The Herschel 3 List

by Tom Hoffelder

Welcome to the Herschel 3. Unlike the Herschel 400 and the Herschel II, this list has 300 objects and they are all galaxies. (There are only about 15 non-galaxy objects remaining in Herschel's list after those in the two preceding lists are subtracted.) Also unlike the previous two lists, the objects have not been reviewed by observers with telescopes. They have however been reviewed by entering the NGC number into the Interactive Online Catalog ( ), followed by a check of the Digital Sky Survey Image to assure they exist and are visible in at least moderate telescopes.

As noted above, the list contains 300 galaxies. For each object, right angle sweep coordinates are given from a bright nearby star. Additional information includes magnitude, size, Herschel number, Uranometria page number and other nearby NGC objects. Magnitudes are from The Revised New General Catalogue of Nonstellar Astronomical Objects by Sulentic and Tifft (The University of Arizona Press, Third printing 1976). Size is in minutes, taken from The NGC Catalog Online ( ) for each object. The Herschel number is as listed in the New General Catalogue by Dreyer. The Uranometria page numbers are from the 7/91 reprint of Vol I and the 6/89 reprint of Vol II. The other NGC objects listed are within a half degree of the Herschel object. The final column is simply my personal rating for each object, based on the DSS image, on a scale of 1 to 3 with 3 being the best.

The information provided for right angle sweeping consists of a naked eye star and the distances (in degrees of true field, unless shown as minutes), either north/south or east/west, to the object. If you are interested in experiencing the joy of locating objects, this is the way to do it! Simply center the designated star in a low power eyepiece that gives approximately a one degree true field. Then move the scope north or south the required distance by monitoring stars move across the field. Finally move east or west the distance listed and you will be on or near the object. This of course is much easier with an equatorially mounted scope, but it can be approximated with a Dob, especially when the object is on the meridian. Many of the sweeps are completed from one object to the next, thus saving time.

In a future version, it is planned that the NGC numbers are linked to the DSS image page for each specific object, allowing easy viewing of the galaxy prior to observing. This will give an idea of what might be expected in the eyepiece. It should be interesting to compare the DSS image to what you see in your scope.

Unlike the other two Herschel lists, recognition for the completion of this list is quite informal. All you have to do is send me an email (to: rocksnstars at with your name, location, instrument(s) used and dates started and completed and the information will be added to the list of H3 members. If there is enough interest, a SEDS page may be opened where this information will be presented.

If you have any questions, comments or corrections, please let me know via the email.

Tom Hoffelder (rocksnstars at

The Herschel 3 List is available in the following formats:

  • Herschel Catalog Home
  • Other Deepsky Lists and Catalogs

    Hartmut Frommert

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