1780 Oct 4 121 109 M69 1780 Aug 31 Messier; probably not Lac I.11 (1751-52) 122 110 M70 1780 Aug 31 Messier 123 111 M76 1780 Sep 5 Méchain, Messier 1780 Oct 21 124 112 M74 1780 Sep end Méchain, Messier 1780 Oct 18 [125] [113] M73 1780 Oct 4 Messier (may not be counted, 4 stars) 126 114 M79 1780 Oct 26 Méchain, Messier 1780 Dec 17 127 115 M77 1780 Oct 29 Méchain, Messier 1780 Dec 17 128 116 M80 1781 Jan 4 Messier, Méchain 1781 Jan 27 129 117 M97 1781 Feb 16 Méchain, Messier 1781 Mar 24 130 118 M108 1781 Feb 19 Méchain, Messier 1781 Mar 24 (added 1953 O. Gingerich) W Herschel H V.46 1789 Apr 17 131 119 M85 1781 Mar 4 Méchain, Messier 1781 Mar 18 133 [121] M109B (NGC 3953) 1781 Mar 12 Méchain, Messier 1781 Mar 24 (added 1953 O. Gingerich) W Herschel H V.45 1789 Apr 12 133 121 M98 1781 Mar 15 Méchain, Messier 1781 Apr 13 134 122 M99 1781 Mar 15 Méchain, Messier 1781 Apr 13 135 123 M100 1781 Mar 15 Méchain, Messier 1781 Apr 13 136 124 M84 1781 Mar 18 Messier 137 125 M86 1781 Mar 18 Messier 138 126 M87 1781 Mar 18 Messier 139 127 M88 1781 Mar 18 Messier 140 128 M89 1781 Mar 18 Messier 141 129 M90 1781 Mar 18 Messier 142 [130] M91 1781 Mar 18 Messier, but missed, W Herschel H II.120 1784 Apr 8 143 131 M93 1781 Mar 20 Messier 144 132 M95 1781 Mar 20 Méchain, Messier 1781 Mar 24 145 133 M96 1781 Mar 20 Méchain, Messier 1781 Mar 24 146 134 M51B (NGC 5195) 1781 Mar 20 Méchain (Messier mentions with M51) 147 135 M94 1781 Mar 22 Méchain, Messier 1781 Mar 24 148 [136] M105 1781 Mar 24 Méchain (added 1947 H.S. Hogg) W Herschel H I.17 1784 Mar 11 149 137 M101 1781 Mar 27 Méchain (Messier 1781) 150 [138] M102 (NGC 5866) 1781 Mar-Apr Méchain? (disclaimed), Messier? 1781 (position), W Herschel H I.215 1788 May 5 missed and still dubious: may be duplication of M101, or NGC 5866. 151 139 M103 1781 Mar-Apr Méchain (Messier 1781 added position) 132 120 M109 (NGC 3992) 1781 Mar 12 Méchain, Messier 1781 Mar 24 (added 1953 O. Gingerich); W Herschel H IV.61 1789 Apr 12 152 [140] M104 1781 May 11 Méchain (added 1921 Flammarion) W Herschel H I.43 1784 May 9 153 [141] M106 1781 Jul Méchain (added 1947 H.S. Hogg) W Herschel H V.43 1788 Mar 9 154 [142] M107 1782 Apr Méchain (added 1947 H.S. Hogg) W Herschel H VI.40 1793 May 12
Following this last discovery of Méchain, William Herschel started his extensive scan of the skies for nebulae, scoring his first discovery (the Saturn Nebula, NGC 7009) on September 7, 1782, less than half a year after the discovery of M107. Herschel, assisted by his sister Caroline who was also an avid observer, discovered 1000 objects within the next 2.5 years, a second thousand to December 1788, and a final 500 until 1802.

The first version of this table was widely based on the documentation in Kenneth Glyn Jones' book, Messier's Nebulae and Star Clusters.

Key

Disc-#
Discovery sequence number
Rec-#
Date when the object got "Generally Known", i.e. part of "Humanity's General Knowledge". Certainly, the definition of this is somewhat dubious. Here, lost observations, like that of Hodierna, or the probable prehistoric awareness of the Magellanic Clouds on the Southern hemisphere, are not counted; in this revision, also de Chéseaux's discoveries have also been excluded because they were only once read publicly at the French Academy of Sciences, not otherwise published, and widely forgotten (especially unknown to later observers and discoverers like Messier and Herschel). Look at the list in the order of this criterion.
Object
Identification of the object (usually, Messier or NGC number)
Year
year (and sometimes month/date) of discovery
Discoverer/Notes
Name of discoverer, notes on other discoveries, or circumstances (e.g., "additional" or "missing" Messier object).

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Last Modification: May 26, 2013