Celestial Atlas
Introduction to the NGC, IC and PGC Objects Pages On This Site Link for sharing this page on Facebook

Page last updated Aug 12, 2017

The Purpose Of These Pages, And Plans For Their Completion
 The discussion of deep space objects in my online text requires only a few hundred images to adequately illustrate all the topics involving such objects. But there are thousands of images which could be presented, and more are being taken every year. What should be done with old images when new ones become available, which beg to be used as replacements? Or with new images which are truly spectacular, but don't provide any better illustration than the ones already in the online text?
 The answer I have chosen is to create a set of pages listing various deep space objects according to one of the major catalogs of such objects compiled over the years -- Dreyer's New General Catalog (NGC) and Index Catalogs (IC), and Paturel's Catalog of Principal Galaxies (PGC). Those pages will be populated in stages, according to the following schedule:
 (1) Pages have been created to provide a place for every NGC and IC object, and every page has some content. For the PGC pages, this stage is still under consideration, as there are so many PGC objects, that covering all of them is impossible.
 (2) Every image already on the site which could be linked to an NGC/IC/PGC page will be linked to the appropriate page, and detailed information concerning those objects will be added to the linked pages, in addition to any information about them already on the site. This has been done for a small fraction of the images previously onsite, but should be completed by fall of 2010.
 (3) A very long-term stage will be to provide entries for every NGC and IC object, and every PGC object which appears in one of the NGC/IC object images. Since this will involve 20 to 30 thousand objects, collecting and collating the data and images required will require a considerable amount of time. Given the rate of progress so far, I estimate that it will take the best part of 10 years to complete this stage. However, references are provided below which will allow interested individuals to look up the information that I will provide on this site on their own, if the objects they are interested in have not yet been posted on this site.

References Used For This Project
 Needless to say, projects such as this collection of catalogs cannot be done by any individual, without relying on the work of others. The main references for my work are (1) The historic and modern NGC/IC data and list of NGC/IC discoverers compiled by
Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke, (2) Positional and identification information from the HyperLeda database, (3) Extensive data listings from the NASA/IPAC NED database, (4) Dr. Harold Corwin's NGC/IC notes, (5) Malcolm Thomson's Corrections to the IC, and (6) in circumstances where no other information was available, the WikiSky visual database (unfortunately, WikiSky's correlation of images and data has many errors, but it does provide visual references which are not provided by the other sources). Much of the initial work on this project was based on the NGC/IC Project site, but most of the information of interest to me was obtained from the sources listed above, so I will be gradually replacing this second-hand information, and removing the links to it, as I revise individual pages.
 It should be noted that although some of the information referred to here is available on Wikipedia and similar websites, much of what is present there is basically stolen from other sites. Wikipedia is doing a better job of requiring citations and references to the original work than it used to, but whether those citations actually received permission from the original authors is often ignored. Similarly, many of the images in Wikimedia Commons, though supposedly in the public domain, have incorrect attribution, and are actually copyrighted. I have tried as much as possible to find the original source material, and to receive permission to use whatever material is not actually in the public domain, and offer my sincerest apologies to anyone whose work I have inadvertently used without receiving proper permission; and would appreciate their letting me know if such is the case, so that I may ask for permission and provide them with credit where credit is due.

Use of Those References
(to be added)

Historical References for the NGC/IC Objects
 Although I intend to eventually make this catalog sufficiently complete that casual users should have no need to refer to the original papers that the NGC/IC catalogs and their predecessors and successors were based on, there are bound to be users who would like to see the original historical records. There are hundreds of those, and finding them online (or anywhere else) can be next to impossible. To satisfy the needs of those readers, I am now adding Historical Notes to each NGC/IC entry, and plan to add links from those notes to a
page which contains links to all the online references I am aware of. I created the page on Apr 20, 2017, so until that date is well in the past it will be somewhat incomplete, but I have listed most of the references, and am gradually adding links to online copies of the reference materials.

Reference Material For Distances And Sizes and How I Use It
(enlarged and roughly edited Mar 21, 2015)
 Wherever possible, I have indicated the approximate distance and size of the objects included in these pages. For galactic objects the values are taken from whatever papers are willing to make an educated (or not) guess about the distance. For extragalactic objects, older entries estimate distances from recessional velocities by assuming a Hubble expansion velocity of 73 km/sec/Mpc, but I am gradually changing all such estimates to a value based on H = 70 km/sec/Mpc (not only is this closer to the currently accepted value, but happens to be the value I used during the 42 years I taught astronomy, so it has a certain nostalgia for me, aside from being more accurate). Such distances are subject to substantial error due to peculiar (non-Hubble expansion) velocities for nearby objects, so wherever possible I have compared the results to redshift-independent distance estimates. Sizes of objects are then obtained by comparing their apparent size to their distance.
  If the recessional velocities of the objects are a substantial fraction of the speed of light, relativistic corrections are required to obtain accurate results. I find that the errors become noticeable at about 7000 km/sec, or a little over 2% of the speed of light, so eventually all entries with recessional velocities of 7000+ km/sec will include relativistic corrections. The calculations involved require certain assumptions, for which I have chosen (1) a "flat" geometry for the Universe, (2) a mass density of 27% of the "critical" mass density, and (3) a "vacuum density" of 73% (since the total for a "flat" Universe has to be 100%, this directly follows from the assumption that the mass of the Universe is only 23% of the critical density). For such entries I start with "a straightforward calculation indicates", meaning that if you just use the Hubble constant of 70 km/sec/Mpc, you get a particular distance. I then add "However", and a brief note about how the expansion of the Universe during the time it took the light to reach us alters the results. This not only allows posting more accurate results, but shows that for objects at large distances, the time it takes for their light to reach us is longer than the original distance in light years, because the intervening space expanded during the light-travel time. The times and distances involved are rounded to the nearest 5 million years or light-years, so the difference in light-travel time due to the Universal expansion is not exact, but merely an example of how things work.
  No matter how the distance is determined, the size of the object is calculated by taking the distance in millions of light years, multiplying by the apparent size in seconds of arc, then dividing by 206000 (the number of seconds of arc in a radian).
 Recessional velocities are taken from the NASA Extragalactic Database (NED) when available, and if relativistic corrections are required, their value for z, the ratio of the recessional velocity to the speed of light, is used for the calculations. In some cases NED does not list a recessional velocity, but LEDA does; but since LEDA does not list z, I calculate that myself. (In very rare cases neither database lists recessional velocities, but I happened to find a value in a research paper.) In the case of most relatively nearby galaxies NED lists some redshift-independent distance measurements, and in such cases I include the range of such estimates in the discussion of the distance
  When starting an entry, most of the physical information is taken from Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke's database (which is used by permission, per a Creative Commons license), and this includes the apparent size of the object (in rare cases he does not list a value, and I used NED or LEDA for one, if available). However, for fully completed entries, the listed size is determined by direct measurements of the close-up images posted with such entries.

Image Sources and Copyright Information
 All images on this site are either in the public domain, or are posted with the permission of the copyright holder; but as explained on my
Copyright and Fair Use Page, that permission does not extend to commercial use, and even noncommercial use requires credit to be given where credit is due, particularly where a caption reads "used by permission"; so read the Fair Use page before you use any image anywhere else. Many images have the original source credited, and a link to that source. The one exception (and a major one, because of the number of images for which it applies) is that for many objects the only images available are "cutouts" of DSS, SDSS or PanSTARRS-1 photomosaics. In general, these images may be used for non-commercial purposes, such as on this website, merely by giving credit where credit is due; but more information about copyright terms for DSS images can be found here, while terms of use for SDSS images can be found here, and those for PanSTARRS-1 images are listed under "Credit Where It Is Due" on this page. (Note: For images posted early on, the attribution for DSS and SDSS images is in the alt and/or title tags for the images; but the note "updating to current standard" found on many pages includes moving the attribution to the image captions, and for most pages that has already been done.) It should also be noted that I have digitally adjusted virtually every image in one way or another, to make it easier to see structures that are not as well displayed in the original. In addition, every entry represents an amalgation of material obtained from ten to fifteen references, and involved a considerable amount of work on my part to find, verify, edit and explain; so some kind of note crediting this site as the source of anything posted elsewhere would be greatly appreciated.

History of the New General and Index Catalogs
(INCOMPLETE DISCUSSION; for a fascinating and very thorough discussion of the history and contents of the NGC, refer to
Wolfgang Steinicke's book on the subject.)
 When the New General Catalog was done, in the late 1800's and early 1900's, NGC numbers were assigned in order of right ascension, so NGC 1 had the smallest right ascension, NGC 2 the next smallest, and so on. Since then, precession has altered the positions of the Poles and the Celestial Equator by more than a degree, changing the right ascensions in different ways in different regions. As a result, objects at very different declinations may have their right ascensions slightly out of order. Objects in the same area, however, such as NGC 1 and NGC 2, still have increasing right ascension for increasing NGC numbers.
 Epoch 2000.0 positions and basic object descriptions are based on the NASA/IPAC extragalactic database (NED), or where no description is available there, on Wolfgang Steinicke's databases. Where reasonably reliable, independent physical data are not available, estimates of size and distance are also based on that database. Where high-quality public-domain images are posted, credits are listed and links are provided to the original source material. Objects for which no other images are available are taken from, as indicated by their "mouse-over" descriptions, Wikisky cutouts.
 Discovery data are taken from Wolfgang Steinicke's Historic NGC/IC databases, for which links are provided on the Discoverers page. Each observer's name is linked to an entry on that page, where additional links and biographical data links are provided.
 I should note that the descriptions in Dreyer's catalogs are brief combinations of letters, which allowed for a lot of information in a very brief format. For instance, "F, S, dif, Epf" meant "faint, small, diffuse, extended east and west". To eliminate the need for readers of these pages to learn the abbreviations, I have expanded the abbreviations to full-word descriptions. However, there is an interesting historical aspect preserved in the abbreviation. Strictly speaking, Epf means extended preceding and following, not extended east and west; but historically, observers who cataloged hundreds or thousands of objects would measure their positions by letting them slowly drift across the field of view of their telescopes, as the sky rotated. As a result of the westward rotation of the sky, objects to the west would cross the field of view at a time preceding, and objects to the east would cross the field of view at a time following, the time at which the object in question did so. This relationship between the time that objects cross the sky and their position is in fact the reason that east-west positions (right ascension) are measured in time units.

The Catalog of Principal Galaxies (PGC)
 The PGC was first published as an
extragalactic database in 1989 by Paturel et al. It contained coordinates and cross-identifications for 73,197 galaxies, with data taken from various sources for between twenty and sixty-seven thousand entries (more for data easily obtained, fewer for data requiring more effort). Due to errors in the references used to compile the catalog there are numerous duplications and non-galaxian entries, but overall it is a reliable reference, covering far more objects than earlier catalogs. Over the years additional data were added to the catalog, and in 2003 a completely new version of the catalog was published (primarilyl as an online database at HYPERLEDA), which was stated as "restricted to confirmed galaxies, i.e. about one million galaxies, brighter than ~18 B-mag", but the online database actually contained more than a million and a half entries, and as in the case of the original many are duplicate entries or nonexistent or misidentified non-galaxian objects. Over 50 catalogs were used as references for the 2003 version of the PGC, and between the numerous differing ways of listing objects and the inevitable errors in those references, PGC entry numbers actually run into the 4-millions plus (though searches of the database for high numeric entries generally fail, save as the result of a search for a non-PGC designation).
 Despite the aforementioned problems, the PGC is the most reliable and consistent database of extragalactic objects, and where a PGC number (or numbers) can be unambiguously assigned to a NGC or IC object, I prefer using the PGC designation to any other method of identifying the object. Strictly speaking, PGC numbers greater than the original 73,197 objects are "deprecated" (that is, their use is discouraged); but unless a search of the LEDA database for a PGC number fails to return a result I plan to show the PGC designation in the title for its entry.

Linking to Individual Objects
 To link to individual Messier, NGC, IC or PGC objects, use the following format, where XX is the number of the object in question:

Messier Objects: http://cseligman.com/text/stars/messierpageaddress.htm#XX
NGC objects: http://cseligman.com/text/atlas/ngcpageaddress.htm#XX
IC objects: http://cseligman.com/text/atlas/icpageaddress.htm#icXX
PGC objects: http://cseligman.com/text/atlas/pgcpageaddress.htm#pgcXX

The catch-all page for PGC objects,
pgcmisc.htm, uses the same format as shown above. When one of those objects is moved to a permanent location, the original pgcmisc.htm#pgcXX target will be replaced by a link to the new location.

Where The Content Of This Catalog Comes From
 Since this is a work in progress, different pages (and individual entries) are in different stages of progress; so the source material for one entry may not be the same as for another. As a result, this section will change as the catalog gradually nears completion; but here is a summary of some of the sources I've used.
Historical Identifications: Initially, from Wolfgang Steinicke's Modern NGCIC database; as work progresses, and various possibilities are raised for objects of uncertain identification, mostly from Harold Corwin's NGCIC notes, though for "completed" entries, whether something is listed as "certain", "probably certain", "possibly certain" or "not such-and-such an NGCIC object" is based on my own opinion of the arguments presented.
J2000 Coordinates (RA and Dec): Initially, from Wolfgang Steinicke's Modern NGCIC database; on more nearly completed pages, from Harold Corwin's tabulation of his and Brian Skiff's efforts. In a few cases, where modern images show the objects in better detail, from my own measurements (eventually, all such cases will be noted, but at the moment they are not).
NGC/IC entries: Directly from Dreyer's original publications. (This is one of the parts of the project I am currently working on most often.)
Discovery Information: Originally, from Wolfgang Steinicke's historical NGCIC databases. As pages are updated, this is supplemented by using Dreyer's entries as an additional reference, then looking at original historical references (as shown in the Historical References page). When modern references give different discovery information than that in Dreyer's entries, it is usually indicated in Dreyer's entry in parenthese, and in a Discovery Note.
Galaxy / Cluster Types: Originally, from Wolfgang Steinicke's modern NGCIC database. As work proceeds, updated by NED and LEDA descriptions, and once images are posted, if they seem to disagree with the previous descriptions, based on my own opinion (though always with a question mark, as I do not consider myself an "expert").
(Visual) Magnitudes: Originally, from Wolfgang Steinicke's NGCIC databases. At first, rounded off to the nearest whole magnitude; but as work progresses, listed to the nearest tenth of a magnitude (if provided by Steinicke). When accurate magnitudes are not available, I use NED and LEDA values to estimate the visual magnitude to what I hope is the nearest half magnitude, then add a question mark in parentheses.
Distances: Usually obtained from NED recessional velocities, with one of two or three values of the Hubble Constant (depending on when the page/entry was last updated), supplemented by redshift-independent distance estimates when available. I recently decided, given the small difference between H0 and 70 km/sec/Mpc, to just use that value for all entries; but unless the entry specifically states that, the distance obtained using that value might be different from the one shown.
Relativistic Distances and Light-Travel Times: For objects with recessional velocities of more than 7000 km/sec there is enough difference between standard Hubble distances and relativistically corrected ones that I plan to (and in many cases already have) indicated how the expansion of the Universe during the time that it took the light of very distant objects to reach us changes the calculated distance. For such calculations I am currently using (and will continue to use) a Hubble Constant of 70 km/sec/Mpc, a mass density of 27% of the "critical" mass density of the Universe for the combined total of all matter (including so-called dark matter), and a "flat" topology (so the badly misnamed "dark energy" is set at 73% of the "critical" mass density).
Apparent and Physical Sizes: Originally, apparent sizes were all taken from Wolfgang Steinicke's NGCIC databases; but I am now directly measuring them from the images posted for the individual entries (always indicated by "from the images below/above/etc"). Once extragalactic distances are also determined, they are converted to millions of light years, multiplied by the apparent size in arcseconds, then divided by 206,000 (the number of arcseconds in a radian) to obtain physical sizes in thousands of light years. For objects inside our own galaxy, distances are expressed in thousands of light years, yielding physical sizes in light years.

Index to the New General Catalog, Index Catalog, and Principal Galaxies Catalog Pages
 The 265 NGC/IC pages listed in the tables below will eventually contain pictures and detailed descriptions of every NGC/IC object. As of November 2014 there is at least some entry for the vast majority of the 15000+ objects listed in these pages, but during the nearly four years I've been working on this project I've gradually changed the format and updated my goals for the entries, so very few entries are as complete as they will be if I live long enough to complete this project. If you would like to see more for a given entry email me at courtney@cseligman.com, and I'll post an update (usually within a few hours).
 See the
first NGC page for a fairly complete example of what the content of these pages will eventually look like.
 Given the huge number of entries in the PGC, there is no way that I can consider listing more than a fraction of the PGC objects on this site; but it is my hope to eventually include cross-references for all PGC entries that refer to NGC/IC objects, and to as many other PGC entries of interest as proves practical.

Direct Links To Specific NGC Entries:
NGC 1 - 2000NGC 2001 - 4000NGC 4001 - 6000NGC 6001 - 7840

Links To Pages With Multiple NGC Entries
1-49
50-99
100-149
150-199
200-249
250-299
300-349
350-399
400-449
450-499
500-549
550-599
600-649
650-699
700-749
750-799
800-849
850-899
900-949
950-999
1000-1049
1050-1099
1100-1149
1150-1199
1200-1249
1250-1299
1300-1349
1350-1399
1400-1449
1450-1499
1500-1549
1550-1599
1600-1649
1650-1699
1700-1749
1750-1799
1800-1849
1850-1899
1900-1949
1950-1999
2000-2049
2050-2099
2100-2149
2150-2199
2200-2249
2250-2299
2300-2349
2350-2399
2400-2449
2450-2499
2500-2549
2550-2599
2600-2649
2650-2699
2700-2749
2750-2799
2800-2849
2850-2899
2900-2949
2950-2999
3000-3049
3050-3099
3100-3149
3150-3199
3200-3249
3250-3299
3300-3349
3350-3399
3400-3449
3450-3499
3500-3549
3550-3599
3600-3649
3650-3699
3700-3749
3750-3799
3800-3849
3850-3899
3900-3949
3950-3999
4000-4049
4050-4099
4100-4149
4150-4199
4200-4249
4250-4299
4300-4349
4350-4399
4400-4449
4450-4499
4500-4549
4550-4599
4600-4649
4650-4699
4700-4749
4750-4799
4800-4849
4850-4899
4900-4949
4950-4999
5000-5049
5050-5099
5100-5149
5150-5199
5200-5249
5250-5299
5300-5349
5350-5399
5400-5449
5450-5499
5500-5549
5550-5599
5600-5649
5650-5699
5700-5749
5750-5799
5800-5849
5850-5899
5900-5949
5950-5999
6000-6049
6050-6099
6100-6149
6150-6199
6200-6249
6250-6299
6300-6349
6350-6399
6400-6449
6450-6499
6500-6549
6550-6599
6600-6649
6650-6699
6700-6749
6750-6799
6800-6849
6850-6899
6900-6949
6950-6999
7000-7049
7050-7099
7100-7149
7150-7199
7200-7249
7250-7299
7300-7349
7350-7399
7400-7449
7450-7499
7500-7549
7550-7599
7600-7649
7650-7699
7700-7749
7750-7799
7800-7840

Index Catalog (IC) I / II Objects
1-49
50-99
100-149
150-199
200-249
250-299
300-349
350-399
400-449
450-499
500-549
550-599
600-649
650-699
700-749
750-799
800-849
850-899
900-949
950-999
1000-1049
1050-1099
1100-1149
1150-1199
1200-1249
1250-1299
1300-1349
1350-1399
1400-1449
1450-1499
1500-1549
1550-1599
1600-1649
1650-1699
1700-1749
1750-1799
1800-1849
1850-1899
1900-1949
1950-1999
2000-2049
2050-2099
2100-2149
2150-2199
2200-2249
2250-2299
2300-2349
2350-2399
2400-2449
2450-2499
2500-2549
2550-2599
2600-2649
2650-2699
2700-2749
2750-2799
2800-2849
2850-2899
2900-2949
2950-2999
3000-3049
3050-3099
3100-3149
3150-3199
3200-3249
3250-3299
3300-3349
3350-3399
3400-3449
3450-3499
3500-3549
3550-3599
3600-3649
3650-3699
3700-3749
3750-3799
3800-3849
3850-3899
3900-3949
3950-3999
4000-4049
4050-4099
4100-4149
4150-4199
4200-4249
4250-4299
4300-4349
4350-4399
4400-4449
4450-4499
4500-4549
4550-4599
4600-4649
4650-4699
4700-4749
4750-4799
4800-4849
4850-4899
4900-4949
4950-4999
5000-5049
5050-5099
5100-5149
5150-5199
5200-5249
5250-5299
5300-5349
5350-5386

Principal Galaxy Catalog (PGC) Objects 1 - 49999
1-499
500-999
1000-1499
1500-1999
2000-2499
2500-2999
3000-3499
3500-3999
4000-4499
4500-4999
5000-5499
5500-5999
6000-6499
6500-6999
7000-7499
7500-7999
8000-8499
8500-8999
9000-9499
9500-9999
10000-10499
10500-10999
11000-11499
11500-11999
12000-12499
12500-12999
13000-13499
13500-13999
14000-14499
14500-14999
15000-15499
15500-15999
16000-16499
16500-16999
17000-17499
17500-17999
18000-18499
18500-18999
19000-19499
19500-19999
20000-20499
20500-20999
21000-21499
21500-21999
22000-22499
22500-22999
23000-23499
23500-23999
24000-24499
24500-24999
25000-25499
25500-25999
26000-26499
26500-26999
27000-27499
27500-27999
28000-28499
28500-28999
29000-29499
29500-29999
30000-30499
30500-30999
31000-31499
31500-31999
32000-32499
32500-32999
33000-33499
33500-33999
34000-34499
34500-34999
35000-35499
35500-35999
36000-36499
36500-36999
37000-37499
37500-37999
38000-38499
38500-38999
39000-39499
39500-39999
40000-40499
40500-40999
41000-41499
41500-41999
42000-42499
42500-42999
43000-43499
43500-43999
44000-44499
44500-44999
45000-45499
45500-45999
46000-46499
46500-46999
47000-47499
47500-47999
48000-48499
48500-48999
49000-49499
49500-49999

Principal Galaxy Catalog (PGC) Objects 50000 - 99999
50000-50499
50500-50999
51000-51499
51500-51999
52000-52499
52500-52999
53000-53499
53500-53999
54000-54499
54500-54999
55000-55499
55500-55999
56000-56499
56500-56999
57000-57499
57500-57999
58000-58499
58500-58999
59000-59499
59500-59999
60000-60499
60500-60999
61000-61499
61500-61999
62000-62499
62500-62999
63000-63499
63500-63999
64000-64499
64500-64999
65000-65499
65500-65999
66000-66499
66500-66999
67000-67499
67500-67999
68000-68499
68500-68999
69000-69499
69500-69999
70000-70499
70500-70999
71000-71499
71500-71999
72000-72499
72500-72999
73000-73499
73500-73999
74000-74499
74500-74999
75000-75499
75500-75999
76000-76499
76500-76999
77000-77499
77500-77999
78000-78499
78500-78999
79000-79499
79500-79999
80000-80499
80500-80999
81000-81499
81500-81999
82000-82499
82500-82999
83000-83499
83500-83999
84000-84499
84500-84999
85000-85499
85500-85999
86000-86499
86500-86999
87000-87499
87500-87999
88000-88499
88500-88999
89000-89499
89500-89999
90000-90499
90500-90999
91000-91499
91500-91999
92000-92499
92500-92999
93000-93499
93500-93999
94000-94499
94500-94999
95000-95499
95500-95999
96000-96499
96500-96999
97000-97499
97500-97999
98000-98499
98500-98999
99000-99499
99500-99999

Principal Galaxy Catalog (PGC) Objects 100000 - 129999
100000-100499
100500-100999
101000-101499
101500-101999
102000-102499
102500-102999
103000-103499
103500-103999
104000-104499
104500-104999
105000-105499
105500-105999
106000-106499
106500-106999
107000-107499
107500-107999
108000-108499
108500-108999
109000-109499
109500-109999
110000-110499
110500-110999
111000-111499
111500-111999
112000-112499
112500-112999
113000-113499
113500-113999
114000-114499
114500-114999
115000-115499
115500-115999
116000-116499
116500-116999
117000-117499
117500-117999
118000-118499
118500-118999
119000-119499
119500-119999
120000-120499
120500-120999
121000-121499
121500-121999
122000-122499
122500-122999
123000-123499
123500-123999
124000-124499
124500-124999
125000-125499
125500-125999
126000-126499
126500-126999
127000-127499
127500-127999
128000-128499
128500-128999
129000-129499
129500-129999
PGC 130000+ (= "pgcmisc")