The "missing" Lacaille objects
Ten of the 42 entries in
Lacaille's Catalog of Nebulae in the Southern Skies are not commonly
recognized as Deepsky Objects. Glen Cozens (gc) has investigated Lacaille's
positions/entries for these objects, which in turn caused the present author
to have a closer look on these identifications and the result.
This work is still in flow, so the preliminary material given here should be
taken with the appropriate care.
Independently, Ronald Stoyan (rs) of Germany has taken a new effort to
identify the missing Lacaille objects.
Please send me any comments,
corrections, errata and contributions.
Former attempts by Owen Gingerich (1960) and Kenneth Glyn Jones (1975) of the
identification of Lac II.8 (with
NGC 3293) failed due to unknown strange
reasons, perhaps because Arthur Auwers had once added a question mark to his
cautious identification of this object.
Vehrenberg has it, though.
- Lac I.13 (NGC 6777, GC 4484; double star)
- Two stars mag 8.0 and 8.3 [gc]
- strange that Lacaille found it resembling the preceding, Lac. I.12 =
Formerly, induced by this description, Owen Gingerich (1960) had proposed
this object might be identified with globular cluster NGC 6752, but this
globular is over 12 deg away from Lacaille's position [rs].
- Lac I.11 (NGC 6634, GC 5076; 3 stars)
- Three stars mag 8.3, 7.8, 8.7 [gc].
Messier (probably) mis-identified his own discovery, globular cluster
M69, with Lac I.11. However, M69 is probably
too faint for Lacaille's modest telescope, off in position, and there are the
3 stars at Lacaille's position.
- Lac II.1 (asterism)
- Twelve stars of mag 7.6 to 9.5 [gc].
- Lac II.2 (open cluster?)
- Eight stars of mag 5.9 to 8.9 [gc].
May be open cluster Collinder 140, which is
2 deg N [rs].
- Lac II.6 (open cluster?)
- Open Cluster Trumpler 10
[gc, confirmed by rs].
This cluster is situated about 12' W and 11' S of Lacaille's position.
It is of 15' apparent diameter, total visual mag 4.6, with about 40 stars
up to mag 6.42, so clearly within the reach of Lacaille's equipment (even
visible to the naked eye under good observing conditions).
- Lac II.11 (asterism)
- Line of 8 stars mag 6.6 to 8.5 [gc].
- Lac III.1 (star)
- Star mag 7.2 [gc],
= HD 32806 = SAO 217150 of mag 7.1 [rs].
- Lac III.3 (open cluster?)
- Open Cluster
van den Bergh-Hagen (vdB-Ha) 47.
This cluster is situated very close to Lacailles position (2' W, 1' S)
which is well within the cluster's diameter of 13'
[hf, confirmed by gc and rs].
- Lac III.9 (asterism)
- Three stars of mag 8.1, 7.6, 7.9 [gc].
- Lac III.14 (asterism)
- Three stars of mag 8.4, 8.2, 9.1 [gc].
Also, Ronald finds from its description and position that Lacaille III.5
is probably open cluster Collinder 228,
situated in the southern part of the Eta Carinae Nebula
NGC 3372, not a duplication of Lacaille
III.6 as is proposed by Gingerich (and consequently, Vehrenberg).
- Cozens, Glen, private communications 1998-2000.
- Gingerich, Owen, 1960.
Abbe Lacaille's List of Clusters and Nebulae. Sky & Telescope 2/1960.
- Glyn Jones, Kenneth, 1975.
The Search for the Nebulae.
- Stoyan, Ronald, 2001. Der Katalog von [The catalog of]
Abbé Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille (1713-1762).
interstellarum No. 18 (July 2001), p. 46-48. In German.
- Vehrenberg, Hans, Atlas of Deep Sky Splendors.
Vehrenberg+Sky Publishing. 1st ed 1965, 3rd ed. 1978.
Chapter on "La Caille and his catalogue of southern objects."
Last Modification: September 18, 2007