Caldwell Catalog Photo Gallery
The Caldwell Catalog a list of deep sky objects (including star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies) and is a modern day extension for the famous Messier Catalog. Although Messier's 18th century catalog of 110 objects was originally compiled to help him identify new comets from static deep sky objects uncovered in his searches, the list has become a favorite of amateur astronomers.
In 1995, Sir Patrick Caldwell-Moore noted that the Messiar catalog does not include a number of bright deep sky objects, nor does it cover any Southern Hemisphere objects south of declination -35°. He compiled a new catalog to compliment the Messier Catalog by including the "missing" objects and to extend the list to cover the Southern Hemisphere.
The resulting Caldwell Catalog is a collection of 109 of the most impressive celestial objects culled from the NGC and IC catalogs that were not included in Messier's list. Objects in the Caldwell Catalog are organized in descending declination, while objects in Messier's Catalog are listed in order of discovery.
The photo gallery below is a long-term project to image each of the 109 deep sky objects in the Caldwell Catalog. Having already imaged the entire Messier Catalog, it is the next logical step in surveying the sky. Since many of the Southern Hemisphere objects cannot be seen from the +32° latitude of Bifrost Astronomical Observatory, some travel to the Southern Hemisphere will be required.
The first such trip south of the Equator occured in May 2011 for the Southern Skies Star Party in Bolivia. A number of Southern Hemisphere Caldwell objects imaged during that trip appear below. This page will be updated periodically until the entire Caldwell Catalog has been imaged.
Click on each thumbnail to see a larger image.
- Mobberley, M., The Caldwell Objectsand How to Observe Them, Springer (20089).
- O'Meara, S. J., Deep-Sky Companions: The Caldwell Objects, Cambridge University Press (2003).
- Ratledge, D., Observing the Caldwell Objects, Springer (2000).