Other Deep Space Objects

There are probably hundreds of catalogs (lists of deep space objects or deep sky objects) out there. The most popular for newcomers are the Messier and Caldwell catalogs. Once you get past the basics, you tend to look at larger catalogs such as the New General Catalog (NG catalog or NGC catalog, yes, even though that really means New General Catalog catalog) and the  Index Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars or IC catalog.

IC Catalog DSLR deep space objects

DSLR Images

NGC objects CCD deep space objects

CCD Images

Just because these catalogs are less well known than the Messier and Caldwell, doesn’t make the deep space objects in them any less spectacular.

One example is IC434, the Horsehead Nebula. This is one of the most imaged nebulae in the sky and rightfully so. Unfortunately it is a little harder to image than some other objects and is extremely difficult to see visually even in more advanced telescopes. The bright red gas outlining the silhouette of a horse’s head is unmistakable.

IC2118, the Witch Head Nebula is another target that is often imaged although very difficult. It is also almost impossible to see visually, at least for me. This is a well known reflection nebula which is a nebula that emits no light, it only reflects the light from the nearby star Rigel.

NGC1499, the California Nebula is a large cloud of gas emitting a lot of hydrogen alpha waves giving it a bright red appearance. It also happens to look like the state of California, hence the name. Hydrogen Alpha emits light high up in the spectrum and is usually very difficult for cameras to capture unless they are made specifically for astrophotography.

You will also find deep space objects such as Clark549/Barnard143. This is what is called a dark nebula, or a nebula of dust/gas that neither reflects or emits light. These are even more difficult to capture in an image.

You can learn more about the IC catalog or NGC catalog at Wikipedia.


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