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.
Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. William Herschel's observations and parallel activities; 3. John Herschel's Slough observations; 4. Discoveries made in parallel with John Herschel's Slough; 5. John Herschel at the Cape of Good Hope; 6. The time after Herschel's observations till Auwers' list of new nebulae; 7. Compiling the General Catalogue; 8. Dreyer's first catalogue: the supplement to Herschel's General Catalogue; 9. Compilation of the New General Catalogue 356; 10. The New General Catalogue: publication, analysis and effects; 11. Special topics; 12. Summary; Appendices; Index.
Providing the first comprehensive historical study of the NGC, this book is an important resource to all those interested 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.
Dr Wolfgang Steinicke, FRAS, is a committee member of the Webb Deep Sky Society and Director of its Nebulae and Clusters section, a core team member of the international NGC/IC Project, Head of the History Section of the VdS, Germany's largest national association of amateur astronomers, and a member of the Working Group for the History of Astronomy of the Astronomische Gesellschaft. He frequently gives conference talks and courses, and contributes to astronomical magazines. This is his fourth book.
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