Astronomical Catalogs

Night sky is covered with full of stars and deep-sky objects like galaxies, nebulas, and clusters. If you are a regular night sky observer then probably you know a few catalogs or possibly all. Today we are going to discuss that who discovered these catalogs and how galaxies, nebulas, and clusters are categorized.

By Michael A. Phillips – official blog, CC BY 4.0,
  1. Messier Catalog (M1-M110)
    • It was cataloged by French Astronomer Charles Messier.
    • Number of objects in catalog = 110
    • It comprise diffuse nebula, planetary nebula, clusters, galaxies.
  2. Caldwell Catalog (C1-C109)
    • This catalog was compiled by Patrick moore.
    • Number of objects in catalog = 109
    • Type of objects in caldwell = Dark nebula, Galaxies, Star clusters, Planetary nebula, Supernova.
  3. Herschel 400 Catalog
    • This catalog is subset of William Herschel’s original catalog which contain 2500 objects.
    • Number of objects in catalog = 400
    • It contains Galaxies, Globular cluster, Nebula, Star clusters, Planetary nebula.
  4. New General Catalog (NGC)
    • The NGC catalog was compiled by John Lousi Emil Dreyer.
    • Number of objects in NGC = 7840
    • It includes all type of deep sky objects.
  5. Index Catalog (IC)
    • IC catalog is first major updtae of NGC catalog published by Dreyer.
    • Number of objects in IC catalog = 5386
  6. Revised New General Catalog (RNGC)
    • RNGC catalog was compiled by Jack W. Sulentic & William G. Tifft. 
    • Number of objects in RNGC = 800
    • It contains nonstellar astronomical objects.

These all are the main astronomical catalogs that cover observable galaxies, clusters, and nebulas. Otherwise, there are other lots of catalogs available in the field of astronomy which categorize different stars into different groups according to their property.

Most Deep-sky objects from the Messier catalog are observable easily with binoculars and small telescopes. For observation of Caldwell, Herschel and NGC you require a telescope with high aperture and dark skies.

1 thought on “Astronomical Catalogs

  1. Erwin Bogel says:

    Your style is so unique compared to other folks I’ve read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this page.


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