Celestial Atlas
The Discoverers of the NGC / IC Objects
(work in progress)
     This (incomplete) listing and discussion of the discoverers of the NGC/IC objects will at some point be supplemented by a history of the tremendous efforts required to create the catalogs. Primary reference for the list is Wolfgang Steinicke's tabulation of NGC/IC Observers (for a fascinating and very thorough discussion of the history and contents of the NGC, and of the hundred or so astronomers who discovered its nebulae, refer to Wolfgang Steinicke's book on the subject). In general, the link for a person's name is to Dr. Steinicke's tabulation, while the link for their year of death is to an obituary, usually in an astronomical journal. Additional links, if provided, are to other historical discussions. Little effort is being made to complete this list in a timely manner. As objects are added to the NGC/IC pages, if the discoverer of an object is mentioned, their name will be linked to an entry on this page. All discoverers of NGC/IC objects will eventually be shown here, but I am more interested in completing the catalog entries than this page. Those needing a more immediate reference should visit Dr. Steinicke's site. In particular, it should be noted that his site (and his book) contains photos of most of the discoverers and of the equipment they used, and where photos are shown on this site, they are used with his permission.

Page last updated Apr 21, 2014
WORKING: Dreyer (table) Stephan (txt file)
(Alphabetical index to be added here)

The discoverers are listed in order of their birth dates, or when those are identical, in order of their death dates, to group them according to their place in history. For a few observers, birth and death dates are not available, so the years of their astronomical activity are used to place them in the timeline.

Aristoteles; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Aristoteles (384 - 322 B.C.E.), Greek philosopher and astronomer.


Arator of Soli; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Aratos of Soli (315 - 245 B.C.E.), Greek astronomer.


Hipparchus; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Hipparchus (190 - 125 B.C.E.), Greek astronomer.


Ptolemy; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Claudius Ptolemaeus, or Ptolemy (87 - 165 C.E.), Greek astronomer. (No known images exist from his lifetime; the one shown is the product of a Baroque artist's imagination.)


Generic image reputedly of Al-Sufi; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Abd-al-Rahman Al-Sufi (Dec 7, 903 - May 25, 986), Persian astronomer.

Amerigo Vespucci; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Amerigo Vespucci (Mar 3, 1451 - Feb 22, 1512), Italian explorer, navigator and cartographer. He was the first to describe the so-called Magellanic Clouds, about twenty years prior to their "discovery" by Magellan.


Nicolas Peiresc; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc (Dec 1, 1580 - Jun 24, 1637), French astronomer.


Johann Cysat; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Johann Baptist Cysat (1587 - Mar 3, 1657), Swiss-German astronomer.


Giovanni Hodierna; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Giovanni Battista Hodierna (Apr 13, 1597 - Apr 6, 1660), Italian astronomer. A SEDS page deals with Hodierna's life and accomplishments. Hodierna was the first to observe a number of now famous nebulae, but the 1654 publication of his work was little noticed outside Sicily, and despite a brief mention of his work by Lalande in an 1803 publication, remained essentially unknown until its rediscovery in the 1980's. As a result Messier, the Herschels, and Dreyer were unaware of Hodierna's discoveries, and he is not mentioned in their publications.


Giovanni Cassini; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Giovanni Domenico Cassini (Jun 8, 1625 - Sep 14, 1712), Italian astronomer.


No image available; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Johann Abraham Ihle (Jun 14, 1627 - 1699?), German amateur astronomer, who was the first to discover a globular cluster (now known as M22), although the actual nature of the object was not known until much later. Ihle was a friend of Hevelius and Gottfried Kirch, with whom he maintained a frequent correspondence about their observations.


Gottfried Kirch; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Gottfried Kirch (Dec 18, 1639 - Jul 25, 1710), German astronomer.


John Flamsteed; click image for Wikipedia article about him

John Flamsteed (Aug 19, 1646 - Dec 31, 1719), British astronomer.


Edmond Halley; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Edmond Halley (Oct 29, 1656 - Jan 14, 1742), British astronomer.


Francesco Bianchini; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Francesco Bianchini (Dec 13, 1662 - Mar 2, 1729), Italian astronomer.


Jean-Jacques Mairan; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Jean-Jacques d'Ortous de Mairan (Nov 26, 1678 - Feb 20, 1771), French astronomer.


No image available; click here for Wikipedia article about him

John Bevis (Nov 10, 1695 - Nov 6, 1771), British astronomer.


No image available; click here for Wikipedia article about him

Jean-Dominique Maraldi (Apr 17, 1709 - Nov 14, 1788), French-Italian astronomer. Giovanni Domenico Maraldi was born in Perinaldo, Italy, but spent his entire career in France (1727 - 1772), before retiring to the town of his birth. Maraldi was the nephew of French-Italian astronomer Jacques Philippe Maraldi (also born in Perinaldo), who was the nephew of Italian astronomer Giovanni Cassini (also born in Perinaldo, which is proud of its illustrious sons).


Abbé Lacaille; click here for Wikipedia article about him

Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille (Mar 15, 1713 - Mar 21, 1762), French astronomer and Abbé.


Philippe de Cheseaux; click here for Wikipedia article about him

Jean Philippe Loys de Chéseaux (May 4, 1718 - Nov 30, 1751), Swiss astronomer.

de Chéseaux's discoveries were presented to the French Academy of Science in 1746, only to be promptly forgotten. Le Gentil made a private note of them in 1759, but it wasn't until 1892 that Guillaume Bigourdan made them public. Even then Dreyer appears to have been unaware of their existence, as he routinely assigned their discovery to much later observers.

Antoine Darquier; click here for Wikipedia article about him></a></td><td valign=top><p align=left><a href=http://www.klima-luft.de/steinicke/ngcic/persons/darquier.htm target=external><b>Antoine Darquier</b> de Pellepoix</a> (Nov 23, 1718 - Jan 18, 1802), French astronomer.</td></tr>

<tr><td><a name=legentil><br><a href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guillaume_Le_Gentil target=external><img src=nowiki.jpg width=190 height=255 border=1 alt=

Guillaume Joseph Hyacinthe Jean-Baptiste Le Gentil de la Galaisière (Sep 11, 1725 - Oct 22, 1792), French astronomer. Famous for his unfortunate experiences trying to observe the transits of Venus in 1761 and 1769.


Charles Messier; click here for Wikipedia article about him

Charles-Joseph Messier (Jun 26, 1730 - Apr 12, 1817), French astronomer.


William Herschel; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Friedrich Wilhelm (William) Herschel (Nov 15, 1738 - Aug 25, 1822), British astronomer.


Pierre Méchain; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Pierre Francois Andre Méchain (1744 - 1804), French astronomer. Méchain was a (younger) colleague and close friend of Messier, and was the actual discoverer of many of the later additions to Messier's catalog. Like Messier, he was an avid comet hunter, and found nearly a dozen comets on his own, or as a co-discoverer, with others.


No image available; click here for Wikipedia article about him

Johann Gottfried Koehler (1745 - 1801), German astronomer.


Johann Bode; click here for Wikipedia article about him

Johann Elert Bode (Jan 19, 1747 - Nov 23, 1826), German astronomer.


Caroline Herschel; click here for Wikipedia article about her

Karoline (Caroline) Lucretia Herschel (Mar 16, 1750 - Sep 1, 1848), German-British astronomer.


Barnaba Oriani; Click here for Wikipedia article about him

Barnaba Oriani (1752 - 1832), Italian astronomer.


No image available; Click here for Wikipedia article about him

Edward Pigott (1753 - 1825), Italian astronomer.


Karl Ludwig Harding; Click here for Wikipedia article about him

Karl Ludwig Harding (1765 - 1834), German astronomer.


Thomas Brisbane; Click here for Wikipedia article about him

Thomas Makdougall Brisbane (Jul 23, 1773 - Jan 27, 1860), Scottish-Australian astronomer.


Francis Baily; click here for Wikipedia article about him

Francis Baily (Apr 28, 1774 - Aug 30, 1844), British astronomer.


Niccolò Cacciatore; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Niccolò Cacciatore (Jan 27, 1780 - Jan 28, 1841), Italian astronomer.


John Herschel; click image for Wikipedia article about him

John Frederick William Herschel (Mar 7, 1792 - May 11, 1871), British astronomer.


James Dunlop; click image for Wikipedia article about him

James Dunlop (1793 - 1848), Scottish astronomer. Dunlop was not trained as an astronomer, but took an early interest in the field, and by a lucky chance was hired as an assistant by Sir Thomas Brisbane. When Brisbane was appointed governor of New South Wales, Dunlop accompanied his employer to Australia, and upon completion of Brisbane's Paramatta (now Parramatta) observatory, became second assistant; and when the first assistant abandoned the position, succeeded him. Dunlop was an assiduous observer of stars and double stars, and (mostly on his own initiative) nebulae; and being the first astronomer to regularly observe the southern hemisphere sky, discovered many objects. Unfortunately, his lack of training made his calculations of the objects' positions almost useless, and many of his discoveries are either "lost", or when more or less confidently identifiable, as often credited to John Herschel, who tried to observe all of Dunlop's objects during his southern hemisphere expeditions.


Wilhelm Struve; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve (1793 - 1864), Russian astronomer of German and Estonian origin, and father of Otto Struve.


Edward Cooper; click image to view a brief Irish biography

Edward Joshua Cooper (May 1, 1798 - Apr 23, 1863), Irish astronomer. A recent discussion of Cooper's life and the only extant photograph of him can be viewed here. (Note: Any use of the original image (and any commerical use of any portion of the image) may require the permission of the copyright holder.)


Francis Abbott; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Francis Preserved Abbott (Aug 12, 1799 - Feb 18, 1880), British astronomer.

(Per Steinicke) "Francis Preserved Abbott was born in Derby, England on August 12, 1799. He was a clockmaker in Derby and later in Manchaster. In 1845 he went to Hobart, Tasmania and was assistant at the Rossbank Observatory until its closure in 1854. Afterwords he made astronomical and meteorological observations in a private laboratory in Hobart. He became FRAS in 1860. Abbott died in Hobart on February 18, 1883."

William Lassell; click image for Wikipedia article about him

William Lassell (1799 - 1880), British astronomer.

William Parsons; click image for Wikipedia article about him

William Parsons (1800 - 1867), 3rd Earl of Rosse, British astronomer. References to the fact that most of the NGC/IC objects attributed to Lord Rosse were actually found by his assistants may give the erroneous impression that the 3rd Earl was not an important observer. However, aside from having discovered the best part of a hundred nebulae himself, he left a legacy unsurpassed for the best part of a century -- a 6-foot aperture reflecting telescope (the "Leviathan" of Birr Castle), the construction of which would have been an impossible task for the best professional telescope makers of the day. Through tremendous effort, intelligence and inspiration, Parsons succeeded in creating a mirror and telescope many times larger than any in existence, so well constructed that it was as easy to use as it was large, making his and his assistants' observations uniquely successful. Even more importantly, instead of guarding the secret of how he managed the feat, he published a detailed discussion of the methods involved in the Leviathan's construction, providing an invaluable aid to astronomers everywhere. As stated in his obituary (linked above), "It may justly be urged that the maker (of an instrument) is above (its user). Eyes are common to us all, all could make discoveries if they had the means. It was the means that the Earl of Rosse supplied."


Thomas Webb; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Thomas William Webb (1806 - 1885), British astronomer.

Primarily known nowadays as the author of a popular introduction to astronomy, "Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes", printed in 1859 and reprinted and revised many times into the 1900's.

Christian Peters; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Christian Heinrich Friedrich Peters (1813 - 1890), German-American astronomer.


Joseph Baxendell

Joseph Baxendell (Apr 19, 1815 - Oct 7, 1887), British astronomer.


Gottfried Schweizer; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Kaspar Gottfried Schweizer (1816 - 1873), Russian astronomer.


Angelo Secchi; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Father Pietro Angelo Secchi (1818 - 1878), Italian astronomer, Ignatius church in Rome.


Theodor Brorsen; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Theodor Johann Christian Ambders Brorsen (Jul 29, 1819 - Mar 31, 1895), Danish astronomer.


Otto Struve; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Otto Wilhelm von Struve (1819 - 1905), Ukrainian-Russian-American astronomer.


Lewis Swift; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Lewis Swift (1820 - 1913), American astronomer.


Wilhelm Tempel; click here for Wikipedia article about him

Ernst Wilhelm Leberecht Tempel (1821 - 1889).


Heinrich d'Arrest; click here for Wikipedia article about him

Heinrich Louis d'Arrest (Jul 13, 1822 - Jun 14, 1875), German astronomer.


William Rambaut

(Reverend) William Hautenville Rambaut (1822 - 1911), Irish astronomer. An assistant (1848) to Lawrence Parsons, he did not actually discover any nebulae, but did produce chalk drawings of some of the objects discovered at Birr Observatory (none of which were published during his lifetime). He also worked at Armagh observatory for many years.


No image available; click here for Wikipedia article about him

Jean Chacornac (Jun 21, 1823 - Sep 23, 1873), French astronomer. (Note: An Internet search for images of Chacornac leads to non-English-language Wikipedia pages for him; but the image shown on those pages is not of Chacornac, but Camille Flammarion.)


Herman Schultz

Per Magnus Herman Schultz (1823 - 1890), Swedish astronomer.


John Hind; click image for Wikipedia article about him

John Russell Hind (1823 - 1895), British astronomer.


George Bond; click image for Wikipedia article about him

George Phillips Bond (May 20, 1825 - Feb 16m 1865), American astronomer.


Julius Schmidt; click here for Wikipedia article about him

Johann Friedrich Julius Schmidt (1825 - 1884), German astronomer.


George Stoney; click here for Wikipedia article about him

George Johnstone Stoney (1826 - 1911), Irish astronomer and mathematical physicist. Worked at Birr Castle under William Parsons from 1848 - 1852, and per Dreyer, the actual discoverer of many objects announced by his employer. Brother of Bindon Stoney.


Joseph Winlock; click here for Wikipedia article about him

Joseph Winlock (Feb 6, 1826 - Jun 11, 1875), American astronomer, and onetime director of the Harvard Observatory. Father of Anna Winlock, the first female computer hired by Harvard, after her father's untimely death left his family destitute.


Etienne Trouvelot; click here for Wikipedia article about him

Etienne Leopold Trouvelot (1827 - 1895), French-American astronomer.


Eduard Schönfeld; click here for Wikipedia article about him

Eduard Schönfeld (1828 - 1891), German astronomer.


Albert Marth; click here for Wikipedia article about him

Albert Marth (1828 - 1897), German astronomer (but worked in England and Ireland). Discovered 600 IC objects.


No image available

Auguste Voigt (Jan 18, 1828 - Mar 12, 1909), French astronomer.


Basilius Engelhardt

Basilius (Vasily Pavlovich) von Engelhardt (1828 - 1915), Russian-German astronomer.


Isaac Roberts; click here for Wikipedia article about him

Isaac Roberts (1829 - 1904), British astronomer.


Asaph Hall; click here for Wikipedia article about him

Asaph Hall (1829 - 1907), American astronomer.


Bindon Stoney

Bindon Blood Stoney (1829 - 1909), Irish engineer. Worked at Birr Castle, assisting William Parsons with the mechanical construction of his telescopes, from 1850 - 1852, and per Dreyer, the actual discoverer of some objects announced by his employer. Brother of George Stoney.


Sidney Coolidge; click image for Appletons' cylopedia of American biography (1888) article

Phillip Sidney Coolidge (Aug 22, 1830 - Sep 19, 1863), American astronomical observer. A great-grandson of Thomas Jefferson through his daughter Martha, and her daughter Ellen Wayles Randolph, Coolidge was the only white descendant of Jefferson to fight for the Union in the Civil War. A major in the Union Army, he was one of four thousand men killed at Chickamauga, for which service he was awarded the brevet (honorary, and usually posthumous) rank of lieutenant-colonel. All of Coolidge's NGC objects proved to be stars, without any nebulosity. This was presumably due to the difficulty of distinguishing faint stars from equally faint, nearly stellar nebulosities, and the efforts of observers of the day (and today, for that matter) to exceed the limits of their instruments.


Christian Bruhns; click here for German Wikipedia article about him

Carl Christian Bruhns (Nov 22, 1830 - Jul 25, 1881), German astronomer.


George Rümker; click here for Wikipedia article about him

George Friedrich Wilhelm Rümker (1832 - 1900), German astronomer. (His father, also a German astronomer, was the official astronomer at the Paramatta observatory in New South Wales prior to a dispute with his employer which led to James Dunlop becoming the de facto director. Those who read about the Australian observatory should take care not to confuse father and son.)


No image available; click here for Wikipedia stub

Gaspare Stanislao Ferrari (1834 - 1903), Italian astronomer.


Samuel Langley; click here for Wikipedia article about him

Samuel Pierpont Langley (1834 - 1906), American astronomer.


Charles Augustus Young (Dec 15, 1834 - Jan 1, 1908), American astronomer.


August Winnecke; click here for Wikipedia article about him

Friedrich August Theodor Winnecke (1835 - 1897), German astronomer.


No image available

R. J. Mitchell (active 1850's), Irish astronomer. An assistant to William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse, from 1852 - 1855. According to Parsons, "An eminently cautious and painstaking observer", and per Dreyer, the actual discoverer of many objects announced by his employer.


Truman Safford; click here for Wikipedia article about him

Truman Henry Safford (1836 - 1901), American astronomer and mathematical prodigy.


George Hough; click here for Wikipedia article about him

George "Jupiter" Washington Hough (1836 - 1909), American astronomer.


Ralph Copeland; click here for Wikipedia article about him

Ralph Copeland (Sep 3, 1837 - Oct 27, 1905), British astronomer.


Horace Tuttle; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Horace Parnell Tuttle (1837 - August, 1923), American astronomer.


Jean Marie Édouard Stephan (1837 - 1923), French astronomer.


Georg Friedrich Julius Arthur von Auwers (Sep 12, 1838 - Jan 24, 1915), German astronomer.


Sherburne Burnham; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Sherburne Wesley Burnham (Dec 12, 1838 - Mar 11, 1921), American astronomer.


Nils Christoffer Dunér (1839 - 1914), Swedish astronomer.


George Mary Searle (June 27, 1839 - July 17, 1918), American astronomer and clergyman. Searle was born in London, but his family moved to America sometime thereafter, and he graduated from Harvard in 1857. He became an assistant at the Dudley Observatory, where he discovered the asteroid (55) Pandora (Sep 11, 1858). He later entered the U.S. coast survey, and was appointed an assistant professor at the U. S. Naval Academy in 1862. He returned to Harvard (as an assistant asronomer) in June 1866, remaining there until March 1868. During his time there he discovered six nebulae: NGC 548, 565, 570, 4058, 4247 and 5487. After leaving Harvard Searle joined the Paulist Order, and continued to write many articles in scientific journals, but his most popular publication (reprinted numerous times) was an attempt to reconcile scientific and Catholic religious principles, for which he was criticized by scientists (who felt that an open mind was required to find and accept new truths) and by those whom Searle called Bible Christians, who treated the Scriptures as the only true source of knowledge, and felt that any effort to reconcile faith and science was the work of the devil. In 1916 Searle retired to the Apostolic Mission House in Washington, where he died two years later, at the age of 79. His obituary was published in Nature (volume 101, page 430, 1918), but is not available online, which is why this entry (primarily based on Wolfgang Steinicke's website) is relatively thorough.


No image available

Samuel Hunter (active 1860's), Irish artist. An assistant to William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse, from 1860 - 1864. Apparently primarily assigned to produce drawings of nebulae observed with the Earl's 72" telescope (the Leviathan). According to Lord Rosse, he was an accomplished artist, and is best known for a famous drawing he did of the Orion Nebula. (Given that, you would think it easy to find a copy of the drawing; but as of this writing, I have been unable to do so.)


Lawrence Parsons; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Lawrence Parsons (1840 - 1908), 4th Earl of Rosse, British astronomer.


Robert Stawell Ball (Jul 1, 1840 - Nov 25, 1913), Irish astronomer.


Charles Peirce; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Charles Sanders Peirce (1840 - 1914), American mathematician and philosopher.


Andrew Common; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Andrew Ainslie Common (Aug 7, 1841 - Jun 2, 1903), British astronomer.


Alphonse Louis Nicholas Borrelly (Dec 8, 1842 - Feb 28, 1926), French astronomer.


No image available

Edward P. Austin (1843 - 1906), American astronomer.

(Per Steinicke) "There is very little known about Austin. He was an assistant observer at Harvard College Observatory from 1869-71 (under the directorship of Joseph Winlock). Together with Langley, Peirce, Searle and Winlock he observed nebulae with the 15" f/18 Merz refractor installed in June 1847 (see picture). The results are published in Ann. Harv. Obs. 13, 62 (1882). Austin discovered 3 objects: NGC 3097 (HN 177), NGC 3315 (HN 207), and NGC 3317 (HN 210); all observed on March 24, 1870. While NGC 3097 is lost and NGC 3317 is a triple star, NGC 3315 is the only "real" object, a galaxy in Hydra. After his short career at Harvard he worked in a geographical survey in Arizona and Nevada. "HN" stands for "Harvard Nebula", given in Pickering, E. C., Detection of Nebulae by Photography, Ann. Harv. Obs. 18, 113-117 (1890)."

John Thome; click image for Wikipedia article about him

John Macon Thome (1843 - 1908), American-Argentinian astronomer.


Frederick Pechüle


Carl Frederick Pechüle (Jun 8, 1843 - May 28, 1914), Danish astronomer.

(The following is based on the (German) Astronomische Nachrichten obituary of 1914, and the discussion in Steinicke's book.) Frederick Pechüle was born in Copenhagen. His father, Christian, was a needlemaker. His early studies were at home, and at the Collegium Propaganda in Rome. After graduating (in 1865), he became a student at the Copenhagen Observatory under the supervision of Heinrich d'Arrest. While there he began the observations of asteroids and comets which remained the center of his interest for the rest of his life. He discovered three comets (in 1877, 1880 and 1886), and made countless observations of asteroids over the course of a nearly fifty year long career. From 1870 to '72 he was an assistant to George Rümker at the Hamburg Observatory; his work there concentrated on observations of nebulae and star clusters. Pechüle received his M.A. from Copenhagen University in 1873. The following year he took part in an expedition to Mauritius to observe the 1874 transit of Venus; he was also a member of the Danish expedition which observed the 1882 transit of Venus from St. Croix, in the West Indies. He was permanently employed at the Copenhagen Observatory from 1875 on, succeeding Hans Schjellerup as assistant in 1885. Among other duties he served as timekeeper for the Observatory, and was responsible for the calculations for the Danish astronomical almanac from that time until his death, after a long illness, just shy of his 71st birthday.

No image available; click here for Wikipedia article about him

Charles Edward Burton (Sep 16, 1846 - Jul 9, 1882), English-Irish astronomer.


Edward Singleton Holden (1846 - 1914), American astronomer.


No image available

Aaron Nichols Skinner (Aug 10, 1845 - Aug 14, 1918), American astronomer.

Skinner was born in Boston, MA, the son of Benjamin Hill Skinner (Jr.) and Mercy (Burgess) Skinner. He married 9 Feb 1874 Sarah Elizabeth Gibbs of Framingham, MA. They had two children, Melville Gibbs and Helen Augusta Skinner. He was educated at Boston Latin School, at Beloit (Wisconsin) College and the University of Chicago, where between 1866 and 1868 he was an assistant of Truman Safford at the Dearborn Observatory, and in 1867 discovered 3 IC objects (published in 1887, too late for Dreyer to enter in the NGC). In 1870 he became assistant astronomer at the U.S. Naval Observatory, and in 1898 was appointed professor of mathematics at the observatory with the rank of Lieutenant. He retired in 1907 with the rank of Commander. He died in Framingham, MA.

Edward Charles Pickering (1846 - 1919), American astronomer.


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Eugen Block (Apr 15, 1847 - May 12, 1912), Latvian-Ukrainian astronomer.

(Per Steinicke) "Block was born at Baldonu, Latvia on April 15, 1847. He studied astronomy at Dorpat and became an assistant there in 1868 (see W. Struve). He changed to Pulkovo Observatory in 1871 (see O. Struve). After two years he went to the Odessa Observatory (Ukraine), where he worked as an astronomer from 1873. He used a 4" comet seeker for visual observations of comets and nebulae. With this instrument he found NGC 1398 on October 18, 1879, published in AN #2287 (1879). But the object was first seen by Winnecke on Dec. 17, 1868 at Karlsruhe (see AN #2293). NGC 1398 is a galaxy in Fornax (in Block's times the area belongs to Eridanus). On the same night Block found the planetary NGC 1360 (first discovered by Lewis Swift 1857 and in Jan. 1868 by Winnecke). He died on May 12, 1912."

Ormond Stone (1847 - 1933), American astronomer and mathematician.


Paul-Pierre Henry; click link for Wikipedia article about him and his brother

Paul-Pierre Henry (1848 - 1905), French astronomer.


Johann Palisa; click link for Wikipedia article about him

Johann Palisa (1848 - 1925), Austrian astronomer.


Mark Harrington

Mark Walrod Harrington (1848 - 1926), American astronomer.


William Denning; click image for Wikipedia article about him

William Frederick Denning (Nov 25, 1848 - Jun 9, 1931), British astronomer.


Mathieu-Prosper Henry (1849 - 1903), French astronomer. He and his brother, Paul-Pierre Henry, were the co-discoverers of the Maia Nebula (in the Pleiades).


No image available; click here for Wikipedia article about him

Jérôme Eugène Coggia (Feb 18, 1849 - Jan 15, 1919), French astronomer.


No image available; click here for Wikipedia article about him

William Henry Finlay (1849 - 1924), British astronomer.


Carl Ernst Albrecht Hartwig (1851 - 1923), German astronomer.


Pietro Paolo Giovanni Ernesto Baracchi (Feb 25, 1851 - Jul 23, 1926), Italian astronomer.


Guillaume Bigourdan (Apr 6, 1851 - Feb 28, 1932), French astronomer.


Gerhard Lohse

J. Gerhard Lohse (1851 - 1941), German/British astronomer.


John Dreyer; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Johann (John) Louis Emil Dreyer (1852 - 1926), Danish-Irish astronomer.


John Schaeberle; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Johann (John) Martin Schaeberle (1853 - 1924), German-American astronomer.


David Peck Todd (1855 - 1939), American astronomer.


Solon Irving Bailey (Dec 29, 1854 - Jun 5, 1931), American astronomer.


James Edward Keeler (1857 - 1900), American astronomer.


Williaminia Fleming; click image for Wikipedia article about her

Williamina Paton Stevens Fleming (1857 - 1911), Scottish-American astronomer. Abandoned by her husband, she was reduced to working as a maid. Her employer, a professor of astronomy at Harvard, was so dissatisfied with the work of his assistants that he claimed "My maid could do a better job." And she did, becoming one of the most famous female astronomers of the 19th century, and an honorary member of the Royal Astronomical Society.


Edward Barnard; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Edward Emerson Barnard (Dec 16, 1857 - Feb 6, 1923), American astronomer.


Samuel Oppenheim; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Samuel Oppenheim (1857 - 1928), Austrian astronomer. (Photo from Scientific Web, no original attribution provided; however, based on the appearance of its subject, it must have been taken in the 1800's, and is therefore almost certainly in the public domain.)


Julius Scheiner (Nov 25, 1858 - Dec 20, 1913), German astronomer.


Herbert Howe

Herbert Alonzo Howe (1858 - 1926), American astronomer. Howe is credited with discovering 60 IC objects, with the 20" refractor at Chamberlin Observatory, in Denver.


Francis Leavenworth

Francis Preserved Leavenworth (1858 - 1928), American astronomer.


Thomas Henry Espinall Compton Espin (1858 - 1934), British astronomer.


Herbert Wilson

Herbert Couper Wilson (1858 - 1940), American astronomer.


Hermann Albert Kobold (1858 - 1942), German astronomer.


Vincenzo Cerulli; click image for brief Wikipedia article about him

Vincenzo Cerulli (Apr 20, 1859 - May 31, 1927), Italian astronomer.


Rudolf Ferdinand Spitaler (1859 - 1946), Austrian astronomer.


Robert Thorburn Ayton Innes (Nov 11, 1861 - Mar 13, 1933), Scottish-South African astronomer.


No image available

Frank Muller (1862 - 1917), American astronomer. Credited with the discovery of nearly a hundred NGC / IC objects.


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Paul Ewald Felix Hugo Clemens (Oct 20, 1862 - Dec 22, 1936), German astronomer.

Clemens discovered one NGC/IC object, IC 4996, marking it as a cluster of 12 stars; but though Clemens was the original discoverer, Dreyer incorrectly credited Frank Bellamy as the discoverer.

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N. M. Parrish (? - ?), American astronomer. An observer (assistant?) at the Leander McCormick Observatory of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, from 1887 - 1890, when Ormond Stone was director of the observatory.


Max Wolf; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Maximilian (Max) Franz Josef Cornelius Wolf (Jun 21, 1863 - Oct 3, 1932), German astronomer. Wolf was one of the first to fully realize the utility of astrophotography, and discovered 248 asteroids, and nearly 6 thousand nebulae, of which more than a thousand are IC objects. His name is most famously connected, however, with his measurements of the proper motions of more than 1500 faint stars, many of which, such as Wolf 359, are exceptionally close to the Sun (Wolf 359 being closer than any other known stars, save for Rigel Kentaurus and Barnard's Star).


Frank Bellamy; no Wikipedia article about him currently available

Frank Arthur Bellamy (Oct 17, 1863 - Feb 15, 1936), British astronomer.

Bellamy discovered only one NGC/IC object (IC 4996), measuring the positions of over 100 stars in the open cluster; but after publishing his observations he discovered that it had already been observed (though not in as much detail) by Hugo Clemens, so though credited with the discovery by Dreyer, Bellamy was not the original discoverer.

Friedrich Bidschof

Friedrich Bidschof (Dec 6, 1864 - Dec 7, 1915), Austrian astronomer.


Stephane Javelle; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Stephane Javelle (1864 - 1918), French astronomer. Discovered over 1400 IC objects, more than any other observer, using the 30" refractor at the Nice Observatory.


Robert Aitken; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Robert Grant Aitken (Dec 31, 1864 - Oct 29, 1951), American astronomer.


No image available; click here for Wikipedia article about him

Walter Frederick Gale (1865 - 1945), Australian astronomer.


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Joseph Lunt (1866 - 1940), British-South African astronomer.


No image available; click here for Swedish Wikipedia article (translated into English) about him.

Vsevolod Viktorovich Stratonov (Apr 4, 1869 - Jul 6, 1938), Russian astronomer. After the Russian Revolution Stratonov became a political refugee. He was a professor of astronomy at Prague University when he committed suicide. His one IC discovery (IC 1990) was made at the Tashkent Observatory in Uzbekistan.


DeLisle Stewart; click image for Wikipedia article about him

DeLisle Stewart (1870 - 1941), American astronomer.


Edwin Coddington; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Edwin Foster Coddington (Jun 24, 1870 - Dec 21, 1950), American astronomer.


Arnold Schwassmann; click image for Wikipedia article about him

Friedrich Karl Arnold Schwassmann (1870 - 1964), German astronomer.


Edward Swift at 13; click image for brief Wikipedia article about him

Edward Swift (1871 - 1945), American astronomer. Son of Lewis Swift and his second wife Caroline, Swift worked with his father on an occasional basis while between the ages of 13 and 20, discovering 46 nebulae and one comet.


Royal Harwood Frost (1879 - 1950), American astronomer. Frost worked as an astronomical assistant at Harvard College Observatory under Edward Pickering, but did his most productive astronomical work at the Arequipa observatory, in Peru. During the dozen years he did astronomical observations he discovered 454 IC objects, and an asteroid (505 Cava).


Adelaide Ames; click image for brief Wikipedia article about her

Adelaide Ames (1900 - June 26, 1932, American astronomer. Ames was not involved in the original discovery of NGC/IC objects, but is mentioned in a number of entries on this site as a result of her confirmation or refutation of discoveries by earlier Harvard observers. In her unfortunately short life she became a well-respected astronomer and research assistant, and was Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin's closest friend at Harvard. She was Harlow Shapley's assistant from 1924 to her death, the chief contributor of the data on which his theories were based (she discovered over 3000 galaxies in a hundred square degree region in Coma Berenices and Virgo), and the Shapley-Ames Catalog is named after her. (The source of the thumbnail image can be viewed here. Any commercial use of the original image may require the permission of the copyright holder.)

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