under construction!
Below we represent some stuff related to the volume of the Connoissance des Temps for 1784, the volume where the final version of Messier's Catalog was published.








Pour l'Année bissextile 1784.

Par l'ordre de l'Académie Royale des Sciences
et calculée
par M.
Jeaurat, de la même Académie.





  • Look at our presentation of the title page of this volume of the Connoissance des Temps, including an approximate English translation

    Here follows a translation of the preface to this volume, entitled "Avertissement" (for Advertisement or Message), page 2 of the volume:


    The advantage & equally, the necessity of the work of entitled Connoissance des Temps, [Knowledge of Times] are so universally known that it is superfluous to speak of them here: one can content oneself to expose what it contains.

    Since the year 1679, the different membrs of the Academy, who have been in charge successively for the composition of this work, have always enriched more and more the objective which could contribute best to the perfection of Astronomy & the Navy. Following the plan of these clever predecessors, one has observed what was very important to supply for the advantage of navigators, a manual which is for having the greatest utility; of which one has accelerated the publication of its volumes as much as possible; this one, which is the onehundred sixth of the series, appears more than two years before its true epoch.

    One has given; on page 6, the true & apparent obliquity of the Ecliptic, such as M. Cassini the son [Cassini IV] has re-established it from the table he has created, after the observations made by him, by his ancestors & others, at the royal Observatory of Paris, within a long series of years, with one and the same instrument, constructed by Sir Langlois, celebrated for his art to divide [circles for] these instruments.

    One finds on pages 227 & following, the excellent Catalog of Nebulae & clusters of Stars by M. Messier, enlarged by the Author: this Catalog is followed, pages 271-301, by the one of principal stars [with positions] reduced for January 1, 1784.

    The Table of the geographic positions of different places on Earth is on page 302, & that of the ports is on page 348, both with considerable extensions.

    Here are the Errata of printing faults which have occurred in the two preceding volumes of this work.

    Here follows a translation of an excerpt of the Members of the Academy list, including the entry for Charles Messier, on page 404 of the volume:



    Pour l'Astronomie:

    M. MESSIER, Astronomer of the Navy, of the Royal Society of London, of the Royal Academy of Sciences and Fine Arts of Prussia, of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Sweden, of the Emperial Academy of St. Petersburg, of the Institute of Bologne, of the Society of Sciences of Holland, of the Emperial & Royal Academy of Brussels, & of the Academy of Arts astablished in England, rue de Mathuriens, at the Hôtel de Clugny [sic].
    M. CASSINI the son, at the Observatory.

    Here follow extracts from the Table of Contents, which is printed at the end of the volume, following the last numbered page 418.

    Interesting Catalog of Nebulae & Star clusters
    observed by M. Messier at the Observatory of the Navy

    Nebulae discovered by different astronomers, which
    M. Messier has looked for without success 268-269

    Nebulae of the southern sky, observed by M. l'Abbé de
    la Caille, at the Cape of Good Hope 270-272

    Hartmut Frommert [contact]