Méchain, Pierre François André (1744–1804)
Pierre Méchain was a French astronomer who, like his friend Charles Messier,
hunted comets and, in the process, discovered many new deep sky objects.
Between 1779 and 1782, he found 30 deep sky objects, 29 of which were original
firsts. As he was in close cooperation with Messier at this time, he almost
instantly communicated his observations to Messier, who would check their
positions and add them to his catalogue. Among Méchain's discoveries include
M63, M65, M66, M68, M72, M75, M76, M78, and M102 through M107, the majority
of which are galaxies and globular clusters (see Messier
Catalogue). Méchain also discovered eight comets between 1781
and 1799, including Encke's Comet,
which was subsequently named after the calculator of its orbit.