AstronomyBoy.com
[Return to Astronomy Boy's Home page.]

SAA 100
Best Non-Messier Objects for Amateur Telescopes

Nominated by participants in the sci.astro.amateur Usenet newsgroup
List compiled by Karl Hutchings
Data added by

On March 15, 2000, a discussion thread began in the sci.astro.amateur (SAA) newsgroup when someone posed the question: "What are your favorite non-Messier objects for 8-12" telescopes?" Newsgroup participants responded enthusiastically to the question, posting many messages nominating a wide variety of objects.

Fortunately, newsgroup participant Karl Hutchings kept a cumulative list of all the nominations and totaled the number of votes for each object. When the discussion thread wound down a few days later, Karl posted a list of 90 objects that SAA participants had named as their favorites.

The thread was revived in mid-September, 2000, when SAA participants nominated an additional 10 objects, bringing the total to 100. The table below lists the SAA 100 in rank order by number of votes received. About half the objects received only one vote each; these are listed alphabetically at the end of the list.

This is by no means the only available list of non-Messier objects, and no rigorous criteria have been applied in the selection of the objects. However, since each object was nominated by one or more active observers, we hope you'll find the list interesting and useful.

Jeff DeTray
http://www.AstronomyBoy.com

Updates:
September 18, 2000 — added SkyMap Pro catalog files
September 28, 2000 — corrected some object types and descriptions; corrected SkyMap Pro catalog files
October 17, 2000 — new menu; revised explanatory text


Click here for the SAA 100 list in constellation order, suitable for printing.

Files for adding the SAA 100 to SkyMap Pro as an external catalog: Download saa100.zip (14KB)
(includes a plain text file of the list, useful even if you don't own SkyMap Pro)


SAA 100
Best Non-Messier Objects, in Rank Order

Object types:
Gal = galaxy  OC = open cluster  GC = globular cluster  PN = planetary nebula  BN = bright nebula  DN = dark nebula  SNR = supernova remnant
Object Type Con VMag Size RA Dec Pop. Name Notes
NGC 253 Gal Scl 7.2 25.0'x7.0' 00h 47m 35s -25° 17' 01"   edge-on spiral
NGC 4565 Gal Com 9.6 15.5'x1.9' 12h 36m 20s +25° 59' 23" Bernice's Hair Clip classic edge-on spiral with dust lane
NGC 6960 SNR Cyg   70.0'x6.0' 20h 45m 38s +30° 43' 20" Western Veil  
NGC 6992 SNR Cyg   25.0'x20.0' 20h 56m 14s +31° 04' 20" Eastern Veil  
NGC 869 OC Per 5.3 30.0' 02h 19m 03s +57° 08' 58" Double Cluster w/NGC 884
NGC 884 OC Per 6.1 30.0' 02h 22m 27s +57° 06' 57" Double Cluster w/NGC 869
NGC 457 OC Cas 6.4 13.0' 01h 19m 10s +58° 20' 02" Owl Cluster  
NGC 5139 GC Cen 3.7 36.3' 13h 26m 46s -47° 28' 45" Omega Centauri best GC in the sky
NGC 7293 PN Aqr 6.3 16.0'x12.0' 22h 29m 40s -20° 47' 23" Helical Nebula  
NGC 7789 OC Cas 6.7 16.0' 23h 57m 04s +56° 44' 09"    
NGC 2237 BN Mon 5.5 70.0'x80.0' 06h 32m 19s +04° 59' 03" Rosette Nebula OC NGC 2244 embedded in nebula
NGC 2244 OC Mon 4.8 24.0' 06h 32m 25s +04° 52' 03"   involved with Rosette Neb. (NGC 2237)
NGC 2359 BN CMa   8.0' 07h 17m 48s -13° 12' 54" Thor's Helmet; Duck Nebula Wolf-Rayet remnant
NGC 2392 PN Gem 8.6 47.0"x43.0" 07h 29m 10s +20° 54' 42" Eskimo Nebula; Clown Face  
NGC 3242 PN Hya 8.6 40.0"x35.0" 10h 24m 48s -18° 38' 14" Ghost of Jupiter  
NGC 6543 PN Dra 8.3 22.0"x16.0" 17h 58m 36s +66° 38' 17" Cat's Eye Nebula  
NGC 4631 Gal CVn 9.2 17.0'x3.5' 12h 42m 11s +32° 32' 42"   same LP field as NGC 4656
NGC 4656 Gal CVn 10.5 22.0'x3.0' 12h 43m 58s +32° 10' 21"   same LP field as NGC 4631
NGC 5128 Gal Cen 6.8 18.2'x14.5' 13h 25m 29s -43° 01' 07" Centaurus A strong radio source
NGC 6781 PN Aql 11.8 1.9'x1.8' 19h 18m 28s +06° 32' 46"    
NGC 6826 PN Cyg 8.8 27.0"x24.0" 19h 44m 53s +50° 31' 42" Blinking Planetary  
NGC 7009 PN Aqr 8.3 28.0"x23.0" 21h 04m 15s -11° 21' 49" Saturn Nebula  
Abell 1656 Gal cluster Com 11.0 120.0' 12h 59m 48s +27° 59' 04" Coma Gal Cluster tough in 8-12" aperture
NGC 1023 Gal Per 9.4 9.0'x4.0' 02h 40m 27s +39° 03' 47"    
NGC 2362 OC CMa 4.1 8.0' 07h 18m 48s -24° 56' 51"    
NGC 2403 Gal Cam 8.5 17.8' 07h 36m 55s +65° 35' 42"    
NGC 4038 Gal Cor 10.3 2.6'x1.8' 12h 01m 53s -18° 51' 55" The Antennae; Ringtail Gal interacting with NGC 4039
NGC 4039 Gal Cor 10.6 3.2'x2.2' 12h 01m 54s -18° 53' 07" The Antennae interacting with NGC 4038
NGC 5907 Gal Dra 10.3 12.8'x1.8' 15h 15m 52s +56° 19' 48"    
NGC 6369 PN Oph 11.0 30.0"x29.0" 17h 29m 22s -23° 45' 37"    
NGC 663 OC Cas 7.1 16.0' 01h 46m 04s +61° 15' 00"    
NGC 654 OC Cas 6.5 5.0' 01h 44m 10s +61° 53' 00"    
NGC 659 OC Cas 7.9 5.0' 01h 44m 16s +60° 42' 00"    
NGC 7000 BN Cyg   175.0'x110.0' 20h 58m 32s +44° 33' 21" North American Nebula large; often easier in binoculars than telescope
NGC 7331 Gal Peg 9.5 11.4'x4.0' 22h 37m 08s +34° 25' 27" Little And Gal  
NGC 7662 PN And 8.6 17.0"x14.0" 23h 25m 57s +42° 32' 44" Blue Snowball Nebula  
B 59, 65-7 DN Oph   300.0' 17h 21m 02s -26° 59' 58" Pipe Nebula (stem)  
B 78 DN Oph   200.0' 17h 33m 02s -25° 59' 58" Pipe Nebula (bowl)  
IC 1396 BN Cep 3.5 154.0'x140.0' 21h 39m 09s +57° 46' 58"    
IC 418 PN Lep 10.7 14.0"x11.0" 05h 27m 30s -12° 41' 32"    
IC 4665 OC Oph 4.2 41.0' 17h 46m 20s +05° 43' 08"    
Mel 111 OC Com 1.8 275.0' 12h 25m 00s +26° 00' 07" Coma Berenices Star Cluster  
Mel 20 OC Per 1.2 185.0' 03h 22m 03s +48° 59' 56" Alpha Persei Association  
NGC 1502 OC Cam 6.9 8.0' 04h 07m 45s +62° 19' 49"   near SE end of Kemble's Cascade
NGC 1528 OC Per 6.4 24.0' 04h 15m 24s +51° 13' 49"    
NGC 1907 OC Aur 8.2 7.0' 05h 28m 00s +35° 18' 53"    
NGC 1973 BN Ori   5.0'x5.0' 05h 35m 09s -04° 43' 56" part of Running Man Nebula  
NGC 1975 BN Ori   10.0'x5.0' 05h 35m 21s -04° 40' 56" part of Running Man Nebula  
NGC 1977 BN Ori   20.0'x10.0' 05h 35m 27s -04° 49' 56" part of Running Man Nebula 42 Orionis nebula
NGC 2070 BN Dor 8.3 5.0' 05h 38m 39s -69° 04' 51" Tarantula Nebula in Lg. Magellanic Cloud
3C 273 Quasar Vir 12.0   12h 29m 06s +02° 03' 01"   brightest quasar; most remote object visible in modest amateur telescopes (~ 2 billion light years)
Albireo Star Cyg 3.1   19h 30m 45s +27° 57' 55"   superb double star; blue-white/yellow
Cr 399 Asterism Vul 3.6 60.0' 19h 25m 26s +20° 11' 18" Brocchi's Cluster; The Coathanger once assumed to be a OC; data from Hipparcos spacecraft shows it to be a chance alignment of stars
Fornax Gal. Cluster Gal cluster For   3°x2° 03h 38m 31s -35° 26' 40"   approx. 20 galaxies brighter than mag. 13
Kemble's Cascade Asterism Cam     03h 57m 30s +63° 04' 13"   first described by Canadian amateur Lucian J. Kemble; beautiful chain of about 20 mag. 59 stars; coordinates are for SAO 12969, a mag. 5 star in the middle of the Cascade
King 10 OC Cep   3.0' 22h 54m 58s +59° 10' 16"    
Markarian's Chain Gal chain Vir     12h 25m 04s +12° 53' 16"   string of bright galaxies; covers 3 degrees of sky, starting with M84 & M86 in Virgo, ending with NGCs 4459 & 4474 in Coma Berenices; coordinates are for M 84
Mel 25 OC Tau 0.5 330.0' 04h 27m 02s +16° 00' 03" Hyades Aldebaran not a member
NGC 104 GC Tuc 4.0 30.9' 00h 24m 10s -72° 04' 37" 47 Tucanae  
NGC 1535 PN Eri 10.4 20.0"x17.0" 04h 14m 16s -12° 44' 16"   multiple shells
NGC 2158 OC Gem 8.6 5.0' 06h 07m 33s +24° 05' 56"    
NGC 2169 OC Ori 5.9 7.0' 06h 08m 27s +13° 56' 59" "37" Cluster  
NGC 2174 BN Ori   25.0'x20.0' 06h 10m 01s +20° 33' 58"    
NGC 2232 OC Mon 3.9 30.0' 06h 26m 37s -04° 44' 54"    
NGC 225 OC Cas 7.0 12.0' 00h 43m 28s +61° 47' 06"    
NGC 2261 BN Mon   2.0'x1.0' 06h 39m 13s +08° 44' 01" Hubble's Variable Nebula  
NGC 2264 OC Mon 3.9 30.0'x60.0' 06h 40m 58s +09° 53' 42" Christmas Tree Cluster; Cone Nebula includes naked-eye S Mon (15 Mon)
NGC 2301 OC Mon 6.0 12.0' 06h 51m 49s +00° 28' 04"    
NGC 2360 OC CMa 7.2 13.0' 07h 17m 48s -15° 36' 53"    
NGC 2438 PN Pup 11.0 1.1' 07h 41m 51s -14° 44' 06"   in foreground of M 46
NGC 2467 BN Pup 7.1 15.0' 07h 52m 30s -26° 22' 52"   use UHC or O-III filter; includes loose cluster of mag. 8-12 stars
NGC 247 Gal Cet 9.1 20.0'x7.0' 00h 47m 11s -20° 45' 21"    
NGC 2841 Gal Uma 9.2 7.4'x3.5' 09h 22m 01s +50° 58' 21"    
NGC 2903 Gal Leo 9.0 13.3'x6.0' 09h 32m 10s +21° 29' 58"    
NGC 3115 Gal Sex 8.9 8.3'x3.2' 10h 05m 14s -07° 43' 06" Spindle Gal  
NGC 3372 BN Car   120.0'x120.0' 10h 43m 47s -59° 52' 01" Eta Carina Nebula  
NGC 3532 OC Car 3.0 55.0' 11h 06m 23s -58° 40' 03"    
NGC 3766 OC Cen 5.3 12.0' 11h 36m 05s -61° 37' 04"    
NGC 3877 Gal Uma 11.0 5.6'x1.2' 11h 46m 07s +47° 29' 37"    
NGC 40 PN Cep 10.7 1.0'x0.7' 00h 13m 08s +72° 31' 47"    
NGC 4244 Gal CVn 10.4 18.5'x2.3' 12h 17m 29s +37° 48' 28"    
NGC 4361 PN Cor 10.3 1.3' 12h 24m 30s -18° 47' 38"    
NGC 4526 Gal Vir 9.7 7.0'x2.7' 12h 34m 03s +07° 42' 03" Lost Gal  
NGC 4567 Gal Vir 11.3 3.0'x2.5' 12h 36m 33s +11° 15' 33" Siamese Twins overlaps NGC 4568
NGC 4568 Gal Vir 10.8 5.1'x2.4' 12h 36m 35s +11° 14' 17" Siamese Twins overlaps NGC 4567
NGC 4755 OC Cru 4.2 10.0' 12h 53m 35s -60° 20' 08" Jewel Box Cluster; Kappa Crucis  
NGC 5746 Gal Vir 10.3 7.4'x1.1' 14h 44m 57s +01° 57' 20"    
NGC 6210 PN Her 9.7 20.0"x13.0" 16h 44m 30s +23° 48' 46"    
NGC 6231 OC Sco 2.6 15.0' 16h 54m 01s -41° 48' 06" Table of Scorpius zeta Sco complex
NGC 6397 GC Ara 5.7 25.7' 17h 40m 43s -53° 40' 33"   one of the nearest Globulars
NGC 6545 Gal Pav 13.2 1.0'x0.9' 18h 12m 18s -63° 46' 45" Needle Galaxy  
NGC 6572 PN Oph 9.0 15.0"x12.0" 18h 12m 09s +06° 51' 01"    
NGC 6633 OC Oph 4.6 27.0' 18h 27m 43s +06° 34' 14"    
NGC 6819 OC Cyg 7.3 5.0' 19h 41m 20s +40° 11' 22"    
NGC 6885 OC Vul 8.1 7.0' 20h 12m 02s +26° 29' 20"    
NGC 6888 BN Cyg   20.0'x10.0' 20h 12m 14s +38° 20' 21" Crescent Nebula  
NGC 6939 OC Cep 7.8 8.0' 20h 31m 27s +60° 38' 22"    
NGC 752 OC And 5.7 50.0' 01h 57m 51s +37° 41' 05"    
NGC 891 Gal And 9.9 14.0'x3.0' 02h 22m 36s +42° 20' 50"   edge-on spiral w/prominent dust lane
Stock 2 OC Cas 4.4 60.0' 02h 15m 04s +59° 15' 58" Muscleman Cluster  


Send E-mail to Astronomy Boy

Getting Started | CG-5 Mount | SAA 100 List | Constellation Portraits | Barn Door Tracker
Comet Hale Bopp | Homemade Eyepieces | EQ Mount Tutorial | Millennium Rant | Biography | Home