About the Deep-Sky Gems List
During a lifetime of comet hunting David Levy has swept up many unique and interesting deep-sky objects and through this certificate he shares with us the best 154 of his Deep Sky Objects (Prometheus Books, New York 2005). Leo Enright is credited with planting the seed from which this certificate has grown and invested a great deal of time on the project.
Many deep-sky objects in the list are from the NGC and IC but it also contains unique objects, such as Levy 384, Tombaugh’s Cluster, and a dust field. The Deep-Sky Gems list was first published in the RASC Observer's Handbook in 2008. The application forms can be found from a link at the bottom of this page.
Below is an overview of the Deep-Sky Gems observing list:
|Open Clusters||14||Including the overlooked naked-eye open cluster NGC 752, Tombaugh’s Cluster, and the Christmas Tree Cluster in Monoceros.|
|Globular Clusters||14||“Intergalactic Wanderer” in Lynx and Globular cluster in NGC 7006 in Delphinus.|
|Bright Nebulae||7||Unusual objects such as NGC 1333, the Embryo Nebula, and NGC 7023, The Iris Nebula, along with other “weird” nebulae. Some are associated with nearby star clusters.|
|Planetary Nebulae||1||Their size and brightness make an interesting comparison.|
|Galaxies||112||Large and small, round and elongated, there is a great variety of galaxies, spiral, elliptical, and unusual.|
|Double Quasar||1||This is the remarkable double quasar known to act as a gravitational lens +561A/B in Ursa Major|
|Nebula-Dust-Field||1||NGC 2174 known as the Monkey Head Nebula|
IC and Arp clusters visible in medium sized scopes.
|Asterism||1||This is a very special asterism that has gained recognition in observational literature as "Levy 384" in Puppis|
NOTE: A revision has been made to remove duplicates that exist in other RASC Certificate Programs and the update will appear in future editions of the Observers Handbook. Two objects exist in our Finest NGC Certificate Program as well as two from the Deep-Sky Challenge Certificate Program. Replacement objects were selected from candidates obtained after reviewing David's original Deep-Sky Objects list, in consultation with Dr. Levy and Mr. Enright's work.
List of duplicates as printed in 2012:
|Levy #||Object||R.A. (2000)||Dec.||Mag.||Size (')||U||UDSA||Notes|
|L1||NGC 1931||05 31.4||+34 15||13.0||4 × 4||97||59||A “Finest” condensed nebula in Auriga|
|L245||NGC 6781||19 18.4||+06 33||11.4||>1.8||206||85||Planetary nebula in Aquila|
|L325||IC 1795||02 26.5||+62 04||40 × 15||17||17||Bright nebula in Cassiopeia|
|L381||U 5470||10 08.5||+12 18||10.2||12.0 × 9.3||189||92||Dwarf elliptical galaxy in Leo|
|Levy #||Object||R.A. (2000)||Dec.||Mag.||Size (')||Notes|
|18 03.6||-30 02||8.3||16.4||Baade's Window; two faint globular clusters close to Galactic Centre - Sagittarius|
|L120||NGC 6451||17 50.7||-30 13||8.2||7||Note: "Tom Thumb Cluster" Small Scorpius Open Cluster; Galactic Centre - Scorpius|
|L324||Tombaugh 5||03 47.8||+59 03||8.4||14||Note: Open Cluster - Camelopardalis|
|L140||NGC 4485||12 30.5||+41.42||11.9||2 x 1.3||Elongated Galaxy, just N of NGC 4490 Cocoon Galaxy - Canes Venatici|
The RASC's Deep-Sky Gems Certificate
The Deep-Sky Gems is an excellent project for those who have completed their Messier and NGC Certificates and are looking for another visual observing program. The official list can be found in the RASC Observer's Handbook. At least a 20-cm (8-inch) telescope is recommended for tackling the list, but an instrument with an aperture in the 40-cm (16-inch) range will be needed to satisfactorily observe the quasar. A nebular filter will assist in observing most of the nebulae. Several Deep-Sky Gems may be observed in smaller instruments or without optical aid, so that virtually anyone can begin this project without a trip to the scope shop. Nebular filters will assist in the observation of faint glowing clouds of gas, but note that reflection nebula to not benefit from such filtration.
The Deep-Sky Gems certificate can be started during any season. You must be a member in good standing of the RASC to be awarded this certificate.
Here are some recommended resources to help you tackle the Deep-Sky Gems Certificate program:
Deep Sky Objects - by David H Levy, The Best and Brightest from Four Decades of Comet Chasing.
Sky Atlas 2000 - by Will Tirion is an excellent sky chart set that contains all of the objects on the Finest NGC list.
The Night Sky Observer's Guide - by George Robert Kepple and Glen W. Sanner contains descriptions and finder charts for most of the objects on the Finest NGC list.
|Deep-Sky Gems Tradtional Application Form||224.04 KB|
|Deep-Sky Gems Computer-Aided Application Form||225.51 KB|