sponsored by psychohistorian.org


Deep Sky Observer's Companion – the online database


Welcome, guest!

If you've already registered, please log in,

or register an observer profile for added functionality.


log in to manage your observing lists























Full database:

Entire DOCdb database of 18,816 objects.



NGC 2040 (3,775 of 18,816)


oc gc pln bn dn gx gxcl ast aka lost




finder chart

altitude today

altitude (year)


½°, , in DOCdb

Warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/yivumoo/public_html/show_object.php on line 167

show browsing

NGC 2040

NGC 2040, ESO 56-164, LHA 120-N 59B, LH 88, LI-LMC 1392, h 2918, GC 1243

RA: 05h 36m 0.7s
Dec: −67° 34′ 57″

Con: Dorado
Ch: MSA:484, U2:445, SA:24


(reference key)

Type: association of stars

Mag: B=?, V=11.47

Size: ?
PA: ?

Image gallery

Sketches  (2)

Select a sketch and click the button to view

Historical observations

John Herschel (1847) Cape Observations

Discovered by Sir John Herschel at the Cape of Good Hope with an 18-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He recorded it as "faint, irregularly round, gradually a little brighter in the middle; resolvable; 2'." The next observation was recorded as "faint, irregularly round, gradually a little brighter in the middle" On a third occasion he noted it as "very faint, round, follows 3 very bright large nebulae which run together." The fourth observation was recorded as "pretty faint, large, round; follows a group of 3 running together." The final observation was recorded as "irregularly round, resolvable; 2' diameter." The three nebulae referred to are NGC 2040, NGC 2032 and NGC 2035.

Published comments

Bailey, S.I. (1908)

"cluster; coarse, perhaps inv in neb; LMC."

Bailey, S.I. (1908) A catalogue of bright stars and nebulae. Ann.Harv.Coll.Obs., 60(8), 199.

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a cluster+nebulosity in the LMC.

Modern observations

Brian Skiff

15cm - detached ~circ neb E of N2029/32/35 complex. good UHC enhancement. 1'.5

diam w/m14 * at W edge. six or eight *s res m14+. BS, 18Nov1993, LCO.

Contemporary observations

Magda Streicher

2006 February 01

NGC 2020, NGC 2011, NGC 2014, NGC 2021, NGC 2032, NGC 2035, and NGC 2040 viewed together.

16-inch SCT, at 127x (26 arc min), without any filter.

A very hazy field of view containing several nebulae.

NGC 2020 looks like a soft even round glow, very smooth, faded away fainter into the field. The ignited star is easily seen which I estimate about 13+, which gives the impression of riding along on top of this glow. The 12.2 magnitude GSC 9162 292 on the south end of the nebula is a disturbing factor and draw the eye away. The nebulosity of the nebula stretch almost halfway to the lovely close grouping NGC 2014, about 5' NW which gives the nebula a possible size of 2+'.

NGC 2032 and NGC 2035 is the most outstanding feature in the field of view.

NGC 2011 although small is relatively bright. I detect a very compact faint small group barely visible, about 6' straight NE from NGC 2014 to form a tri angle with NGC 2021 which is an elongated SW-N scattering of faint stars almost 6' long in the north of the field (26').

16-inch SCT, at 127x (26 arc min), and 290x (17.4arc min), with O-III filter

The whole of the field nebulosity is very dusty and overwhelming. Streaks of nebulosity can be seen with haze filters amongst the field stars. NGC 2020 nebula is much more evident, with the igniting star seen only with averted vision. The star GSC 9162 292 on the south end is still visible. With a higher magnification 290x and the 0111 filter the NGC 2020 nebula is not so round and smooth in texture anymore. Flimsy nebulosity in the dusty field (26arc min.) is more obvious in the SE of the field of view.

NGC 2032 and NGC 2035 show off two lobs connected very barely on the eastern side and open up to the west (almost like a pair of open lips). The NW lobe of NGC 2032 is slightly larger than NGC 2035.

The soft NGC 2040 elongated NW-SE flimsy streak can be seen now just east of the pair of lips (NGC 2032 & 2035).

NGC 2011 is a very small nebula surrounds an 8.4 magnitude star in the NW of the field (26arc min.) and easily seen. Grow slightly larger at 290x and 0111filter.

16-inch SCT, at 127x (26 arc min), and 290x (17.4arc min), with Deep Sky Filter.

All the nebulae show lifted somehow out against the field of view. With higher magnification 290x and DSF, NGC 2020 gives me the impression of a distant globular out of focus glow.

At 290x (17.4) the following on the other objects: NGC 2032 the larger NW lob of the two, breeze away more to the NW to give it a slightly elongated appearance, whereas NGC 2035 is more roundish in shape, slightly brighter, with a very faint star imbedded. Nebulosity very much intervenes with NGC 2014 (the outstanding group just 5'to the NW of NGC 2020).

The small NGC 2011 is really outstanding bright against the field of view.

NGC 2040, show a pinacle of light NW-SE, more or less 2+' long.

16-inch SCT, at 127x (26 arc min), and 290x (17.4arc min), with UltraHighContrastst Filter.

The filter (UHC) brilliantly lifted out all the nebulae objects against the star field (26arc min). NGC 2020 is seen beautifully as an object in own right.

At 290x, NGC 2020 had a strong dense look which add depth to it as a whole. The surface looks slightly molted, uneven around the edge and not so round in figure any more. The igniting star is seen with averted vision (starlight fainter with filter use) as well as star GSC 9162 292 embedded at the south edge of the nebula. The northern part of the nebula is slightly brighter, and shade softer out into the field of view. The southern part between the igniting star and star GSC 9162 292, is less dense. (This impression could be star GSC 9162 292 on the south edge of the nebula, gives off light in the area between the two stars?) Star GSC 9162 292 slightly defines the south edge of the nebula.

NGC 2032 and NGC 2035 much more outstanding and extends in nebulosity, almost put the objects imbedded in a cloud of mistiness. NGC 2040 is much more hazy, although still very faint. NGC 2011 appears lovely and bright around star GSC 9162 156, somewhat brighter and more extended to the north. NGC 2029 could be the extended area to the NW of NGC 2032 but nothing outstanding and hardly seen..

The best view overall is by far with the UHC filter at 290x for each object in this field of view.

Favourite lists

Lacaille's catalogue

The Messier objects

Dunlop's catalogue

The Bennett objects

The Caldwell list

Named DSOs

Object search

First search phrase


Second search phrase

Type of object to include:

open cluster
globular cluster
planetary nebula
bright nebula
dark nebula
galaxy cluster
asterism & stars

The Bug Report

DOCdb is still in beta-release.

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

> Bug Report


Found a bug? Have a comment or suggestion to improve DOCdb? Please let us know!

> Contact us


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.

> Find out more

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.