A four-volume field guide with over 7000 images of NGC objects.
This started out, in late 2018, as a nice-to-have tool for me and a couple of my observing buddies. However, the endeavor took on a life of its own, and resulted in “A Comprehensive Field Guide To The NGC”, a four-volume field guide with numerous cross-references, a ten-page index, and 7,047 large sized images, laid out on over 650 folio size*, water-proof pages.
All 7,047 images were originally captured by a Sloan Digital Sky Survey (DSS), and most are from the DSS2. All the metadata accompanying the images were made available to me by Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke. I am deeply grateful to CalTech and The Australian Astronomical Observatory for their generous permission to use the DSS images, and to Dr. Steinicke for the use of his data for the book.
It has been a labor of love for me. I have shared various iterations of the book with quite a few fellow astronomers and included their input and feedback to make it a better product that I hope will be a useful tool for other astronomers.
My goal was to have a tool that will not just sit on a bookshelf but will be used in the field. As someone mentioned to me, the best telescope is the one you take out to the field. That is true for a field guide with an extensive amount of information. Based on that goal, the entire field guide is divided into four volumes by seasons: two volumes for autumn/winter, and two for spring/summer. Each season’s volumes list constellations alphabetically, and then the objects in NGC numeric order within each constellation. It is not necessary to carry a big, heavy tome to the field – only take out two volumes at any given time. Each volume is 150 to 180 pages. Books are spiral-bound on the long-edge for easy page-flipping and taking up little space on already crammed observing tables. Images are printed in 3.25” x 3.25” size for easy visualization, and show the field of view, as well the actual size of objects.
Additionally, the users of Dobsonian telescopes will find that the printed images will match the view through your eyepiece (slight angle variation based on your focuser/secondary mirror position and observing location/time).
The front section includes cross-references between NGC objects and their counterparts in Messier Catalog, Arp Objects, Herschel 400 Objects, Caldwell Catalog, and a complete sky atlas of constellations (with clear identification of seasons, and page reference). You need only one book to complete multiple observing programs.
Volume 1 and 2 (Autumn/Winter): 125.00
Volume 3 and 4 (Spring/Summer): 125.00
All four volumes: 225.00
Bhavesh Jivanlal Parekh
Portland, Oregon. August 2020.
*Printed on sheets of 11 inches x 17 inches or 27.94 cm x 43.18 cm
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Cross-references between popular observing programs and their Objects' NGC entries.
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