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Meesier numbers

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Skywatcher's picture
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Meesier numbers

OK, may sound dumb but, why does the Milky way" not have an M number like M31

Thank you

Grant Privett's picture
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Why?

There was little chance of him confusing it for a comet?

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So are there any other

So are there any other designations given that the MW could have, sorry, just wondered such as Caldwell (Patrick)

Stewart Moore's picture
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The Milky Way

Messier named objects that he felt could be confused with comets when he was comet hunting.  As Grant has pointed out, it is unlikely he would have confused the Milky Way with a comet.  Within the Milky Way there are thousands of star clusters, emission, reflection and planetary nebulae which all have their own designations - many of them Messier numbers.

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Thank you for answering a

Thank you for answering a silly newby question