Steve O'Meara has been called "the best visual planetary observer of modern times." The first to spot Comet Halley on its return in 1985, the first to determine the rotation period of Uranus, he now turns his amazing visual skills to the deep sky.
Charles Messier was one of the best comet hunters of the 1700s, with 12 comet discoveries to his credit. He was frustrated because he kept wasting time looking at fuzzy objects that turned out not to be comets. The list he kept and published of "things that aren't comets" turned out to be his ticket to immortality.
Amateur astronomers of all ages enjoy tackling the Messier catalogue members, because they represent a good sampling of what's "out there", and because finding them helps to hone observing skills. In a sense, the Messier objects are the testing grounds for budding sky watchers.
O'Meara's guide is unique in conveying his approach to observing: "It's an approach based on creative perception and on using the imagination to see patterns and shapes in the subjects seen through the eyepiece. It involves using not just your eye but also your mind's eye to associate those patterns and shapes with things that are familiar with you, to create pictures and even stories." With O'Meara as your docent, you will truly appreciate the art of the universe. --Mary Ellen Curtin, Amazon.com
'… there is no better guide than Stephen O'Meara's book. For each object photograph, a finder chart, basic data and a quote from Messier's accounts are provided, with a discussion of what is seen through small telescopes, and some history of telescopic ideas. This is not a treatise on the astrophysics of Messier object, but an observer's guide, a worthy and superior successor to previous attempts'. Stephen P. Maran, Nature
'... impressive ... contains careful descriptions of each object, finder maps, telescopic drawings, and photographs. The text is spirited and informed, and the result is a must-have on the bookshelf of deep-sky enthusiasts.' Astronomy Magazine
'A great value for money book which will delight any keen deep space watcher.' Gnomon
'The Messier Objects is packed with useful advice, historical facts, and interesting anecdotes.' Robert Argyle, The Observatory
' … this is an excellent book and it deserves a place on the bookshelf of both the novice and experienced amateur astronomer.' The Journal of the British Astronomical Association
'Steve O'Meara says the purpose of the book is to provide new and experienced observers with a fresh perspective on the Messier objects. He has succeeded brilliantly.' Astronomy & Space
' … to be recommended to any serious backyard astronomer.' A. D. Andrews, Irish Astronomical Journal
'All in all, the book lives up to the author's claim about offering a new perspective and is thoroughly up to date and very readable book on the subject. I feel that it offers all deep sky observers something. Even if you have seen all the Messier Objects - and I suspect most of us take them rather for granted - it will inspire you to go out and have another look at them (it has me). Highly recommended.' Faith Jordan, Webb Society Quarterly Journal
'The book is well printed on heavy paper and both drawings and most of the photographs appear to have reproduced well. … I think this is an excellent book and a worthy replacement for The Messier Album and deserves a place on the bookshelf of both the novice and experienced amateur astronomer.' Owen Brazell, Webb Society Quarterly Journal
'I thoroughly enjoyed this book.' Ronald Morales, Webb Society Quarterly Journal