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NGC catalogue


I took another look at the nova in Scutum; the star looked brighter than expected with an estimated magnitude of 9.1. I took the time now to explore the region around the nova; there are some nice open clusters like M11 (the Wild Duck Cluster) and M26, but also some NGC objects.

The NGC catalogue, which stands for New General Catalogue, is the little brother of the better known Messier catalogue, and contains generally more modest deep sky objects. The NGC catalogue contains all of the Messier objects plus thousands of others which Messier missed or simply couldn't observe from his location. The NGC catalogue was compiled in 1888 by Danish astronomer Johan Ludvig Emil Dreyer, who based his work on earlier lists made by the Herschel family of British astronomers. Dreyer included some 8,000 celestial objects, a total raised to about 13,000 by his first and second Index Catalogues (IC), published in 1895 and 1908, respectively. With these supplements the NGC covers the entire sky, although many objects visible with modern instruments are not listed. Benoit Schillings created a list of photographed NGC items which give a fairly decent impression about what to expect of a NGC object in your scope.