Catchpole of the Nebulae

  • William Sheehan
  • Christopher J. Conselice


Among Galileo’s most momentous discoveries was his demonstration that Milky Way’s river of light consists of a host of small stars. It is a discovery that can be repeated by anyone with a dark sky site and an ordinary pair of field glasses.


Globular Cluster Star Cluster Astronomical Unit Crab Nebula Faint Star 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. 1.
    C. Robert O’Dell to William Sheehan, July 1, 2013, personal communication.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    The most complete biography of Messier is Jean-Paul Philbert, Charles Messier: Le furet des comètes. Sarreguemines: Edition Pierron, 2000. Regarding Messier’s attempt to discover Halley’s Comet, see: Peter Broughton, “The First Predicted Return of Comet Halley,” Journal for the History of Astronomy, xvi (1985), 123-133. The third and definitive edition of Messier’s catalog published during his lifetime is: “Catalogue des Nebuleuses et des amas d’Etoiles,” in Connaissances des Temps, 1784 (Paris, 1781), 117-272. An English translation of the catalgo is found in Kenneth Glyn Jones, Messier’s Nebulae and Star Clusters (Cambridge: Cambridge Univeristy Press, 2nd rev. ed., 1991).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    For details about Delisle’s career, see: William Sheehan and John Westfall, Transits of Venus (Amherst, New York: Prometheus, 2004), 136-138.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    J.L.E. Dreyer, ed., The Scientific Papers of Sir William Herschel (London: the Royal Society and the Royal Astronomical Society, 1912), vol. 1, lxii.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Sheehan
    • 1
  • Christopher J. Conselice
    • 2
  1. 1.WillmarUSA
  2. 2.School of Physics and Astronomy University of NottinghamNottinghamUK

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