Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Catalog of Galactic Asterisms and Concentrations of Stars

Who amongst us hasn't noted an asterism or a lovely little concentration of stars while running around the sky with our telescopes. I'm no different. Safe to say after 15 years I've seen and marked down many objects, some nice and some not so much.

Many of the objects discovered during those years have found their way to published papers and catalogs. Tens of asterisms and concentrations I've noted during the loooooong years of observing, are now under the names of ASCC, Alessi, Teutsch and Kronberger to name a few and are surprisingly real open clusters - not just asterisms.

TYC 2698-688-1 group in Cygnus
To commemorate my ever fading interest to visual astronomy, I've decided to publish a list of 95 asterisms I've either marked down to my old Uranometria (= visually discovered) or noted from the Digitalized Sky Survey plates over the years.

All of the objects have been named after the brightest member in the group in this catalog order: HD, PPM, TYC and GSC.Objects already "known" to the public have been automatically cropped. The entire table has been compared to data (jan-26-2012 version) visible in the "OPEN CLUSTERS AND GALACTIC STRUCTURE" website maintained by Wilton S. Dias and to avoid any possible duplicate objects. Duplicate objects can be, however, found from the DSH (Deep Sky Hunters) database mainly for two reasons. First, it does contain several of my own objects and second some of the objects have been independently found by me prior to my involvement with the DSH. So few duplicate items might be found but not many. For visual observers only a few of the objects will prove worthy at the eyepiece - unfortunately. The current version of Catalog of Galactic Asterisms and Concentrations of Stars is February 2012. The list will be updated if new objects are discovered.

As a real life update, I'm currently working with my bachelor's thesis so I'm ashamed to admit I haven't had much time to do observing. My latest work will, of course, be uploaded to my website on a regular basis. I'm also honored to be contributor in LVAS Observers Challenge monthly column so be sure to check it out as well (and more specifically NOT for my work but for the great other contributors out there).