knightwareKnightware StoreSite SearchAbout the CompanyKnightware Home

deep-sky planner hot product

deep-sky planner star product

Catalog Topics

Deep-sky catalogs

Stellar catalogs


Deep-Sky & Star Database

Why are the deep-sky and star databases different in Deep-Sky Planner 8?

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 1.6 million objects in the deep-sky and stellar database and nearly 1.2 million cross-references and 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, 2021) 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 8 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) Acronym 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, 1996). Extensive updates applied from NED. Arp GX 657 1508 123
VII/220A Barnard's Catalogue of 349 Dark Objects in the Sky (Barnard, 1927) Barn DN 349 478 22
B/ocl Optically Visible Open Clusters Catalog (Dias+, 2002-2015); OCl cross references included to objects in VII/101A Star Clusters/Associations. III. Open Clusters (Ruprecht+ 1983) BOCL OC 2167 716 2607

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

C various 114 113 161
VII/231 Catalog of Bright Diffuse Galactic Nebulae (Cederblad, 1946) Ced NB 328 381 127
VII/34C ESO/Uppsala Survey of the ESO(B) Atlas (Lauberts 1982) ESO various 18406 21771 1069
VII/103 Catalog of Galactic Globular Clusters (Monella, 1985); GCl cross references included to objects in VII/44B Star Clusters & Associations II. Globular Clusters (Ruprecht+ 1981). GGC GC 160 144 243

Herschel 400; object data taken from Revised NGC

H various 402 402 258

Herschel 2; object data taken from Revised NGC

H2 various 400 398 64
VII/158 A Revised and Updated Catalog of Quasi-stellar Objects (Hewitt+, 1993) HB93 QS 7314 197 20
VII/213 Hickson's Compact groups of Galaxies (Hickson+, 1982-1994) HCG GX 463 1095 24
Revised IC (Steinicke, 2021) IC various 5546 9574 164
VII/9 Lynds' Catalogue of Bright Nebulae (Lynds 1965) LBN NB 1125 467 171
VII/7A Lynds' Catalogue of Dark Nebulae (Lynds 1962) LDN DN 1787 287 18

Messier; object data taken from Revised NGC

M various 110 322 160

VII/62A Morphological Catalog of Galaxies (Vorontsov-Velyaminov+, 1962-1968);
VII/100 MCG Vol.5 (Vorontsov-Velyaminov+, 1974)

MCG GX 30642 55825 167
VII/172 First Byurakan Survey (Markarian+, 1989) Mrk GX 1469 2859 6
Revised NGC (Steinicke, 2021) NGC various 8411 22032 1359
Lyon-Meudon Extragalactic Database 2020 (galaxies to magnitude 18); formerly known as Principal Galaxy Catalog PGC GX, CG 776949 62850 159
V/84 Strasbourg-ESO Catalogue of Galactic Planetary Nebulae (Acker+, 1992) PNG PN 1143 652 2057
VII/219 Revised Flat Galaxy Catalogue (Karachentsev+, 1999) RFGC GX 4236 1954 1
VII/20 Catalog of HII Regions (Sharpless, 1959) Sh2 NB 313 242 25
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 20256 106
VII/21 Catalog of Reflection Nebulae (van den Bergh, 1966) VdB NB 158 9 4
VII/236 Interacting galaxies catalogue (Vorontsov-Velyaminov+, 2001) VV GX 2005 1755 21
VII/4A Catalog of Zwicky Galaxy Clusters, 1958 ZwCl CG 9134




Star Catalog Name (including CDS number) Acronym Object Type Objects Cross Refs Common Names
I/274 CCDM (Catalog of Components of Double & Multiple stars) (Dommanget+ 2002) CCDM Double Stars 105838


III/227 General Catalog of Galactic Carbon Stars, 3d Ed. (Alksnis+ 2001) CGCS Carbon Stars 6891 1122 280
B/gcvs General Catalogue of Variable Stars (Samus+ 2007-2017)
GCVS Variable Stars 54816 16197 8237
V/137C Extended Hipparcos Compilation (Anderson+, 2012) Hip Single Stars 117955



B/gcvs General Catalogue of Variable Stars (Samus+ 2007-2017)

NSV Variable Stars


14618 8131
I/131A SAO Star Catalog J2000 (SAO Staff 1966; USNO, ADC 1990) SAO Single Stars 258997 138339 192611
B/wds The Washington Visual Double Star Catalog (Mason+ 2001-2020) WDS Double Stars 152451 7592








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.