"Historic GC" - Explanation

Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke

25 June 2024

The "Historic GC" contains John Herschel's "General Catalogue" (GC) of 1864 and its Supplement by J. L. E. Dreyer (GCS), published 1878. The GC-numbers were continued in the GCS. Alltogether we have 6251 entries.

General Catalogue (GC): Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars; Phil. Trans. 154, 1-137

GC-Supplement (GCS): Supplement to Sir John Herschel's "General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars"; Trans. Royal Irish Acad. XXVI, 381-426

The objects in my file are sorted by GC-number (see explanation of columns below). Click here for download (zipped xls-File). All information presented here is part of my scientific research. My book "Obervation and Cataloguing Nebulae and Star Clusters - from Herschel to Dreyer's New General Catalogue" contains more information about these data. It has been published in August 2010 (see here; a german version is on the market since January 2009).

All data are copyright by the author and, if used in a publication or in other datasets, must be credited properly (please inform me in any case). Please inform the author about any errors found in the dataset.


Columns in the "Historic GC"

GC John Hershel's catalogue number (starting in the GC and continued by Dreyer in the GCS)
Cat Catalogue: 1 = GC (GC 1...GC 5057), 2 = GCS (GC 5080...GC 6250); additional objects: 1a = added in GC appendix (GC 5058...GC 5079), 2a = added in the GCS appendix (GC 6246...GC 6251)
Identity Identity with other GC-number (inside GC and GCS or between them)
N N = NGC, I = IC
NI No. in NGC or IC
M No. in Messier catalogue
Class Designation in W. Herschel's catalogues (class and no.)
h No. in J. Herschel's Slough and Cape catalogues
Au No. in Auwer's list of new nebulae
Other Other identification by John Herschel (sometimes wrong)
Discoverer Name of discoverer
Y, M, D Date of discovery
Ap Aperture of discovery telescope (inch)
Type of discovery instrument: Rl = Reflector, Rr = Refractor, E = naked eye
Observer1 & 2
Independent (later) discoverers
RH ... DS
Rect. & Decl. for 2000.0 (from Revised NGC/IC)
Visual magnitude (from Revised NGC/IC)
Constellation (from Revised NGC/IC)
Object type (from Revised NGC/IC)
Object status: 1 = galaxy, 2 = galactic nebula, 3 = planetary nebula, 4 = open cluster, 5 = globular cluster, 6 = part of nebula, 7 = NGC dublicate, 9 = star(s), 10 = not found
ID1, ID2, ID3 double identifications in NGC or IC