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The Caldwell Catalogue was compiled in 1995 by Sir Patrick Moore. He has said he started it for fun because he had some spare time after finishing writing up his latest observations of Mars. He looked at some nebulae, including the ones Charles Messier had not listed in his catalogue. Messier was only interested in listing those objects which he thought could be confused for the comets, he also only listed objects viewable from where he observed from in the Northern hemisphere. Moore's catalogue extends into the Southern hemisphere.
Having completed it in a few hours, he sent it off to the Sky & Telescope magazine thinking it would amuse them. They published it in December 1995. Since then, the list has grown in popularity and use throughout the amateur astronomy community. Obviously Moore couldn't use 'M' as a prefix for the objects, so seeing as his surname is actually Caldwell-Moore he used C, and thus also known as the Caldwell catalogue.