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Catalog Topics

Deep-sky catalogs

Stellar catalogs


Deep-Sky & Star Database

Why are the deep-sky and star databases different in Deep-Sky Planner 7?

The data catalogs that compose the deep-sky and star database are taken from professional, peer-reviewed results (see exceptions below.) Catalogs are viewed as different research results because the goals of the studies that produce each catalog differ. Researchers use differing techniques to study various aspects of the objects that appear in their catalog(s). This accounts for the difference in data between catalogs, even for the same object. That is why you can click on an object in a report and view data for the object as it appears in other catalogs in the deep-sky and star database.

Catalogs may also contain a type of data not found in others. For this reason, Deep-Sky Planner treats data for each cataloged object uniquely. If an object in a catalog includes cross references for the object in other catalogs, these other object designations appear in Deep-Sky Planner reports as cross references. Currently there are over 1.55 million objects in the deep-sky and stellar database, over one million cross-references and over half a million common names included.

Exceptions: The term 'catalog' is not accurate for the Caldwell, Herschel 400, Herschel 2, and Messier objects; however, they are treated as catalogs within Deep-Sky Planner because they are in extensive use by astronomers. The data for these objects is taken primarily from the Revised NGC/IC (Steinicke, 2016) catalog.

Multiple catalog searching

Deep-Sky Planner has always offered the advantages of searching single catalogs in its deep-sky and star database as described below. Deep-Sky Planner 7 also has the ability to select multiple catalogs for one report. A multi-catalog deep-sky or star database search includes the type of information common to all selected catalogs.

Better data presentation

Deep-sky and star database search reports on single catalogs contain the essential data present in all catalogs (RA, Declination, constellation, star atlas cross references, etc), but importantly, the database remains true to the original catalog contents so that reports contain the additional data unique to each catalog. For example, a report of Abell Galaxy Clusters includes the number of member galaxies and the Bautz-Morgan type, and a report of Monella's Globular Clusters includes the Shapley-Sawyer concentration class.

Making deep-sky and star database data easier to use

Professional data catalogs are readily available via the Internet and those available change constantly, but placing a catalog in Deep-Sky Planner's database is not at all trivial. The data is formatted for the database and extensively cross referenced. Helpful features in the user interface and reports are also updated when a new catalog is added to or updated in the product.

For example, most deep-sky object catalogs contain angular size data though some don't. The original catalogs use different units of measure for angular size data and different precision - planetary nebulae in the PNG catalog are measured in arc seconds while Zwicky galaxy clusters are measured in hundredths of square degrees. The range of angular size values present in a catalog also varies greatly. The user interface helps you to search by:

In addition, the report generated from the search only shows angular size if it is present in the catalog, and size data is shown in the appropriate unit of measure and precision for the catalog. Other types of data are treated similarly (magnitude, angular separation of double stars, etc.) Taken together, these features help to make the catalog data more useful to the end-user.

Deep-Sky Catalog Name (including CDS number) Abbreviation Object Type Objects Cross Refs Common Names
VII/110A Rich Clusters of Galaxies (Abell+ 1989)
ACO CG 4076   15
VII/192 Arp's Peculiar Galaxies (Webb, 1966). Extensive updates applied from NED. Arp GX 657 1487 83
VII/220A Barnard's Catalogue of 349 Dark Objects in the Sky (Barnard, 1927) Barn DN 349 478 16

Caldwell (Moore, 1995); object data taken from Revised NGC/IC and VII/20 Catalog of HII Regions

C various 114 112 146
VII/231 Catalog of Bright Diffuse Galactic Nebulae (Cederblad, 1946) Ced NB 328 362 90
VII/34C ESO/Uppsala Survey of the ESO(B) Atlas (Lauberts 1982) ESO various 18406 22042 1040
VII/103 Catalog of Galactic Globular Clusters (Monella, 1985) GCL GC 160 423 230

Herschel 400; object data taken from Revised NGC

H various 402 402 238

Herschel 2; object data taken from Revised NGC

H2 various 400 398 60
VII/158 A Revised and Updated Catalog of Quasi-stellar Objects (Hewitt+, 1993) HB93 QS 7314 195 18
VII/213 Hickson's Compact groups of Galaxies (Hickson+, 1982-1994) HCG GX 463 1134 14
Revised IC (Steinicke, 2016) IC various 5546 9450 125
VII/9 Lynds' Catalogue of Bright Nebulae (Lynds 1965) LBN NB 1125 455 146
VII/7A Lynds' Catalogue of Dark Nebulae (Lynds 1962) LDN DN 1787 287 11

Messier; object data taken from Revised NGC

M various 110 332 133
VII/62A Morphological Catalog of Galaxies MCG GX 29003 51985 98
VII/172 First Byurakan Survey (Markarian+, 1989) Mrk GX 1469 2775 5
Revised NGC (Steinicke, 2016) NGC various 8411 22765 883
B/ocl Optically Visible Open Clusters Catalog (Dias+, 2002-2012) OCL OC 2134 620 2026
Lyon-Meudon Extragalactic Database 2016 (galaxies to magnitude 18); formerly known as Principal Galaxy Catalog PGC GX 750885 70734 117
V/84 Strasbourg-ESO Catalogue of Galactic Planetary Nebulae (Acker+, 1992) PNG PN 1143 652 2050
VII/20 Catalog of HII Regions (Sharpless, 1959) Sh2 NB 313 239 15
VII/253 A Catalogue of Galactic Supernova Remnants (Green, 2009) SNR SN 274 1 106
VII/26D Uppsala General Catalogue of Galaxies (Nilson, 1973) UGC GX 12940 29394 75
VII/21 Catalog of Reflection Nebulae (van den Bergh, 1966) VdB NB 158 18 2
VII/4A Catalog of Zwicky Galaxy Clusters, 1958 ZwCl CG 9134    
Total objects in deep-sky database 857,101



Star Catalog Name (including CDS number) Abbreviation Object Type Objects Cross Refs Common Names
I/274 CCDM (Catalog of Components of Double & Multiple stars) (Dommanget+ 2002) CCDM Double Stars 105838 62335 100025
III/227 General Catalog of Galactic Carbon Stars, 3d Ed. (Alksnis+ 2001) CGCS Carbon Stars 6891 1094 279
B/gcvs General Catalogue of Variable Stars (Samus+ 2007-2012) GCVS Variable Stars 47811 18353 7835
V/137C Extended Hipparcos Compilation (Anderson+, 2012) Hip Single Stars 117955 149107 120208

B/gcvs General Catalogue of Variable Stars (Samus+ 2007-2012)

NSV Variable Stars 25989 16983 8546

I/131A SAO Star Catalog J2000 (SAO Staff 1966; USNO, ADC 1990)

SAO Single Stars 258997 138257 192030
B/wds The Washington Visual Double Star Catalog (Mason+ 2001-2016) WDS Double Stars 133964 7399 138677
Total objects in star database    


393,528 567,600



CDS is the Centre de Données astronomiques de Strasbourg (France).

This research has made use of the SIMBAD database, operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France

The NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED) is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

We acknowledge the usage of the HyperLeda database (

Revised NGC/IC data are compiled by Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke and subject to copyright. The Revised NGC/IC is used under license from Dr. Steinicke.

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