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Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke 

Deep-Sky Objects (catalogues, history, visual observing) - Cosmology - Theoretical Physics

Last update: 6 April 2016

Current Matters

Current versions of my files containing historic or modern data - there is nothing comparable!

The observer page and the references were completely revised.

Historic M - Historical data of Messier's catalogue (M)

Historic WH - Historical data of William Herschel's three catalogues (H)

Historic JH - Historical data of John Herschel's Slough and Cape catalogues (h)

Historic Au - Historical data of Arthur Auwers' list of 50 new nebulae (Au)

Historic GC - Historical data of John Herschel's General Catalogue (GC) and Dreyer's "Supplement" (GCS)

Historic NGCIC - Historical data of Dreyer's New General Catalogue (NGC) and Index catalogue (IC)

NGC/IC Observers - Biographical information of all NGC/IC observers

Revised NGC/IC - Revised data and modern identifications for all NGC/IC objects

Please give the source, when using this data! They are available only here - and not on the website of the NGC/IC project! Particularly the "Historically Corrected NGC" (HCNGC, Bob Erdmann), presented there, is a mere copy of an outdated version of my "Historic NGC" (without giving any acknowledgment).



100 years          John Dreyer: end as Armagh-Director (30.9.1916)

150 years           Josef Lunt born (6.7.1866)

                             Truman Safford: start of observations at Dearborn Observatory (3.3.1866) 

200 years            Gottfried Schweizer born (16.2.1816)


For Michael Hoskin's latest book, The Construction of the Heavens: William Herschel's Cosmology (Cambridge University Press, January 2012), I have written comments about the involved deep-sky objects.

The enhanced, English version of my comprehensive study on the history of the NGC has been published in August 2010 by Cambridge University Press. The 660-page book is titled Observing an Cataloguing Nebulae and Star Clusters - from Herschel to Dreyer's New General Catalogue. Look here for more details.


A comprehensive biography on Lord Rosse, editied by Charles Mollan, will appear in Juli 2014, published by Manchester University Press. I contribute with 70-page chapter on "Birr Castle Observations of Non-stellar Objects and the Development of Nebular Theories".

My "Revised NGC/IC" is used in the NGC-IC Photographic Catalogue by Numazawa and Wakyia. The large-format, 720-page book shows DSS-images of all NGC/IC objects!

Selected papers (pdf):

The M51 Mystery - Lord Rosse, Robinson, South and the Discovery of Spiral Structure in 1845

William & John Herschel's problems in cataloguing M 81 and M 82

Biography of John Louis Emil Dreyer

  Further Content of my Homepage
HZ 46 Compact Galaxies, AGN, Quasars, and Variable Extragalactic Objects
Double quasar Catalogue of Bright Quasars and BL Lacertae-Objects (KHQ)
KDG 189 Catalogue of Groups of Galaxies (KDG)
VdS-Journal Bibliography (Books, Articles)
FG Deep-Sky Membership in Astronomical Associations, Workgroups, and Projects
My first telescope Short "Astronomical" Biography

Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke
Gottenheimerstr. 18
D-79224 Umkirch
Tel. +49 (0) 7665 51863