Paris: l'Academie Royale des Sciences, 1780.
1st Edition. Soft cover. 12mo - over 6¾ - 7¾" tall. Very Good. Item #003845
12mo (198 x 125 mm). 3 folding engraved plates (including 1 map). Original marbled wrappers, spine with modern hand-lettered paper label (slight edge fraying and dust soiling). All pages uncut. Text crisp and clean throughout with just a little marginal dust-soiling and age-toning of paper, very minor spotting in places. Provenance: from the collection of late Dr. Samy Mizrahi, Bouillargues. A fine, unsophisticated copy, uncut and unpressed. ----
VERY RARE FIRST EDITION, containing Messier's initial catalogue of 45 objects M1-45 and the first supplement of objects up to M68. It includes the most celebrated nebulae and clusters, including M1 (the Crab Nebula), M13 (the globular star cluster in Hercules), and M31 (the Andromeda Galaxy). First published in 1774 in Mémoires de l'Académie Royale des Sciences pour 1771, the catalogue contains additional 23 new objects observed by Messier since its publication.
Most interested in comets, Messier is attributed with the initial discovery of twelve or thirteen from the appearance of Comet 1759 III to Comet 1798 I and three additional independent discoveries. His famous catalogue of objects which retain his M for Messier numbers to this day came about only because "the nebula I discovered above the southern horn of Taurus on September 12, 1758, while observing the comet of that year.. This nebula had such a resemblance to a comet, in its form and brightness, that I endeavored to find others, so that astronomers would not confuse these same nebulae with comets just beginning to shine. I observed further with the proper refractors for the search of comets, and this is the purpose I had in forming the catalog" (DSB). References: DSB IX, p.330. - Visit our website to see more images!
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