Steve Gottlieb's NGC Notes


Here are my observing notes for over 7200 NGC entries and an additional 785 IC entries - this is likely the most complete visual resource of NGC observations available online.

I began taking notes on the Messier objects using a 6" f/5 reflector in 1978 and three years later was exploring fainter NGCs with a 13.1" Odyssey I. The vast majority of my notes, though, were made using a 17.5" f/4.5 homemade dob (1987-2002) and an 18" f/4.3 Starmaster (2003-2011). Since 2012 I've used a 24" f/3.7 Starstructure (over 800 NGCs) as well as few hundred observations using Jimi Lowrey's 48" gigantic dobsonian from west Texas. In general, you'll find multiple observations of many NGCs through with a variety of apertures, so details can be compared.

In 2014, I completed a 35-year project - observing every NGC north of -41° declination from northern California. Deep southern objects have been observed with 18", 24" and 30" scopes during several weeklong trips to Australia and a 13" travel scope in Costa Rica. Only "missing" from completing the entire NGC (7840 entries) are a couple of hundred far southern objects that I'm hoping to observe in the next year during two more trips to Australia.

All of the NGC/IC identifications have been checked for historical accuracy as part of the NGC/IC Project. At the end of my visual observations of each NGC, I've included historical discovery information such as the observer's name, date, telescope, and the original discovery descriptions. Modern catalogues discrepancies and errors are also discussed.

I want to acknowledge the investigative work of Dr. Harold Corwin and Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke, who I've communicated with for many years on a number of identification problems. Harold Corwin provides precise positions and extensive historical notes on thousands of NGC and IC objects at Wolfgang Steinicke provides biographical information on 172 NGC/IC astronomers, as well as a number of historically accurate catalogues in .xls format on his web site at For those interesting in learning more on the history of the NGC, I highly recommend Wolfgang's book "Observing and Cataloguing Nebulae and Star Clusters".

Steve Gottlieb 9/17/15

Note: All positions are in Equinox J2000.0
In the Observation Files, 13: = 13-inch Telescope, 17.5: = 17.5-inch Telescope, etc.
NGC 1 thru NGC 999 (09/13/15)
NGC 1000 thru NGC 1999 (09/13/15)
NGC 2000 thru NGC 2999 (09/13/15)
NGC 3000 thru NGC 3999 (09/13/15)
NGC 4000 thru NGC 4999 (09/13/15)
NGC 5000 thru NGC 5999 (09/13/15
NGC 6000 thru NGC 6999 (09/13/15
NGC 7000 thru NGC 7840 (09/13/15
IC 1001 thru IC 2000 (01/14/13)
IC 2001 thru IC 3000 (01/14/13
IC 3001 thru IC 4000 (01/14/13)
IC 4001 thru IC 5386 (01/14/13)