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Deep Sky Observer's Companion – the online database

 

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New deep sky book by Wolfgang Steinicke

Deep sky author Wolfgang Steinicke's latest book, "Observing and Cataloguing Nebulae and Star Clusters: From Herschel to Dreyer's New General Catalogue", was published in August by Cambridge University Press.

Steinicke writes:

"The New General Catalogue, originally created in 1888, is the source for referencing bright nebulae and star clusters, both in professional and amateur astronomy. With 7840 entries, it is the most-used historical catalogue of observational astronomy, and NGC numbers are commonly used today. However, the fascinating history of the discovery, observation, description and cataloguing of nebulae and star clusters in the nineteenth century has largely gone untold, until now. This well-researched book is the first comprehensive historical study of the NGC, and is an important resource to all those with an interest in the history of modern astronomy and visual deep-sky observing. It covers the people, observatories, instruments and methods involved in nineteenth-century visual deep-sky observing, as well as prominent deep-sky objects. The book also compares the NGC to modern object data, demonstrating how important the NGC is in observational astronomy today."

Further details may be found on the author's website, at http://www.klima-luft.de/steinicke/index_e.htm.

CUP catalogue entry

Recent news

top story: March newsletter of the ASSA Deep-Sky Section, featuring 47 Tuc on the cover. — "Nightfall" (2015 April) is the current newsletter of the Deep-Sky Observing Section of the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa.

A globular cluster in the realm of the galaxies — A rare gem - a bright globular cluster in the realm of the galaxies.

The Dark Emu rises, in pursuit of the Magellanic Clouds — The beautiful complex of dark nebulosity along the southern Milky Way appears like an ancient monster, its serpentine neck reaching out as if to gobble up the Magellanic Clouds.

Massive star forming region in the Small Magellanic Cloud — Dale Liebenberg images NGC 346, a gigantic star forming region in the SMC.

Flocculent Galaxy in Southern Leo — Dale Liebenberg images the spiral galaxy NGC 3521 in southern Leo.

Ancient open cluster in Lyra — Anthony Ayiomamitis images the old open cluster NGC 6791.

Golden Coin Galaxy — Dale Liebenberg images the Golden Coin, NGC 4945 in Centaurus.

NGC 2467 in Puppis — Dale Liebenberg images NGC 2467 in Puppis.

Last but not least - Messier 103 — Anthony Ayiomamitis images Messier 103 in Cassiopeia.

The Arkenstone of Thrain — Dale Liebenberg images Messier 22, the "Arkenstone of Thrain" according to Burnham.

ConCards available — A handy set of beginner's star charts, "Constellation Cards" are now available for free download.

Deep sky celebrations — Three deep sky observers of yore have birthdays this week: William Herschel (1738), the Fourth Earl of Rosse, and Stephane Javelle.

Necklace Nebula featured on APOD — The recently-discovered planetary nebula nicknamed the Necklace Nebula, recently featured on APOD.

Methuselah Nebula featured on APOD — The old bipolar planetary nebula MWP1, a.k.a. Methuselah Nebula, is today's APOD.

New deepsky book from CUP — Deep sky author Wolfgang Steinicke's latest book, "Observing and Cataloguing Nebulae and Star Clusters: From Herschel to Dreyer's New General Catalogue", has just been published by Cambridge University Press.

NGC 1365 in infrared (ESO VLT) — The bright barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365 in Fornax has been imaged in the infrared with the ESO VLT telescope.

New HST image of eta Carinae Nebula — New observations, combined with images made in 2005, show beautiful detail in part of the extensive eta Carinae Nebula.

First planetary in open cluster found — A team of astronomers from Australia, the UK, the USA and France have discovered the first planetary nebula known to be associated with a galactic open cluster.

NGC 300 in Sculptor imaged at ESO — The bright spiral galaxy NGC 300 has been imaged with the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile.

Superwind galaxy NGC 4666 — A remarkable galaxy with very vigorous star formation has been newly imaged on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile.

News archives

All earlier news items can be browsed in the archives.

Quote

As stargazers we should practice what Lee Cains calls ‘the serene art of visual observing.’ We must learn to see with the mind as well as the eye. This means really examining and contemplating the varied scenes before us in the eyepiece. All deep sky objects deserve at least 15 minutes of your time. Glancing at an object once it’s found and then rushing to another and another is like reading only the Cliff’s Notes of the world’s great novels.
James Mullaney

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The Bug Report

DOCdb is still in beta-release.

Known issues, feature requests, and updates on bug fixes, are here:

> Bug Report

Collaborators

Special thanks to our volunteers:

• Magda Streicher

• Chris de Coning

> Find out more

The Bug Report

DOCdb is still in beta-release.

Known issues, feature requests, and updates on bug fixes, are here:

> Bug Report

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Help!

DOCdb is a free online resource that exists to promote deep sky observing.

You could help by sharing your observations, writing an article, digitizing and proof-reading historical material, and more.

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Everything on DOCdb.net is © 2004-2010 by Auke Slotegraaf, unless stated otherwise or if you can prove you have divine permission to use it. Before using material published here, please consult the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.5 License. Some material on DOCdb is copyright the individual authors. If in doubt, don't reproduce. And that goes for having children, too. Please note that the recommended browser for DOCdb is Firefox 3.x. You may also get good results with K-Meleon. Good luck if you're using IE. A successful experience with other browsers, including Opera and Safari, may vary.