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  1. #11
    David Knisely's Avatar
    David Knisely Guest

    Default NGC descriptions

    Bill Meyers wrote:

    OBJECTS), now in its 2nd edition. It is a very good book with accurate
    information and descriptions. NSOG is nice and big, but some of the
    descriptions are less than accurate, which has kind of soured me towards that
    work. Clear skies to you.
    David W. Knisely
    Prairie Astronomy Club:
    Hyde Memorial Observatory:

    * Attend the 11th Annual NEBRASKA STAR PARTY *
    * July 18-23, 2004, Merritt Reservoir *
    * *

  2. #12
    William C. Keel's Avatar
    William C. Keel Guest

    Default NGC descriptions

    Stephen Paul <> wrote:

    You might check the Revised NGC (Sulentic and Tifft) published by the U of
    Arizona Press circa 1975, and the NGC 2000 (Sky Publishing, I think).

    The entire RNGC content is available from
    They used both Dreyer's original descriptions and new inspections of
    teh Palomar Survey; note that some open clusters were declared
    nonexistent therein simply because they are not obvious on the
    deep PSS photos.

    Bill Keel

  3. #13
    Bill Ferris's Avatar
    Bill Ferris Guest

    Default NGC descriptions

    Stephen Paul wrote:

    If you can locate a copy of "The Scientific Papers of Sir William Herschel"
    (1912, Royal Society and Royal Astronomomical Society), J. L. E. Dreyer's "A
    New General Catalog of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars" (NGC) is included. You'll
    also find the elder and younger Herschel's catalogs with their descriptions for
    more than 5,000 of the 7,840 entries in the NGC.

    The Herschels used an 18.7-inch reflector with a speculum metal mirror to make
    their observations. Sir William typically operated the instrument at 157X, a
    magnification that produced a 15' true field of view. Taking into consideration
    the poor reflectivity of speculum surfaces and the generally poor (by today's
    standards) figure of mirrors from that error, I'd guess a modern 10- or
    12.5-inch reflector would deliver comparable views.

    Admittedly, the 1912 publication of Herschel's papers is not a practical option
    for most amateurs. However, if I recall correctly, Stephen lives in the
    northeastern U.S. Perhaps, he can find this text at one of the many excellent
    university libraries located in that part of the country.

    A much easier to find book is, "Star Clusters," by Archinal and Hynes (2003,
    Willmann-Bell). This is the definitive text on open and globular star clusters
    in the NGC and elsewhere up to the time of publication. The authors address and
    correct hundreds of errors in classification, identification and position.
    These include over 200 clusters misidentified as "non-existent" in the RNGC.

    The "NGC/IC Project" ( ) is among the best online references for
    visual descriptions of these objects.


    Bill Ferris
    "Cosmic Voyage: The Online Resource for Amateur Astronomers"
    Email: Remove "ic" from .comic above to respond

  4. #14
    Tony Flanders's Avatar
    Tony Flanders Guest

    Default NGC descriptions

    "Stephen Paul" <> wrote in message news:<>...

    Yes, there are several lists of NGC data in print, but in my experience,
    the online data at the NGCIC project website is by far the most up to
    date and accurate, and as far as I know it is not available in print.

    Since the entire NGC is only 8000 objects -- including at least a
    thousand non-existent objects and duplicates -- downloading Steinecke's
    online list from the NGCIC project and printing it out seems quite

    Personally, much as I love print, I find 8000 objects easier to handle
    with the aid of a computer than in hardcopy.

    - Tony Flanders

  5. #15
    Mark S Baines's Avatar
    Mark S Baines Guest

    Default NGC descriptions

    Stephen Paul ( wrote:

    In the downloads page on my web site
    you'll find the NGC catalogue with all the descriptions in full rather than
    Dreyer's cryptic form. Also available in Word format to print off.


    -- - Linnhe Observatory in the Highlands of Scotland

  6. #16
    Stephen Paul's Avatar
    Stephen Paul Guest

    Default NGC descriptions

    "Mark S Baines" <> wrote in message


    Thanks Mark. That's perfect.


  7. #17
    Bill Meyers's Avatar
    Bill Meyers Guest

    Default NGC descriptions

    Hi, David,
    I feel your pain, to coin a phrase. And I can well believe that a book
    of which Brian Skiff is an author is likely to be more accurate than
    most anything else. His reputation among the cognoscenti is unsurpassed.
    As for NSOG, is there a list of errata available somewhere, or is it
    that the verbal descriptions are sometimes a little off?
    The reason I like NSOG so much is that like Burnham's, it tends toward
    the lyrical rather than the austere, and I prefer the lyrical even if
    that entails a few more errors than does the austere. Burnham has
    errors, NSOG has errors, Piazza Navona has errors (Bernini went a bit
    too far is some cases), the Campidoglio has errors (Michaelangelo never
    envisioned that an equestrian statue would be placed there), La Boheme
    has flaws (two of the four bohemian compatriots practically disappear
    after the first act), Iolanthe has errors (Strephon's beautiful but
    bitter diatribe against poverty clashes in tone with the rest of the
    operetta and so is rarely sung) but for me their lyricism compensates
    for the errors. Just my own preference; if I were doing astronomy for
    scientific purposes rather than philosophical and aesthetic reasons, I
    would demand that the data be as error-free as possible.
    I will take a look at Loginbuhl and Skiff's book. It's reputation among
    observers is excellent, as you know.
    Bill Meyers

    David Knisely wrote:

  8. #18
    David Knisely's Avatar
    David Knisely Guest

    Default NGC descriptions

    Bill Meyers wrote:

    Well, I'm afraid that there isn't much of an errata at least as far as I have
    seen. There are a number of numerical errors in various parts of the book
    (mostly in the double star sections), but the visual descriptions are the
    parts that kind of get my goat. One in particular concerned NGC 4111, an
    edge-on galaxy in Canes Venatici. NSOG stated, "The halo is mottled and
    several faint knots are along the major axis. Averted vision reveals a dark
    dust lane.". This last statement is untrue. The galaxy does *not* have a
    dark lane. The Palomar Sky survey images used for the Digital Sky survey do
    not show one, and (more importantly), the Hubble Space Telescope image of this
    object shows no sign of a dark lane or extensive mottling. Its a case of
    visual "wishful thinking", as the galaxy's long slender shape might make it
    seem like it "should" have a dark lane, when in fact it does not. There are
    other instances of this inaccuracy in some of the drawings, such as when a few
    stars are drawn which are very probably a little too faint for the aperture
    cited (they do appear in photographs). In other cases, the descriptions are
    either too pessimistic or too optimistic, so they often can be less than
    useful in the long run. I have never run into these kind of problems with
    Luginbuhl and Skiff. One of these days, I will sit down and go through my
    volumes of NSOG and really do an extensive review of the work (probably for
    Cloudynights). However, I was a little disappointed that a work of this size
    and scope isn't better than it really should have been. Clear skies to you.
    David W. Knisely
    Prairie Astronomy Club:
    Hyde Memorial Observatory:

    * Attend the 11th Annual NEBRASKA STAR PARTY *
    * July 18-23, 2004, Merritt Reservoir *
    * *


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