Sketch of Andromeda by Messier, 1807

Sketch of Andromeda by Messier, 1807

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Sketch of the Andromeda galaxy (M31). Historical artwork by Charles Messier (1730-1817), showing Andromeda's two companion galaxies M32 (bottom) and M110 (top). The image has some descriptions of the three galaxies (then called nebulae), including their discoverers, thus documenting Messier's discovery of M110 in 1773. The discovery of Andromeda itself he attributed to Simon Marius, who gave a detailed description of it in 1612 but never claimed its discovery. In fact, Al-Sufi, a Persian astronomer, described and depicted it as early as 964 AD. M32 was discovered in 1749 by Le Gentil. Published in 1807 in the Recueil de L'Institute, Vol. 8, p213.

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