Charles Messier was born in 1730 and his interest in astronomy was sparked by a spectacular, six-tailed comet when he was 14.
He moved to Paris and wanted to become famous by discovering comets. When he looked through his telescope he often re-discovered objects which were already known and were not comets. To make sure he didn't waste time, each time he found an object that did not move in the sky he catalogued it. His famous list contains 110 objects.