"Historic WH" - Explanation

Dr Wolfgang Steinicke

24 February 2021

The "Historic WH" lists all 2500 objects contained in the three catalogues of William Herschel, published 1786-1802. The catalogues are:

1. Catalogue of one thousand new nebulae and clusters of stars. Phil. Trans. 76 , 457–499 (1786)

2. Catalogue of a second thousand new nebulae and clusters of stars. Phil. Trans. 79, 212–255 (1789)

3. Catalogue of 500 new nebulae, nebulous stars, planetary nebulae, and clusters of stars. Phil. Trans. 92, 477–528 (1802)

The objects in my file are sorted by Herschel's eight classes and the running number within (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 this. It has been published in August 2010 (see here; a german version is on the market since January 2009). Also note that there is a large amount of additional data, not presented here. New results can be found in my upcoming book William Herschel - Discoverer of the Deep-Sky. The epochal work of the greatest visual observer and his talented sister Caroline.

I now show the object number (1...2500), assigned by Caroline according to the time of discovery, and the number of the discovery sweep.

Due to the research of the author, Herschel has found more objects, not listed in the three catalogues. My catalogue contains 75 objects. Click here for download (xls-File). The columns of my file are explained at the bottom of this page.

The data presented here are copyright by the author. When used in a publication or in other datasets, this must be credited properly (please inform me in any case). Please also inform me about errors found in the datasets.

  

"Historic WH" columns

Column
Explanation
Class Herschel designation: class (I...VIII) and running number in each class
Cat Herschel-catalogue (1, 2 or 3) which contains the object
H Herschel object number (1...2500)
Sw Number of discovery sweep
Y, M, D Discovery date as given in Herschel's published catalogues. Note: In the Historic NGC there can be given an earlier dat for some cases, based on his manuscripts.
Ap Aperture of discovery telescope (inch)
Fo Focus: N = Newtonian, F = front view
Loc Observing site: D = Datchet, C = Clay Hall (Old Winsor), S = Slough
Obs Number of observations (in different sweeps)
Identity Identity with other class object(s)
N Catalogue identifier: N = NGC, I = IC
NI NGC-/IC-number
h No. in John Herschel's Slough and Cape Catalogues
GC No. in John Herschel's General Catalogue
Discoverer Name of discoverer (and date if not W. Herschel)
Observer
Independent (later) discoverer
RH ... DS
Rect. & Decl. for 2000.0 (from Revised NGC/IC)
Vmag
Visual magnitude (from Revised NGC/IC)
Con
Constellation (from Revised NGC/IC)
Type
Object type (from Revised NGC/IC)
S
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 Messier number; double identifications in NGC or IC

Columns in my file of 75 uncatalogued Herschel objects

Column
Explanation
No Number 1...55
Object NGC/IC and other
Date Date of Herschel's discovery
Sw Number of discovery sweep
Tel Aperture (inches) of reflector
ID Source of identification: GC = General Catalogue, HON = Herschel omitted object, SC = Slough Catalogue, SP = Scientific Papers (Dreyer), WS = W. Steinicke
h No. in J. Herschel's Slough and Cape Catalogues
GC No. in J. Herschel's General Catalogue
Discoverer Name of discoverer
Observer Name of other observer
RH ... DS Rect. & Decl. for 2000.0 (from Revised NGC/IC)
Con Constellation (from Revised NGC/IC)
V Visual magnitude (from Revised NGC/IC)
Type
Object type (from Revised NGC/IC)
S 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
Remarks other designations etc.