From Astronomical Journal, Vol. 53, p. 117 (01/1948)

Sawyer, Helen B. Méchain's additions to Messier's catalogue

During the writer's bibliographical compilation on globular clusters, a long-overlooked letter by Pierre Méchain was found in Bode's Jahrbuch for 1786. This letter consists of comments by Méchain on his observations of nebulae which had already gone to press as part of Messier's catalogue in the Connaissance des Temps for 1787. Méchain says that the nebula Messier 102 does not exist; it was an error. (A number of astronomers have spent time trying to identify this as the spiral NGC 5866.) He also lists four other nebulae which he has discovered, and these should logically be given Messier numbers as follows: NGC 4594 as M104; NGC 3379 as M105; NGC 4258 as M106; and NGC 6171 as M107. Flammarion, from pencilled notes in Messier's records, has already suggested the inclusion of NGC 4594 as M104, though this letter published by Méchain was apparently unknown to him.

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