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Herschel 400 Observing Guide


  • Page extent: 380 pages
  • Size: 276 x 219 mm
  • Weight: 1.59 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 520
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: n/a
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Astronomy--Observers' manuals

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521858939)

  • Published July 2007

Temporarily unavailable - no date available

$92.00 (G)

The Herschel 400 is a list of 400 galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters, picked from over 2,500 deep-sky objects discovered and catalogued by the great eighteenth-century astronomer Sir William Herschel and his sister Caroline. It comprises 231 galaxies, 107 open clusters, 33 globular clusters, 20 planetary nebulae, 2 halves of a single planetary nebula, and 7 bright nebulae. In this guide Steve O'Meara takes the observer through the list, season by season, month by month, night by night, object by object. He works through the objects in a carefully planned and methodical way, taking in some of the most dramatic non-Messier galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters in the night sky. Ideal for astronomers who have tackled the Messier objects, this richly illustrated guide will help the amateur astronomer hone their observing skills.


Preface; Introduction; Part I. Winter: 1. January; 2. February; 3. March; Part II. Spring: 4. April; 5. May; 6. June; Part III. Summer: 7. July; 8. August; 9. September; Part IV. Fall: 10. October; 11. November; 12. December; Appendix A. Herschel 400 observing list; Appendix B. Herschel 400 checklist; Appendix C. Photo credits; Index.


"O'Meara takes a list of admittedly faint objects and injects new life into them. Right or wrong, many amateur astronomers won't consider you a top-level observer until you've completed the Herschel 400. Don't do it for them, however. Pick up this book, set up your telescope, and do it for yourself. It's a lot of fun."
Michael Bakich, Astronomy Online

'O'Meara is well known for his columns in both Sky & Telescope and Astronomy magazines as well as his previous three books on deep-sky observing. The Herschel guide is a bit different from his previous ones as, due to the larger number of objects presented, there are only short descriptions of each one along with an image from the DSS. The book starts with a short introduction to deep-sky observing and then the meat of the book is divided into … sections that cover when to observe objects by season. … it is a far better guide to the Herschel objects that the one available from the AL. It is well presented … to be recommended to observers looking for an organized project with medium-sized telescopes after completing the Messier list.' The Observatory

"The layout is very well thought out. ... The book is very well indexed to ensure that there is no difficulty in locating objects. ... [The author] works through the objects in a carefully planned and methodical way, ensuring that a minimum of telescope time is employed both in locating objects and in moving from one object to the next. The author explains clearly how to locate each object and gives a short description. ... I would recommend this book to experienced observers who wish to progress beyond the Messier and the Caldwell objects." - Alex Crowther, Astronomy & Space

"...a very good book, whose main strength is its instructions for locating objects. Even if you are not interested in seeing all the Herschel 400 objects, I recommend it as a good mid-range guide to the deep sky." --Journal of the British Astrological Association

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