NGP - The Revised New General Program For Nonstellar Astronomical Objects
By G. Dean Williams
Version 1.0, Released 18 Sept., 1989
NGP Page 01
Table Of Contents
System Requirements .................................... Page 02
Program Description .................................... Page 02
Acknowledgements ....................................... Page 02
Distribution ........................................... Page 02
Installation ........................................... Page 03
Using NGP .............................................. Page 03
A - Edit Selection Sets .............................. Page 04
B - Edit Number List ................................. Page 07
C - Selected Detail & Notes........................... Page 07
The Single Object Detail Window .................... Page 08
D - Sort Selected Objects ............................ Page 09
E - Reset Selection Values ........................... Page 10
F - Save / Load Selection Sets ....................... Page 10
G - Save / Load Number List .......................... Page 11
H - Produce A Report ................................. Page 11
I - Compress Note Data ............................... Page 11
J - End Program ...................................... Page 11
Possible Features For Next Version ..................... Page 12
Contacting The Author .................................. Page 12
Appendix A - Object Classes ............................ Page 13
Appendix B - Old Description Codes And Dreyer Scales ... Page 14
Appendix C - RNGC (New) Description Codes And
Comments For Nonexistent Types ....................... Page 17
Appendix D - Cross Reference Descriptions .............. Page 21
Appendix E - Sources Of Magnitude Estimates ............ Page 22
Appendix F - Object Type Names ......................... Page 22
Appendix G - Constellation Names ....................... Page 23
Appendix H - Program History ........................... Page 24
Appendix I - Editor Commands ........................... Page 24
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- An IBM Personal Computer or compatible
- At least 512K of free memory
- A hard disk with at least 2 meg. free space
- A monitor that will distinguish colored text
- A printer for printing reports (and this manual)
- (Optional) A Microsoft compatible mouse
- (Optional) A math coprocessor chip
I regret that users of many monochrome monitors will be unable to make
proper use of NGP, since subtle shading is used for many colored
indicators, which will not be visible on such tubes.
NGP is a database management facility built upon The Revised New General
Catalogue Of Nonstellar Astronomical Objects (RNGC) (Sulnetic and Tift
1973). The program's purpose is to make it easy to:
- extract desired sets of objects based upon variable selection criteria
- rapidly sort selected data upon various fields
- view or print lists of selected objects
- enter, view and edit personal notes for any object
- Joseph Fedock, Steve Coe, and Gary Liptrot for beta testing
- The Astronomical Data enter at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for
initially providing the machine-readable catalog data.
- Chuck Cole of Star-Net, for making the NGC data available.
- Steve Coe and A. J. Crayon for providing their Saguaro Astronomy Club
Database of deep sky objects
- Borland Intl. for their excellent Turbo Pascal compiler (Turbo Pascal,
copyright Borland Intl., 1988)
- Bob Ainsbury of Technojock Software for his indispensable set of source
routines, used throughout the program
- My wife Brenda for putting up with me during hundreds of hours of
coding, when I should have been helping with a new baby
This software is hereby given to the public domain. Users are encouraged
to distribute this package, providing the following criteria are met:
- it is distributed UNCHANGED, and IN IT'S ENTIRETY
Please distribute directly from the original master diskettes, since
an established user's files will be customized for his note data
- no fee of any kind is charged, with the exception of collecting the
cost of diskettes and postage
I in turn, request no fees from users other than those mentioned. If
you find NGP useful, please consider donating an appropriate amount
to some deserving cause, such as:
The World Wildlife Fund
1250 Twenty-Fourth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
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You should receive the following files:
- NGP.EXE - The executable program
- NGP1.DAT - The main data file
- NGP2.DAT - Additional data file
- NGPDESC.DAT - Object description data file
- NGPIDX1.DAT - Index data, used for selection and sorting
- NGPIDX2.DAT - The second half of the index data
- NGPNOTES.DAT - User's notes file (should be empty)
- NGP.DOC - This manual - print it (contains it's own page breaks)
- EDINST.BAT - Run this to customize the note editor's commands
- INSTALL.EXE - The program used by EDINST.BAT. Run only from .bat file
- MESSIER.NUM - A sample number list, for selecting the Messier objects
- H1 - H8.NUM - Eight number list files containing the NGC numbers of
the Herschel catalog objects, divided by Herschel class
Create an appropriately titled subdirectory on your hard disk, and copy
all of the above files into it. Run NGP to start.
IMPORTANT!!! - Once you begin to use NGP, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you
begin a reliable schedule of backing up these files. Hopefully, you will
be entering a great deal of personal note data into the system, and it
would be most unfortunate if you should lose years' worth of notes. If
you are not already backing up your hard disk regularly, at least back
up your NGP files as you add notes. If your data somehow becomes
corrupted, I will probably not be able to help. You have been warned.
NGP is basically menu-driven. Each main menu option will bring up a
corresponding window. The currently active window will always have a double-
lined border. Windows not currently in use will have single-lined borders.
In order to select a menu option, you may:
a) Move the menu selector bar with the up and down arrow keys, or with a
mouse, until the desired option is highlighted. Then press enter, or
your left mouse button - or,
b) Type the desired option's identifying letter
As you complete usage of a particular sub-menu or window, you will always
return to the original main menu. As a rule, you can only reach the main
program options from the main menu itself. In certain instances, the program
will assume which window you'll need next, and will take you there directly.
Otherwise, you must always "travel" by way of the main menu. All windows
and menus are exited with the escape key, with the exception of the note
and number list editors, where ^KD may be used.
We will now consider the function of each main program option in order.
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A - Edit Selection Sets
This option comes first on the menu because it will be your logical
starting point for using NGP. Very much central to the theme of the
program is the idea of selecting a sub-listing of objects, based
upon selection criteria you specify. Even with the power of NGP's
detail processing windows, 8,163 objects is simply too much to deal
with at one sitting. So, with this first option, you can specify
RANGES OF FIELD VALUES, which, when you leave this window, will cause
NGP to retrieve only those objects that match your specified ranges.
The following keystrokes apply while using the selection values window:
CursorUp - the cursor moves up to the previous input field
CursorDown - the cursor moves down to the next input field
Ctrl-Left - the cursor moves left to the previous input field
Ctrl-Right - the cursor moves right to the next input field
CursorLeft - the cursor moves left one character in the same input
field. If the cursor is in the first position, it will not move.
CursorRight - the cursor moves to the next character to the right in
the same input field. If it is already one character past the last
typed character, it will not move.
End - moves the cursor to the rightmost position
Home - moves the cursor to the leftmost position
Del - deletes the cursor at the cursor
Backspace - same as del except the character to the left of the cursor
Tab - moves the cursor to the next input field to the right - same as
Shift-Tab - moves the cursor to the previous input field to the left
same as Ctrl-Left
Ins - toggles between insert and overlay mode
Esc - ends the edit session, and causes matching NGC objects to be
selected and displayed
Enter - moves the cursor to the next input field to the right
Mouse - a user may move between fields by using a mouse. The left
button emulates the enter key, but the right button is disabled.
We will now discuss the purpose of each field shown in this window:
Prompting message (On first line) - This is simply a short helpful
message explaining the currently highlighted field.
RNGC Numbers - Used to specify a range of RNGC numbers. Objects with
NGC number AND letter designations are selected with the number only.
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Object Types - A single character field which is the gateway to a
window used to specify a desired set of object types. When you type
any letter or number while positioned on this field, the object types
selection window will appear, temporarily replacing the selection
set edit window.
This second window will contain a simple list of the 8 supported
object types. Object types appearing in red are selected for
retrieval - those with blue backgrounds are not selected. When you
first enter this window, all object types will be pre-selected for
you (since this is the program's default), and thus will all be red.
The first thing you will probably want to do is to use the "-" key
to deselect all object types, in preparation for selecting only one
or two desired types. Use of the minus key is easier than toggling
each unwanted field manually.
The vertical arrow keys, or mouse movement will position an indicator
arrow next to the current field. Individual object types are toggled
on or off with the enter (or mouse enter) key. The "+" key will
select all object types at once. The main use for the plus key is for
the case when you will want to select ALL BUT one or two object types.
You can rapidly select all types with the "+" key, and then you can
manually deselect those types not wanted for inclusion in your set of
desired object types. Press escape to return to the main selection set
edit window. If you have changed the object type selections from their
default of all selected, an asterisk (*) will appear in the Object Types
selection field to remind you that selection will occur on this field.
Constellations - This field is used in the same way as the object types
selection field. Refer to the discussion above for explanation. Appendix
G contains a directory of constellation abbreviations and names.
R.A. - Two sets of hours and minutes of right ascension, specifying a
desired range of R.A. Note that minutes may be expressed as mm.m.
Dec. - Two sets of degrees and minutes of declination. Remember to include
a negative sign if needed.
Magnitudes - Two values of magnitude, expressed as mm.m. Note that these
values are entered from bright to faint magnitude, which means that
the lower number goes first.
Epoch - The current epoch of the catalog's R.A. and Dec. values. Simply
overtype to invoke precession of celestial coordinates when you view
or print object detail. Invoking precession will slow the processing
of the selected detail list and reporting windows somewhat.
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Selection Set Number - This is a number representing which set of
selection values is currently in use. There are 9 selection sets
provided for, though you will probably never need more than two.
The reason for having multiple selection sets is to allow the entry
of otherwise impossible selection criteria, such as separate ranges
of R.A. For example, if you wanted to see all the objects between
5h, 15m, and 6h, 10m of R.A., and also those between 9h, 5m, and
9h, 10m of R.A., you could enter the first range of R.A. into
selection set number one. Then, by entering "2" into the selection
set number field, you will bring up a fresh selection window with the
values for selection set number two. Enter the second range of R.A.
here, hit escape, and you'll be shown all the objects that lie within
either range of R.A.
Put simply, the program will return as selected any object whose
field values match the criteria of any active selection set.
Another example of a case where multiple selection sets would be used
is a request for all planetary nebulae in Orion, and also all open
clusters in Gemini. You might be tempted to enter both object types,
and both constellations all into selection set number one, but if
you did, you'd get all planetaries and open clusters in both
constellations, without the desired division of types by constellation.
The proper way to enter a selection request like this is to select
only planetary nebulae, and only the constellation of Orion in
selection set number one, and then, by incrementing the selection set
number to "2", you can select only open cluster types in Gemini.
NGP will then return a list matching exactly what you had in mind.
Number of selected objects - An informational field, it always shows
the number of currently selected objects.
Sort Sequence of selections - Another informational field, this one tells
you what order the current list of objects is in.
There is no limit to the number of separate fields you may specify. For
instance, to select all objects in a particular rectangular portion of
the sky, you can specify ranges of both R.A. and Dec., and NGP will
return those objects matching both (not either) range. For all the
galaxies in such a rectangular piece of sky, you can specify the
R.A. and Dec. ranges, and also just the Galaxies object type. You get
the idea. Obviously, some very complex and powerful selection sets may
be used for all sorts of inquiry. In the few cases where your selection
needs are too complex for even selection set specification, you may use
main menu option B to edit a manual number list.
Remember - values of ranges must be entered with the lower value first.
(this should only make sense). The program will catch invalid range
errors and prompt you for correction before you can leave the selection
window. Individual field values are also edited as you change them.
Impossible values will also be prompted for correction before you are
allowed to leave the field.
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B - Edit Number List
This option opens up a window on the left side of the screen, replacing
the selection set edit window. The number list window is simply a free-
form text editor, where you can enter any number of NGC numbers, separated
by spaces. When you leave this edit window (^KD will do it), the program
will select the NGC objects you have specified, in the SAME ORDER that
you entered them.
This feature is useful for performing those (few) selections that can't
be expressed through the selection set edit window, or for matching a
selected list directly to another published list of objects, such as
the lists published in monthly astronomical journals. This allows for
very convenient comparison of object detail information or observing
notes between outside sources and NGP.
One other common use for this window is for convenient entry and
display of a night's observations. You can create a list matching all
of the objects for which you have new notes to enter or edit, and you
can save this list (with main menu option G) for future retrieval as
a related group.
You may enter your NGC numbers one per line, or many per line, or in
any fashion you like, as long as each is separated by a space. NGC
objects with a lettered designation, such as 7783A, should be entered
WITHOUT the letter. Such objects will be selected as a group, with
all objects sharing the same NGC number returned together.
Refer to appendix I for a directory of valid editor commands. This
appendix supplies room for you to record you own redefinitions of these
commands, which can be installed outside of NGP itself, by running the
EDINST.BAT file in your NGP directory.
C - Selected Detail & Notes
This option takes you to the pageable list of selected objects. If you
make changes in the selection set edit window or the NGC number edit
window, you'll be brought directly to the selected detail window, since
you'll probably want to see what you've just selected.
The columns of data presented here are:
Seq. - The sequential number of the object within this list. This
number can be used for rapid paging within the list.
NGC# - The NGC number (and possibly letter) of the object.
R.A. - The objects right ascension. (default epoch is 2000.0)
Dec. - The object's declination.
Mag. - The object's magnitude (brightness).
Typ - The type of object. See appendix F for a cross-reference of
object type abbreviations and names.
Con - The constellation in which the object lies. (for epoch 1950)
Appendix G contains constellation abbreviations and names.
NGP Page 08
The following keystrokes apply while in this window:
PageDown - Scroll forward one page into the list.
PageUp - Scroll backward one page through the list.
Home - Skip to the top of the list.
End - Skip to the end of the list.
J - "Jump" to an object of a specific sequence number. You will be
prompted to enter the desired sequence number to jump to.
F - "Find" the first occurrence of a sub-string in the list, starting
with the highlighted line. (Hit "home" first to scan the entire list.)
You will be prompted for the string to search for. Not case-specific.
A - Find the last search string again, beginning where the last search
left off. Note - these searches can take some time, so experiment to
see how long a list you'll dare to search through.
S - Sort the list. This brings up the same window as main menu option D.
See discussion for option D on the next page.
Up - Move the object highlight bar up one position.
Down - Move the object highlight bar down one position.
Enter - Select the currently highlighted object for viewing in the
single object detail screen.
This is a VERY IMPORTANT key, as it is your only link to the
valuable single object detail screen. We will discuss this other
Escape - Leave this window, and return to the main menu.
Mouse - Vertical mouse movement will move the object highlight bar
up and down. The left button will work the same as the enter key.
To page with a mouse, use the right button. You will page in the
direction of your last vertical mouse movement. For instance, to
page forward (down) through the list, simply move the mouse a short
distance downward, followed by a click on the right button.
The single object detail window
This window is entered by hitting enter (or mouse enter) while in
the selected detail list. Complete detail information for the currently
highlighted object will be presented on the top half of this window.
The bottom half of the window contains an area for entering and viewing
your own personal notes concerning the object.
The fields presented in the top half of the single object detail
NGC # - The RNGC number of the object.
Type - The object type.
Class - The class of object for this object type. See appendix A
for a summary of these values.
#Stars - The number of stars in a cluster (if this is a cluster)
* Mag - Magnitude of the brightest star in a cluster, or the
central star in a planetary nebula.
Const - The constellation in which the object lies. This the
official IAU abbreviation. See appendix G for a directory of
constellation abbreviations and full names. Note that Serpens
is treated as a single constellation.
Mag - The magnitude of the object.
Source - The source of the magnitude estimate. See appendix E for
a directory of these sources.
Size - The size of the object, if available. Minutes of arc are
denoted with ' seconds with " .
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Tirion - The chart number in Will Tirion's Sky Atlas 2000 which
best shows this object.
Uranometria - The chart volume and number in the Uranometria 2000
atlas which best shows the object.
RA - The right ascension of the object. (default epoch is 2000.0)
Dec - The declination of the object.
Ga Lo - The galactic longitude (epoch 1950.0) of the object.
Ga La - The galactic latitude (epoch 1950.0) of the object.
POSS X - The X coordinate on the Palomar Observatory Sky Survey
print. The origin is the lower left corner of the blue print.
A position was always determined from the southernmost and
westernmost POSS print upon which the object is clearly visible.
POSS Y - The Y coordinate on the Palomar Observatory Sky Survey
Old - The original visual appearance of the object, as transcribed
from Dreyer (1888). See appendix B for translation information.
New - Palomar Observatory Sky Survey description of the object.
See appendix C for translation information.
Xrf - Cross reference to major specialized catalogs. See appendix D
for translation information.
When you enter this window, you'll find the cursor in the lower
half-window, which is the editor's space. If you have previously
entered any notes for this object, they will automatically be displayed.
Whether previous note data is shown or not, however, you are free to
change or add to the notes in whatever style you prefer.
This space may be used for observing notes, for technical reference
information, or for any combination of such information.
You are limited to just under 32K of note information per object.
Be sure to keep an eye on your free disk space - running out of room
could be disastrous. Refer to appendix I for a summary of editor
commands. This appendix supplies room for you to record you own
redefinitions of these commands, which can be installed outside of
NGP itself, by running the EDINST.BAT file in your NGP directory.
The command to exit the editor (and this window) is control-K-D.
D - Sort Selected Objects
Choosing this option will bring up a menu of possible sort sequences.
Type the identifying letter of the desired option, or use the arrow
keys or your mouse to highlight the desired sequence, and hit enter.
The selected detail list will be reordered into the chosen sequence.
You can then enter the selected detail window for browsing, or the
reporting option can be used to produce a report in this order.
Often, you'll want to sort the detail list for it's own use. At such
times, the "S" key in the selected detail window itself is the best
way to sort, since that option bypasses the main menu.
Note the use of multiple sort fields - for instance, R.A. within Object
type means that the objects will be sorted primarily into Object Type
order, and objects with duplicate object type values will be sorted
within that range of object type, by R.A.
Sorting can be used along with object selection for very fast and
flexible exploration of the catalog data. Such browsing can turn up
interesting objects for further research or actual observation which
would probably never have "surfaced" in a traditional fixed listing.
If you have used HBASE, my previous deep sky database program, you
will be pleasantly surprised at the speed with which NGP sorts.
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E - Reset Selection Values
Using this option is how you reset the selection values in the "edit
selection sets" window to their original values - set to select the
entire catalog. You will want to select this option before entering a
new set of desired selection criteria, to save yourself from re-adjusting
old selections that you now want to ignore.
Also, use of this option will clear the current contents of the NGC
number edit window, in preparation for new entry.
This option shows little effect, except that the values in the selection
windows are reset, and the selected detail window will once again display
the top of the complete catalog. All objects are selected at this point.
Note that main menu options F and G may be used to save selection values
prior to resetting.
F - Save / Load Selection Sets
This option allows you to save particularly useful selection set values
to a disk file, and load old saved selection sets into NGP, for instant
selection. If you choose the save option, you will be prompted to enter
the file name you'd like to save to. You have 8 characters to build the
name in - hopefully you can make it mean something. DO NOT specify an
extension on the name. An extension of "SSS" (for "selection set save")
will be appended to your file name for you. This insures that all "SSS"
files can be grouped for easy loading later.
If you enter a filename already in use, you will be prompted whether to
overwrite the old file. Also, certain edits will catch most invalid file
names, and force you to enter a good name.
When you choose the load option, you will be presented with a window
containing any "SSS" files you have previously saved. Parent and child
directory names are also shown. To load a previously saved selection
set, just highlight the desired file name and enter. You will be taken
directly to the object selection window, where you will see the loaded
selection values for selection set number 1. If multiple selection sets
were active when this file was created, then those values too will be
accessible when you examine the values for the corresponding selection
By selecting on a subdirectory name, you can change to that subdirectory
where you'll be given a new list of any "SSS" files there. If you find
it convenient, you can move your "SSS" files into such a subdirectory.
This feature is of limited value however, since all selection set saves
are always to the NGP directory itself.
The delete option works in a similar way as the load option, except that
the file you select will be deleted from disk. Be careful.
The following keystrokes apply in the load or delete window:
Home - Go to the first file.
End - Go to the last file.
PageUp - Go up one screen. (if you have that many names)
PageDown - Go down one screen.
Space - Toggle between list modes.
Enter - Load or delete the highlighted file.
Esc - Leave the window without loading or deleting a selection set.
Mouse - You may use a mouse to move among the file names, and to
enter on the desired file, or escape from the window.
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G - Save / Load Number List
This option works very much the same as option F (Save / Load Selection
Sets). The difference is that you will be saving, loading, or deleting
NGC number lists (from the NGC number editor window - option B).
Number list files are represented with a DOS file extension of "NUM".
Refer to the discussion for option F.
As mentioned in the discussion on the number list itself, a good use
for number lists is to represent a single night's observed objects.
By saving such a related set of NGC numbers with option G, you can
keep a night's objects related together forever, just as you are
keeping the individual objects' notes. A good file naming convention for
saving a night's observed numbers is to use the date, as YYMMDD.
Another good use for this window is to relate the list of deep sky objects
presented in a magazine article for easy cross-referencing.
Whatever your needs for saving a number list, it will be a simple task
later to restore the .NUM file, and you will quickly see these objects
ready for inquiry in the selected detail window.
H - Produce A Report
Three reports are available, each successive one containing more detail
than the last. When you ask to produce a report, ALL currently
selected objects will be sent to it.
You may choose to "print" to your printer (enter on default "prn"
file name), or to a disk text file whose name you can supply. If you
would like to send the report output to a printer other than the "prn"
default, you may also enter the port name here, such as "LPT2", or
"COM1". You may write to any valid DOS file or port name.
Unlike the selection set and number list save functions, the file
name required here should include a valid DOS file name extension.
Such a disk file can be viewed outside of the NGP environment with
a file lister or editor, or can be printed from DOS.
The contents of the three reports are:
Short And Fast - Only the most useful fields, one record per line.
Full Detail - The same detail as provided in the top half of the
single object detail screen.
Full Detail W/Notes - The same as the full detail report, but also
includes any user notes attached to that object.
After "printing", some useful reporting statistics will be shown.
I - Compress Note Data
In order to keep the note-keeping facility as fast and efficient as
possible, some "wasting" of disk space occurs whenever you add text to
previously saved note data. After many such changes to old notes, it may
be worth your while to select this option. It will reorganize, or
"compress" your NGPNOTES.DAT file, reclaiming "wasted" space. You should
do this whenever you think you've made several such edit changes. By
playing with this feature over time, and taking note of the space savings
statistics presented after compressing, you can get an idea of how often
this operation will be necessary for your note-keeping habits.
In any case, it runs in under a minute, so you may as well keep your
note file as clean as possible.
J - End Program
Like it says. You will be told how long the program has been active.
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Possible features for the next version:
- A symbol in the detail list indicated those objects with personal
note data attached.
- Expansion of the database to include the IC, and other catalogs.
- Provide for Messier and Herschel object lookup, by entering the desired
M or H number, and going directly to the single object detail window.
- Addition of context-sensitive help screens throughout the program, and
online appendix information (description meanings etc.).
- A manual selection process to be added to the selected detail window,
whereby the user can manually toggle certain objects for further
selection. (These manually selected objects become the new selected
- A facility for viewing permanent note catalogs, with descriptive text
from popular sources, if such become available.
- A facility for users to trade personal note data, for merging or
- A more accurate precession routine.
- A setup facility, for defining screen colors, window types, disk
- A "description decoder", which can interpret the encoded RNGC
descriptions into English phrases.
- Other features, as requested by users
- Correction of the bugs which will undoubtedly be uncovered in this
Send questions or comments to the author at the following address:
G. Dean Williams
C/O Gary Liptrot
511 S. 775 E.
Ogden, Utah 84404
I currently reside in Arkansas, but I tend to move around, hence the C/O
address. Work on NGP has already spanned three states.
NGP Page 13
Appendix A - Object Classes
Trumpler type for open clusters
I. Detached, strong concentration toward the center
II. Detached, weak concentration toward the center
III. Detached, no concentration toward the center
IV. Not well detached from surrounding start field
Range in brightness
1. Small range
2. Moderate range
3. Large range
p Poor ( < 50 stars )
m Moderately rich ( 50 - 100 stars )
r Rich ( > 100 stars )
An "n" following the Trumpler type denotes nebulosity in cluster
Shapley-Sawyer concentration rating for globular clusters
The values range from 1 to 12. Smaller numbers are more concentrated
Vorontsov-Velyaminov type for planetary nebulae
2. Smooth disk (a, brighter center; b, uniform brightness;
c, traces of ring structure)
3. Irregular disk (a, very irregular brightness distribution;
b, traces of ring structure)
4. Ring structure
5. Irregular form similar to diffuse nebula
6. Anomalous form, no regular structure
Some very complex forms may combine two types.
Hubble type for galaxies
E Elliptical, E0 is roundest to E7 is flattest.
subgroups; 'd' is dwarf, 'c' is supergiant, 'D' has diffuse halo
S Spiral, 'a' has tightly wound arms, 'b' has moderately wound
arms, and 'c' has loosely wound arms
SB Spiral with central bar
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Appendix B Old Description Codes And Dreyer Scales
1. Excessively faint
2. Very faint
4. Considerably faint
5. Pretty faint
6. Pretty bright
7. Considerably bright
9. Very bright
10. Extremely bright
1. Excessively small 3" - 4" diameter
2. Very small 10" - 20" "
3. Small 20" - 30" "
4. Considerably small 20" - 30" "
5. Pretty small 50" - 60" "
6. Pretty large 50" - 60" "
7. Considerably large 3' - 4' "
8. Large 3' - 4' "
9. Very large 8' - 10' "
10. Excessively large 20' and larger
2. Very little extended
3. Elliptical or oval
4. Considerably extended
5. Pretty much extended
6. Much extended
7. Very much extended
8. Extremely extended
Code Code Code Translation
ab AB about
alm ALM almost
am AM among
app APP appended
att ATT attached
B B bright
b B brighter (always coupled with another letter)
bet BET between
bf BF brighter toward following side
biN BIN binuclear
bn BN brighter toward north side
bp BP brighter toward preceding side
bs BS brighter toward south side
NGP Page 15
Code Code Code Translation
C C compressed
c C considerably
ch CH chevelure
cl CL cluster
co CO coarse, coarsely
com COM cosmetic
cont CONT in contact
D D double
d D diameter
def DEF defined
dif DIF diffused
diffic DIFFIC difficult
dist DIST distance
E E extended
ee EE most extremely
er ER easily resolvable
exc EXC excentric
F F faint
f F following
g G gradually
gr GR group
i I irregular
iF IF irregular figure
inv INV involved, involving
L L large
l L little (adv), long (adj)
M M middle or in the middle
m M much
mm MM mixed magnitudes
mn MN milky nebulosity
N N nucleus or to a nucleus
n N north
neb NEB nebula
nf NF north following
np NP north preceding
nr NR near
p P poor
p P preceding
p P pretty (before F,B,L,S) (size and brightness blocks)
pg PG pretty
pm PM pretty much
ps PS pretty suddenly
NGP Page 16
Code Code Code Translation
quad QUAD quadrilateral
quar QUAR quartile
R R round
r R resolvable
Ri RI rich
RR RR exactly round
rr RR partially resolved, some stars seen
rrr RRR well resolved, clearly consisting of stars
S S small
s S suddenly
s S south
sc SC scattered
sev SEV several
sf SF south following
sh SH shaped
sm SM smaller
sp SP south preceding
st ST stars
stell STELL stellar
susp SUSP suspected
trap TRAP trapezium
triN TRIN trinuclear
v V very
var VAR variable
vv VV an intensive of V
* * a star (or stars)
*10 *10 a star of 10th magnitude
** ** double star
*, * * *** triple star
tri Tri triangle, forms a triangle with
gcl GCL globular cluster of stars
st9 ST9 stars from the 9th magnitude downward
st9...13 ST9...13 stars from 9th to 13th magnitude
? () items questioned by Dreyer enclosed in parentheses
" " arcseconds (
' ' arcminutes
NGP Page 17
Appendix C RNGC (New) Description Codes And Comments For Nonexistant Types
RNGC Code Translation
B-BRT bright, brighter
BM brighter toward center (middle)
CL(USTER) cluster (object appears in or near a prominent cluster
CONT(ACT) contact, in contact
CT center, middle, central
DIF diffuse (ness)
NGP Page 18
RNGC Code Translation
E elliptical like (possesing normal elliptical galaxy
EON edge on system
EXT-EXTEN extended, extensive, extension
FIL filament, filamentary
HSB-HISB high surface brightness
IRRR irregularly round
LBM little brighter toward center (middle)
LSB-LOSB low surface brightness
MW milky way
NGP Page 19
RNGC Code Translation
N narrow, thin
NR near, nearly
PD poorly defined
S-SOUTH-SPIRAL south,spiral(clear in context)
SB barred spiral
SBC SBc type galaxy
SBM suddenly brighter toward center
SC Sc type galaxy
SO) SO galaxy
NGP Page 20
RNGC Code Translation
TIW tightly wound
USB uniform surface brightness
WD well defined
& and ($ in printed edition)
- to, of
24- 24 inch Curtis Schmidt plate description
Comments for nonexistant types
BAKER Baker 1933, 1937
DC Carlsen 1940
DEV de Vaucouleurs and de Vaucouleurs 1964
LINDSAY Lindsay 1963, 1964
NF not found
NOCL no cluster
S-Sulentic J.W. Sulentic (visual interpretation from POSS)
V-VV-VORONTSOV-VELYAMINOV Vorontsov-Velyaminov et al. 1961-1968
Z-Zwicky Zwicky et al. 1961-1968
NGP Page 21
Appendix D Cross Reference Descriptions
Axxx Arp, 1966, Atlas Of Peculiar Galaxies
AG Arp, 1965, Catlogue Of Globular Clusters
BMC Hodge 1961, Blue LMC Clusters
D de Vaucouleurs and de Vaucouleurs 1964,
Reference Catalogue Of Bright Galaxies
D* de Vaucouleurs and de Vaucouleurs 1964, Reference Catalogue Of
Bright Galaxies (with supplemental data)
G Gum 1955, Catalogue Of Southern H II Regions
H Henize 1956, Catlogue Of Nebulae In The Magellenic Clouds
HO Hogg 1959, Catalogue Of Open And Globular Clusters
HOxxxA Holmberg 1931, Catalogues Of Double And Multiple Galaxies
ICxxxx Dreyer 1895, 1908, Index Catalogues
K Kron 1956, Catlogue Of SMC Clusters
L Linsay 1956, Catalogue Of SMC Clusters
LH Hodge And Lucke 1970, Catlogue Of LMC Associations
LY Lynds 1965, Catalogue Of Bright Nebulae
M Genkin And Genkina 1969, Catalogue Of Galaxies With
Mxxx Becvar 1959, Messier Catalogue
P Perek And Kohoutek 1967, Catalogue Of Galactic Planetary Nebulae
PKS Bolton et al. 1964, Price And Milne 1965, Day et al. 1966,
Shimmins et al. 1966, Shimmins And Day 1968, Parkes Catalogues
Of Southern Radio Sources
R Alter et al. 1970, Catalogue Of Star Clusters And Associations
S Minkowski 1968, Catalogue Of Seyfert Galaxies
S(#) Carpowicz And Rudnicki 1968, Catalogue Of Supernovae
SH Sharpless 1956, Catalogue Of H II Regions
SL Shapley And Lindsay 1963, Catalogue Of Clusters In The LMC
V Vorontsov-Velyaminov, Krasnogorskaya And Arhipova 1962-1968,
Morphological Catalogue Of Galaxies
V* Vorontsov-Velyaminov, Krasnogorskaya And Arhipova 1962-1968,
Morphological Catalogue Of Galaxies (with additional comments)
(V) Vorontsov-Velyaminov, Krasnogorskaya And Arhipova 1962-1968,
Morphological Catalogue Of Galaxies (ID questioned by authors)
Z Zwicky et al. 1961 - 1968 Catalogue Of Galaxies And Of
Clusters Of galaxies
Z* Zwicky et al. 1961 - 1968 Catalogue Of Galaxies And Of
Clusters Of galaxies (with additional comments)
3Cxxx Edge et al. 1959, Third Cambridge Catalogue Of Radio Sources
4Cxx.xx Pilkington And Scott 1965; Gower et al. 1967, Fourth Cambridge
Catalogue Of Radio Sources
8 Object has supplementary data for RNGC (New) description
9 Object has supplementary data for Dreyer (Old) description
X Object has supplementary data for Cross References
(In NGP, this supplementary data follows on the same description line)
NGP Page 22
Appendix E Sources Of Magnitude Estimates
1. de Vaucouleurs And de Vaucouleurs 1964
2. Zwicky et al. 1961 - 1968
3. Vorontsov-Velyaminov, Krasnogorskaya, Arhipova 1962 - 1968
4. Lindsay 1958
5. Collinder 1931
6. Arp 1965
7. Vorontsov-Velyaminov 1931
8. Bok And Bok 1962; van den Bergh And Hagen 1968
Appendix F Object Type Names
USO = Unverified Southern Object
OCl = Open Cluster
GCl = Globular Cluster
DfN = Diffuse Nebula
PlN = Planetary Nebula
Gal = Galaxy
C/N = Cluster / Nebula
Non = Nonexistent
These abbreviations are those seen in the selected detail list window.
Non-abbreviated names, and a finer breakdown of object types will be seen
in the single object detail window.
NGP Page 23
Appendix G Constellation Names
ANDROMEDA AND LACERTA LAC
ANTLIA ANT LEO LEO
APUS APS LEO MINOR LMI
AQUARIUS AQR LEPUS LEP
AQUILA AQL LIBRA LIB
ARA ARA LUPUS LUP
ARIES ARI LYNX LYN
AURIGA AUR LYRA LYR
BOOTES BOO MENSA MEN
CAELUM CAE MICROSCOPIUM MIC
CAMELOPARDALIS CAM MONOCEROS MON
CANCER CNC MUSCA MUS
CANES VENATICI CVN NORMA NOR
CANIS MAJOR CMA OCTANS OCT
CANIS MINOR CMI OPHIUCHUS OPH
CAPRICORNUS CAP ORION ORI
CARINA CAR PAVO PAV
CASSIOPEIA CAS PEGASUS PEG
CENTAURUS CEN PERSEUS PER
CEPHEUS CEP PHOENIX PHE
CETUS CET PICTOR PIC
CHAMAELEON CHA PISCES PSC
CIRCINUS CIR PISCES AUSTRINUS PSA
COLUMBA COL PUPPIS PUP
COMA BERENICES COM PYXIS PYX
CORONA AUSTRALIS CRA RETICULUM RET
CORONA BOREALIS CRB SAGITTA SGE
CORVUS CRV SAGITTARIUS SGR
CRATER CRT SCORPIUS SCO
CRUX CRU SCULPTOR SCL
CYGNUS CYG SCUTUM SCT
DELPHINUS DEL SERPENS SER
DORADO DOR SEXTANS SEX
DRACO DRA TAURUS TAU
EQUULEUS EQU TELESCOPIUM TEL
ERIDANUS ERI TRIANGULUM AUSTRALE TRA
FORNAX FOR TRIANGULUM TRI
GEMINI GEM TUCANA TUC
GRUS GRU URSA MAJOR UMA
HERCULES HER URSA MINOR UMI
HOROLOGIUM HOR VELA VEL
HYDRA HYA VIRGO VIR
HYDRUS HYI VOLANS VOL
INDUS IND VULPECULA VUL
NGP Page 24
Appendix H Program History
July 20, 1989 - Release to beta testers. (Now this date is doubly historic!)
September 18, 1989 - Dropped support for selection and sorting on galactic
longitude and latitude fields. (If someone finds a desperate need for
these functions, I can send a copy of this older version).
Added support for selection and sorting on constellation field.
Added constellation value to detail list.
Reworked object type selection method in selection set edit window.
Incorporated an assembly routine to speed string searching in the detail
Added Herschel catalog number lists to set of distribution files.
Corrected a small number of minor bugs.
Adjusted the manual for all of the above.
Appendix I Editor Commands
Function Primary Value Secondary Value
Character left P: S:
Character right P: S:
Word left P: S:
Word right P: S:
Line up P: S:
Line down P: S:
Scroll up P: S:
Scroll down P: S:
Page up P: S:
Page down P: S:
Cursor to left side P: S:
Cursor to right side P: S:
Top of screen P: S:
Bottom of screen P: S:
Top of window P: S:
Bottom of window P: S:
Top of block P: S:
Bottom of block P: S:
Previous cursor position P: S:
New line P: S:
Insert line P: S:
Toggle insert mode P: S: