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By Mohan Babu

quiz on science and space agencies


1) Which is the brightest Messier object?

2) You need to know this for sure. What is M1, first in the list of Messier objects? 

3) What is classified as M31? (This should be an easy one as this is very popular)

4) What is the number given by Messier to the Sagittarius star cloud?

​5) How is M42 better known as? (It is one of the most popular nebula)

6) Do you love having lobster? But that is not the question. What is the Messier number for lobster nebula?

7) Have you ever worn a ring in your finger? Then you must answer this question. What is the Messier designation for ring nebula?

8) Name the object designated as M82. Here is help. Had it not been a galaxy, we should avoid it for the sake of health. (Is that a clue?)

9) This one is for bird lovers. What is the Messier designation given to Eagle nebula? (not many may love Eagles but I do)

​10) Thanks for your patience right through this quiz. So I am giving you a flower question. What is the Messier designation for Sunflower galaxy?

Scroll down for answers


1) Pleiades is the star cluster that is the brightest of all Messier Objects. This object is coded M45 in his list. It is also known as seven sisters. This is an easy naked-eye target.

2) Crab nebula is classified as M1. It is a remnant of a supernova that happened in 1054..

3) Andromeda galaxy is classified as M31. It is special because it is the brightest galaxy visible in Northern hemisphere. It is a naked eye object in dark sky locations.

​4) Sagittarius star cloud is known as M24. It is a dense region of stars where we can spot up to 1000 stars in the binocular view.

5) Orion nebula is given the designation of M42. It is an easy naked eye target. Orion nebula has a lower apparent magnitude compared to Andromeda galaxy. Yet Orion nebula is easier to spot than the Andromeda galaxy. Wonder why?

6) M18 is the Messier designation for the lobster nebula. It also has other names like Swan nebula, Horse shoe nebula and Omega Nebula. Don't they have an upper limit for the number of names given to an object?

7) M57 is the designation of the ring nebula. M57 is a planetary nebula

8)  Cigar galaxy is designated as M82.

9) Eagle nebula is designated as M16. There is also another Messier object by the name "Owl nebula"! Owl nebula is designated M97 in case if someone asks.

10) Sunflower galaxy is designated as M63..

Messier objects are those diffuse objects in the night sky cataloged by Charles Messier, a French astronomer. Nebulae, star clusters and even some galaxies make the Messier list. Did Messier love these nebulae very much? On the contrary, he was interested only in comet hunting and found the diffuse nebulae distracting to his original purpose of comet hunting. So he wanted to make a detailed list of nebulae so as not to bother about them. He could differentiate a nebula from a comet because a nebula does not change its position against the background stars but a comet does. It is ironic that Messier is known more for the list that he considered as a distraction than the comets that he loved. Now it is time to take a quiz on Messier objects.

Quiz on Messier objects