Charles Messier

Charles Messier (1730 - 1817)

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Charles Messier
Born in Badonviller, Principauté de Salmmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 26 Nov 1770 in Paris, Île-de-France, Francemap
[children unknown]
Died in Paris, Seine, Francemap
Profile last modified 8 Sep 2019 | Created 26 Jun 2016
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Contents

Biography

Version française
Notables Project
Charles Messier is Notable.

Charles Messier was a French astronomer who was most notable for publishing an astronomical catalogue consisting of galaxies, nebulae and star clusters that came to be known as the 110 Messier objects.

Early Life

Charles Messier was baptized on 26 June 1730 in Badonviller.[1] He was the tenth of twelve children of Françoise Grandblaise and Nicolas Messier. After losing his father at the age of 11, he was subsequently raised by his brother, Hyacinthe, who then held a governmental post in the Principality of Salm. Upon changes in the political boundaries of the region in 1751,[2] Hyacinthe relocated to Senones, while Charles moved to Paris to begin a career in astronomy.[3]

Astronomical Career

The Crab Nebula, rediscovered in 1758 by Messier as he was observing a comet, became the first entry in his catalogue of objects
The Crab Nebula (M1)

Under the employ of Joseph-Nicolas Delisle, Messier joined the observatory of the Hôtel de Cluny in Paris. Under instruction from Delisle, Messier was to observe a particular portion of the sky, expected to be the place where Halley's comet was to reappear. Given inaccurate coordinates, Messier nevertheless took the opportunity to make important observations, finding the first of his Messier objects during this time.

He eventually sighted the comet, and became famed for additional comet discoveries. So important were his observations that he was nicknamed the Comet Ferret by none other than Louis XV. As his career continued, he made additional observations of nebulae and clusters, publishing three editions of such objects by 1781. Later observations were made in concert with Pierre Méchain, who would later become the Director of the Paris Observatory.[3]

Marriage and Family

Messier entered into a marriage contract on 17 November 1770 with Marie Madeleine Dorlodot de Vermanchampt, by which time he was an associate at the academies of London, Berlin, Stockholm, and Bologna, among others.[4] The couple subsequntly married nine days later at Saint-Étienne-du-Mont parish in Paris.[5] On March 15, 1772, Madame Messier gave birth to a son, who was christened Antoine-Charles. Following the birth, both Madame Messier and the small boy died within 11 days, Madame Messier on March 23, and Antoine-Charles on March 26, 1772.[6]

Death and Legacy

In the night of April 11-12, 1817, Charles Messier passed away in his 87th year, in his home in Paris.[7] Messier is buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, in Section 11.[8][9][10]

The Messier Channel in Patagonia, the crater Messier on the Moon and the asteroid 7359 Messier were named in his honor. The Messier Marathon, invented by amateur astronomers in the 1970s, is an attempt to find as many Messier objects as possible during one night. It is possible to observe all Messier objects in one night around latitude 25° north, during a window of a few weeks from mid-March to early April.[11]

Messier Comet Star Chart
Star chart with the observed path of the comet of 1764, according to Messier’s positional measurements.

Biographie

English version

Charles Messier est un astronome français, surtout connu pour avoir publié le catalogue de Messier, un catalogue astronomique d'objets diffus (galaxies, nébuleuses et amas d'étoiles).

Jeunesse

Charles Messier a été baptisé le 26 juin 1730 à Badonviller[1]. Il était le dixième des douze enfants de Nicolas Messier, "maire" (administrateur) de la principauté de Salm, et de Françoise Grandblaise. A l'âge de 11 ans, il perd son père, et est élevé par la suite par son frère, Hyacinthe, lui aussi fonctionnaire de la principauté de Salm. En 1751, suite à l'acquisition de Badonviller par le duché de Lorraire, Hyacinthe déménage à Senones, tandis que Charles part pour Paris pour commencer sa carrière d'astronome[3].

Carrière d'astronome

The Whirlpool Galaxy, discovered on October 13, 1773, by Charles Messier while hunting for objects that could confuse comet hunters, was designated in Messier's catalogue as M51
La Galaxie du Tourbillon (M51)

Messier travaille avec Joseph-Nicolas Delisle, à l'observatoire de l'Hôtel de Cluny à Paris. Sur la recommandation de Delisle, Messier observe la portion du ciel où la comète de Halley était censée réapparaître. Les coordonnées sont en fait inexactes, mais Messier parvient quand même à faire des observations importantes, et c'est à cette époque qu'il découvre le premier des objets de Messier.

Il finit par observer la comète, et devient connu pour la découverte d'autres comètes. Ses observations sont si considérables que le roi Louis XV lui-même le surnomme "le Furet des comètes". Dans la suite de sa carrière, il fit d'autres découvertes de nébuleuses et d'amas d'étoiles, et avait déjà publié trois éditions de son catalogue en 1781. Plus tard, il fit des observations conjointement avec Pierre Méchain, qui devait devenir directeur de l'Observatoire de Paris[3].

Vie privée

Charles Messier, alors associé des académies de Londres, Berlin, Stockholm et Bologne, entre autres, conclut un contrat de mariage avec Marie Madeleine Dorlodot de Vermanchampt le 17 Novembre 1770[4]. Le mariage est célébré neuf jours plus tard à l'église Saint-Étienne-du-Mont de Paris[5]. Le 18 mars 1772, Madame Messier met au monde un fils, baptisé Antoine-Charles. Mais Madame Messier et le petit garçon meurent dans les jours qui suivent, Marie Madeleine le 23 mars, et Antoine Charles le 26 mars 1772[6].

Mort et héritage

Charles Messier est mort dans la nuit du 11 au 12 avril 1817, dans son domicile parisien, âgé de 86 ans passés[7].Il est enterré au cimetière du Père Lachaise, section 11[8][9][10].

Le canal Messier au Chili, l'astéroïde (7359) Messier et un cratère lunaire ont été nommés en son honneur. Le marathon Messier, inventé dans les années 1970 par plusieurs astronomes amateurs, est une compétition qui a pour but d'observer le plus possible d'objets du catalogue Messier en une nuit. Il est possible d'observer tous les objets du catalogue Messier en une nuit pendant une fenêtre de quelques semaines, de la mi-mars au début du mois d'avril, particulièrement autour de la latitude 25° nord[12].

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 acte de baptême: Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle: Badonviller, B., M., S., 1682-1691, 1715-1740, 1779-1785, Cote 5 Mi40/R 2, vue 219, consulté le 22 novembre 2018, lien permanent: http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10e84655d/54ad73f5a6698
  2. https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Badonviller#L'int%C3%A9gration_%C3%A0_la_Lorraine Contributeurs de Wikipédia, "Badonviller," Wikipédia, l'encyclopédie libre, page consultée le 22 juin 2019
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 https://bibnum.obspm.fr/exhibits/show/messier_english/messier_biographie_english
  4. 4.0 4.1 Archives Nationales: Minutes de Jean Antoine DOSFANT (MC/ET/XXIV/831 - MC/ET/XXIV/1022) Minutes. 1770, novembre - 1770, décembre (MC/ET/XXIV/854), lien permanent: https://www.siv.archives-nationales.culture.gouv.fr/siv/UD/FRAN_IR_041718/c1p6wxrnszu3-c16a67tbrsbq
  5. 5.0 5.1 Mariage Marie Madeleine DORLODOT Et Charles MESSIER Source Fonds Andriveau - Mariages à Paris (1613-1805) (filae.com)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Biography of Charles Messier, SEDS http://messier.seds.org/xtra/history/biograph.html
  7. 7.0 7.1 Reconstitution chronologique des actes de décès (série V.2E), 1630-1859 Décès jan.-avril 1817 vues 1998-2000 https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSSK-LV63?i=1997&cat=43261
  8. 8.0 8.1 Tomb of Messier in Père Lachaise, original picture of the grave taken on location in October 2011, Wikimedia Commons
  9. 9.0 9.1 Archives de Paris, Registres journaliers d'inhumation, Père Lachaise du 12/03/1817 (n° d'ordre 4744) au 14/08/1817 (n° d'ordre 5344), n° 4880, vue 7 (déplacé 3 fois par la suite), consulté le 23 juin 2019
  10. 10.0 10.1 Find A Grave: Memorial #40488820, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 04 April 2019), memorial page for Charles Messier (26 Jun 1730–12 Apr 1817), citing Cimetière du Père Lachaise, Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France ; Maintained by d gansworth (contributor 47505799) .
  11. Wikipedia contributors, "Messier marathon," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Messier_marathon&oldid=847672362 (accessed June 23, 2019).
  12. Contributeurs de Wikipédia, "Marathon Messier," Wikipédia, l'encyclopédie libre, https://fr.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Marathon_Messier&oldid=157295489 (Page consultée le 23 juin 2019)

See also:

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Bob Fields for starting this profile and to David Quénéhervé for providing additional sources.



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Hey there profile managers!

We'll be featuring Charles as our example profile of the week June 26th. Feel free to do some sprucing or updates in anticipation of his showcase. Otherwise, I will probably jump in and do some tweaking closer to that date.

Thanks! Abby

posted by Abby (Brown) Glann

Charles is 34 degrees from Donald Howard, 29 degrees from Julia Howe and 30 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.