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Messier created his catalogue when he kept confusing these fuzzy blobs in his telescope with the comets he was actually looking for. Also worth mentioning is the fact that this was at a time when even professional telescopes were unable to differentiate between galaxies and comets, and that M102 is actually a duplicate sighting of M101 (according to a letter from messier) and not as the americans insist another object in the constellation of draco.
The h2g2 messier catalogue is quite a good one for location information, and Zyra's messier catalogue is also worth a look.
Here are some other links to sites with which are better than the current content of this sites catalogue:
Some other space links include: