ASSA Top-100 Observing List

Introduction

ASSA Top-100 badge

The ASSA Top-100 is an observing challenge for the novice and seasoned observer alike. Hand-picked and collected together in a single list for the first time are the 100 best galaxies, star clusters and nebulae visible in the southern skies. Many can be seen with the naked eye and all are visible in binoculars, so a telescope is not essential to see them. For each 20 objects you observe, the Society will issue a General Observer’s Certificate in recognition of your work (given that the observations meet basic quality standards). Your observations will also be added to the DOC Deep Sky Database.

Download the Top-100 list

Download the ASSA Top-100 as a PDF (102 kB) or scroll down to the bottom of the page for the table.

How do I submit observations?

Send your observations by e-mail to [auke  psychohistorian.org] or by snail-mail to: [Auke Slotegraaf, Director: ASSA Deep Sky Observing Section, 14 Mount Grace, Somerset Ridge, Somerset West, 7130, South Africa]. Sketches submitted by snail-mail will not be returned unless you include a self-addressed & stamped envelope. When submitting sketches by e-mail, make sure they are scanned/photographed at good quality. Don’t hesistate to contact me for further details. I look forward to receiving your deep sky observations!

How do I record an observation?

Guidelines for recording observations can be found in the “Deep Sky Observing Checklist“. You may also want to take a look at the “Deep Sky Observer’s Companion tutorial“, a thorough introduction to deep sky observing techniques.

“As stargazers we should practice what Lee Cains calls ‘the serene art of visual observing.’ We must learn to see with the mind as well as the eye. This means really examining and contemplating the varied scenes before us in the eyepiece. All deep sky objects deserve at least 15 minutes of your time. Glancing at an object once it’s found and then rushing to another and another is like reading only the Cliff’s Notes of the world’s great novels.” – James Mullaney

Brief summary of the list

Of the 100 gems, 86 appear in the NGC (New General Catalogue), six are from the IC (Index Catalogue) and the remaining eight are from various other catalogues. The objects are spread about the sky, but all are south of the celestial equator. The most southerly object has a declination of −79.3°. Several objects are circumpolar from southern Africa, and in any given month, more than 45 of the 100 objects can be seen during the course of an evening.

Who’s completed the Top-100 Challenge?

  1. Percy Jacobs (2013 September; ASSA Pretoria Centre)
  2. Louis Kloke (2013 September; ASSA Pretoria Centre)
  3. Michael Moller (2013 September; ASSA Pretoria Centre)
  4. George Dehlen (2013 March; ASSA Pretoria Centre)

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Who is busy with the Top-100 Challenge?

  1. Michael Poll (ASSA Pretoria Centre)
  2. Pat Kühn (ASSA Pretoria Centre)
  3. Craig Kloke (ASSA Pretoria Centre)
  4. Grant Thompson (ASSA Pretoria Centre)
  5. Andre de la Porte (ASSA Pretoria Centre)
  6. Graham Low (ASSA Pretoria Centre)
  7. Albie Lombard (ASSA Pretoria Centre)
  8. Richard Ford (ASSA Cape Centre)

Photographing the Top-100

To date (2016 November) three astrophotographers have undertaken the project of photographing these glorious objects.

Michael Moller (Centurion), John Gill (Durban) and Barbara Cunow (Pretoria) are to be congratulated on completing this task!

Collage by Barbara CunowASSA Top-100 photographed by Barbara Cunow

Collage by Michael MollerASSA Top-100 photographed by Michael Moller
Collage by John GillASSA Top-100 photographed by John Gill

The Top-100 Deep-Sky Objects

N ID Other designations Ben Type Mag Size Con/td> RA Dec
1 NGC 55 LEDA 1014 1 Glxy 7.9 32’x5.6’ Scl 00 15 –39 11
2 NGC 104 47 Tucanae 2 Glcl 4.5 31’ Tuc 00 24 – 72 05
3 NGC 247 LEDA 2758 3 Glxy 8.9 18’ x 5’ Cet 00 47 – 20 46
4 NGC 246 PN G118.8-74.7 Plnb 8.5 4’ x 3.5’ Cet 00 47 – 11 53
5 NGC 253 Silver Coin 4 Glxy 7.1 22’ x 6’ Scl 00 48 – 25 17
6 NGC 288 Mel 3 5 Glcl 8.1 14’ Scl 00 53 – 26 35
7 SMC Glxy 2.3 5° x 3° Tuc 00 53 – 72 50
8 NGC 362 Mel 4 7 Glcl 6.6 13’ Tuc 01 03 – 70 51
9 NGC 1068 M 77 9 Glxy 8.9 7.1’ x 6.0’ Cet 02 43 – 00 01
10 NGC 1261 GCl 5 11 Glcl 8.4 7’ Hor 03 12 – 55 13
11 NGC 1291 NGC 1269 12 Glxy 9 11’ Eri 03 17 – 41 08
12 NGC 1316 Fornax A 14 Glxy 8.5 12‘ x 8.5’ For 03 23 – 37 12
13 NGC 1365 LEDA 13179 16 Glxy 9.5 9’ x 4’ For 03 34 – 36 08
14 NGC 1535 PN G206.4-40.5 22 Plnb 9.3 20” x 17” Eri 04 14 – 12 44
15 NGC 1851 GCl 9 32 Glcl 7.3 11’ Col 05 14 – 40 03
16 LMC Glxy 0.5 11° x 9° Dor 05 24 – 69 45
17 NGC 1904 M 79 34 Glcl 8.4 3’ Lep 05 25 – 24 33
18 NGC 1976 Orion Nebula, M 42 BrtN 2.9 1.1° x 1° Ori 05 35 – 05 27
19 NGC 1977 BrtN 4.6 20’ x 10’ Ori 05 36 – 04 52
20 NGC 2070 Tarantula Nebula 35 BrtN 40’ Dor 05 39 – 69 06
21 NGC 2287 Messier 41 OpCl 4.6 38’ CMa 06 46 – 20 46
22 NGC 2362 Tau CMa cluster OpCl 4.1 8’ CMa 07 19 – 24 57
23 NGC 2422 Messier 47 OpCl 4.5 30’ Pup 07 37 – 14 30
24 NGC 2437 Messier 46 OpCl 6.1 27’ Pup 07 42 – 14 49
25 NGC 2451 VdB-H 9 OpCl 2.8 45’ Pup 07 45 – 37 58
26 NGC 2447 M 93 OpCl 6.2 22’ Pup 07 45 – 23 52
27 NGC 2477 VdB-H 13 OpCl 5.7 27’ Pup 07 52 – 38 33
28 NGC 2516 OCl 776.0 OpCl 3.8 30 Car 07 58 – 60 52
29 NGC 2547 OpCl 4.7 20’ Vel 08 11 – 49 16
30 NGC 2548 M 48 OpCl 5.8 55’ Hya 08 14 – 05 48
31 IC 2391 omicron Vel Cluster OpCl 2.5 50’ Vel 08 40 – 53 04
32 NGC 2808 GCl 13 41 Glcl 6.3 14’ Car 09 12 – 64 52
33 NGC 2818 PN G261.9+08.5 OpCl 8.2 9’ Pyx 09 16 – 36 37
34 IC 2488 VdB-H 69 OpCl 7.4 15’ Vel 09 28 – 56 59
35 NGC 3114 VdB-H 86 OpCl 4.2 35’ Car 10 03 – 60 07
36 NGC 3115 Spindle Galaxy 42 Glxy 8.9 7.2’ x2.5’ Sex 10 05 – 07 43
37 NGC 3132 Eight-Burst Nebula 43 Plnb 8.2 84” x 53” Vel 10 08 – 40 26
38 NGC 3201 GCl 15 44 Glcl 6.8 18’ Vel 10 18 – 46 25
39 NGC 3242 Ghost of Jupiter 45 Plnb 8.6 16” Hya 10 25 – 18 38
40 IC 2581 VdB-H 97 OpCl 4.3 8’ Car 10 27 – 57 38
41 NGC 3293 Cr 224 OpCl 4.7 40 Car 10 36 – 58 14
42 NGC 3324 Ced 108 BrtN 6.7 6’ Car 10 37 – 58 38
43 IC 2602 Southern Pleiades OpCl 1.9 50’ Car 10 43 – 64 24
44 NGC 3372 eta Carinae Nebula BrtN 5 120’ Car 10 44 – 59 52
45 NGC 3532 VdB-H 109 OpCl 3 55’ Car 11 06 – 58 40
46 NGC 3766 BRAN 360, VdB-H 120 OpCl 5.3 12 Cen 11 36 – 61 37
47 NGC 3918 Blue Planetary Plnb 8.4 12 Cen 11 50 – 57 11
48 NGC 4361 PN G294.1+43.6 Plnb 10.3 45” Crv 12 25 – 18 48
49 Black Python SDC 301.0-08.6c DrkN 80’ x 3’ Mus 12 27 – 71 25
50 NGC 4594 Sombrero, M 104 52 Glxy 8 8.7’ x 3.5’ Vir 12 40 – 11 37
51 Coalsack DrkN 6.5° x 5° Cru 12 53 – 63 00
52 NGC 4755 Herschel’s Jewel Box OpCl 4.2 10’ Cru 12 54 – 60 20
53 NGC 4833 GCl 21 56 Glcl 7.4 14’ Mus 13 00 – 70 53
54 NGC 4945 LEDA 45279 57 Glxy 8.3 20’ x 3.8’ Cen 13 05 – 49 28
55 NGC 5128 Centaurus A 60 Glxy 7 18’ x 14’ Cen 13 26 – 43 01
56 NGC 5139 Omega Centauri 61 Glcl 3.7 36’ Cen 13 27 – 47 29
57 NGC 5189 IC 4274 62 Plnb 10.3 2.6’ Mus 13 34 – 65 59
58 NGC 5236 M 83 63 Glxy 7.5 13’ x 11’ Hya 13 37 – 29 52
59 NGC 5281 VdB-H 152 OpCl 5.9 5’ Cen 13 47 – 62 54
60 NGC 5460 C 1404-480 OpCl 5.6 25’ Cen 14 08 – 48 19
61 NGC 5662 VdB-H 162 OpCl 5.5 12’ Cen 14 35 – 56 33
62 NGC 5822 VdB-H 168, Mel 130 OpCl 6.5 40’ Lup 15 05 – 54 21
63 NGC 5823 VdB-H 169, Mel 131 OpCl 7.9 10’ Cir 15 06 – 55 36
64 Barnard 228 Be 148 DrkN 4° x 20’ Lup 15 45 – 34 24
65 NGC 6025 VdB-H 181 OpCl 5.1 12’ TrA 16 04 – 60 30
66 NGC 6067 Mel 140 OpCl 5.6 13’ Nor 16 13 – 54 13
67 NGC 6087 S Norma Cluster OpCl 5.4 12’ Nor 16 19 – 57 54
68 NGC 6121 Me 4, GCl 41 75 Glcl 6 26’ Sco 16 24 – 26 32
69 NGC 6124 C 1622-405 OpCl 5.8 29’ Sco 16 26 – 40 40
70 NGC 6193 VdB-H 195 OpCl 5.2 15’ Ara 16 41 – 48 46
71 NGC 6218 M 12 80 Glcl 6.6 15’ Oph 16 47 – 01 57
72 NGC 6231 VdB-H 201 OpCl 2.6 15’ Sco 16 54 – 41 48
73 NGC 6254 Me 10 83 Glcl 6.6 15’ Oph 16 57 – 04 06
74 NGC 6266 Me 62, GCl 51 85 Glcl 6.6 14’ Oph 17 01 – 30 07
75 NGC 6273 M 19, GCl 52 86 Glcl 7.1 14’ Oph 17 03 – 26 16
76 NGC 6281 Cr 324 OpCl 5.4 8’ Sco 17 05 – 37 54
77 B 59-78 Pipe Nebula DrkN Oph 17 25 – 26 30
78 NGC 6405 Butterfly Cluster, M 6 OpCl 4.2 15’ Sco 17 40 – 32 13
79 NGC 6397 GCl 74 98 Glcl 5.6 26’ Ara 17 41 – 53 40
80 NGC 6475 Ptolemy’s Cluster, M 7 OpCl 3.3 80’ Sco 17 54 – 34 49
81 NGC 6494 M 23 OpCl 5.5 27’ Sgr 17 57 – 19 01
82 NGC 6514 Trifid Nebula, M 20 BrtN 8.5 29’ x 27’ Sgr 18 03 – 23 02
83 NGC 6523 Lagoon Nebula, M 8 BrtN 5.8 1.5° x 0.7° Sgr 18 04 – 24 23
84 NGC 6531 M 21 OpCl 5.9 13’ Sgr 18 05 – 22 30
85 NGC 6541 GCl 86 Glcl 6.6 13’ CrA 18 08 – 43 42
86 NGC 6584 GCl 92 107 Glcl 9.2 8’ Tel 18 19 – 52 13
87 NGC 6618 Omega Nebula, M 17 108 BrtN 7 0.8° x 0.6° Sgr 18 21 – 16 11
88 IC 4715 M 24 *cld 3.1 95’ x 35’ Sgr 18 27 – 18 23
89 IC 4725 M 25 OpCl 4.6 32’ Sgr 18 32 – 19 15
90 NGC 6656 M 22 114 Glcl 5.1 24’ Sgr 18 36 – 23 54
91 NGC 6705 Wild Duck Cluster, M 11 116 OpCl 5.8 14’ Sct 18 51 – 06 16
92 NGC 6723 ESO 396-SC010 119 Glcl 7.2 11’ Sgr 18 59 – 36 38
93 R CrA DCld359.8-17.9 DrkN 110’ x 28’ CrA 19 02 – 37 03
94 NGC 6744 LEDA 62836 120 Glxy 9 15’ x 10’ Pav 19 10 – 63 51
95 NGC 6752 GCl 108 121 Glcl 5.4 20’ Pav 19 11 – 59 59
96 NGC 6809 M 55 122 Glcl 7 19’ Sgr 19 40 – 30 58
97 Melotte 227 Cr 411 OpCl 5.3 50’ Oct 20 12 – 79 19
98 NGC 7089 M 2 127 Glcl 6.5 13’ Aqr 21 34 – 00 49
99 NGC 7099 M 30 128 Glcl 7.5 11’ Cap 21 40 – 23 11
100 NGC 7293 Helix Nebula 129 Plnb 6.5 15’ x 12’ Aqr 22 30 – 20 48