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Common Names for Deep Sky Objects

         Compiled by Hartmut Frommert 

   Also look at our List of Common Names for Messier Objects:


   You are invited to email me additional names for deep sky objects !

   This file is also available as html file at 

Name                         NGC/IC     M     Notes

30 Doradus                   N2070            Tarantula Nebula in LMC
47 Tucanae                   N 104
Ambartsumian's Knot          N3561
Andromeda Galaxy             N 224       M31
Andromeda I                                   00:45.7  +38:00  in Local Group
Andromeda II                                  01:16.3  +33:25  in Local Group
Andromeda III                                 00:35.3  +36:31  in Local Group
Andromeda IV                                  00:42.5  +40:34  in Local Group (?)
Ant Nebula                                    16:17.2  -51:59  PK 331-1.1 bipolar nebula
Antares Nebula                                16:29.2  -26:27  Ced 132, near Antares, also Cloud Nebula
Antennae Galaxies            N4038-9          also Ring Tail Galaxies, VV 245
Apple Core Nebula            N6853       M27  (J.R. Freeman); also the Dumbbell Nebula
Apple Core Nebula            N 650-1     M76  (Mike Frazier); also Little Dumbbell, Cork, or Butterfly Nebula
Aquarius Dwarf                                20:46.9  -12:51  DDO 210, in Local Group
Arp's Galaxy                                  11:19.6  +51:30
Atom For Peace Galaxy        N7252            Arp 226
Auriga Salt-and-Pepper       N2099       M37  (Jeff Bondono)
BL Lacertae                                   22:02.7  +42:17
BW Tauri                                      04:33.2  +05:21  UGC 3087, 3C 120
Baade's Galaxies A & B                        00:49.9  +42:35  MCG+07-02-018/19
Barbell Nebula               N 650-1     M76  also Little Dumbbell, Butterfly, or Cork Nebula; Apple Core Nebula (Mike Frazier)
Barbon's Galaxy                               23:37.7  +30:08  Markarian 328, Zwicky 497.042
Barnard's Galaxy             N6822
Barnard's Loop                                05:35    -03:    Sharpless 2-276, H V.35 ?
Baxendall's Nebula           N7088            Baxendall's unphotographable Nebula
Bear Paw (Claw) Galaxy       N2537            Arp 6
Beehive Cluster              N2632       M44  also Praesepe
Black Eye Galaxy             N4826       M64  also "Sleeping Beauty Galaxy"
Blinking Planetary           N6826
Blue Planetary               N3918
Blue Snowball                N7662
Bode's Galaxies (Nebulae)    N3031/4     M81/M82
Bode's Galaxy, Bode's Nebula N3031       M81  (Murdin/Allen/Malin 1979)
Boomerang Nebula                              12:44.8  -54:31  Bipolar Nebula
Box                          N4169/73-5
Box Nebula                   N6309
Brocchi's Cluster                             19:25.4  +20:11  Collinder 399 open cluster, also Coathanger Cl.
Bubble Nebula                N7635
Bug Nebula                   N6302
Burbidge Chain                                00:47.5  -20:26  MCG-04-03-010..3 galaxies
Burnham's Nebula                              04:22.0  +19:32  T Tauri Nebula
Butterfly Cluster            N6405        M6  (`Splendors of the Heavens', Phillips/Steaphenson 1923)
Butterfly Cluster            N2447       M93  (Jeff Bondono)
Butterfly Nebula             N 650-1     M76  also Little Dumbbell, Cork, or Barbell Nebula; Apple Core Nebula (Mike Frazier)
Butterfly Nebula             I2220
CM Tauri                                      SN 1054, Crab supernova which generated M1, the Crab Nebula
California Nebula            N1499
Capricorn Dwarf                               21:46.5  -21:14  Palomar 12 Globular Cluster
Carafe Galaxy, Cannon's                       04:28.0  -47:54  near NGC 1595/98
Carafe Group                 N1595/8          + Carafe Galaxy
Carina Dwarf                                  06:41.6  -50:58  in Local Group
Cartwheel Galaxy                              00:37.4  -33:44  MCG-06-02-022a
Cassiopeia A                                  23:23.4  +58:50  3C 461. SNR and strongest radio source in sky
Cassiopeia Salt-and-Pepper   N7654       M52  (Jeff Bondono)
Cat Eye Nebula               N6543
Cave Nebula                                   22:56.8  +62:37  Diffuse Nebula
Centaurus A                  N5128            Arp 153
Cetus A                      N1068       M77
Checkmark Nebula             N6618       M17  also Omega, Swan, Horseshoe, or Lobster Nebula
Chi Persei                   N 884            Double Cluster with NGC 869 (h Persei)
Christmas Tree Cluster       N2264            associated with the Cone Nebula
Cigar Galaxy                 N3034       M82  (Tom Polakis)
Circinus Galaxy                               14:13.2  -65:20  Highly obscured spiral galaxy
Cirrus Nebula                N6960,92,95      Cygnus SNR, Cygnus Loop, Veil Nebula
Cloud Nebula                                  16:29.2  -26:27  Antares Nebula, Ced 132
Clown Nebula, Clown Face N.  N2392            also Eskimo Nebula
Coalsack                                      12:53    -63     7-by-5 deg dark nebula near Alpha Crucis
Coathanger Cluster                            19:25.4  +20:11  Collinder 399 open cluster, also Brocchi's Cl.
Cocoon Nebula                I5146
Coddington's Nebula          I2574
Coma Pinwheel Galaxy         N4254       M99  (prop based on RASC)
Coma Star Cluster                             12:26    +26     Melotte 111 open cluster
Cone Nebula (Conus N.)       N2264            associated with the Christmas Tree Cluster
Cooling Tower                N6913       M29  (Jeff Bondono)
Copeland's Septet            N3745-6/8/50-1/3-4
Cork Nebula                  N650-1      M76  also Little Dumbbell, Butterfly, or Barbell Nebula; Apple Core Nebula (Mike Frazier)
Crab Nebula                  N1952        M1  (Rosse 1844)
Crab Pulsar                                   NP0532, central star of the Crab Nebula M1
Crescent Nebula              N6888
Cygnus A                                      19:59.4  +40:43  MCG+07-41-003
Cygnus Egg                                    21:02.3  +36:42  CRL 2688, AFGL 2688 planetary nebula; also Egg N.
Cygnus Loop                  N6960,92,95      Cygnus SNR, Veil Nebula, Cirrus Nebula
De Mairan's Nebula           N1982       M43  Part of the Orion Nebula
Delle Caustiche            > N6603       M24  (Secchi), also Sagittarius Star Cloud, Milky Way Patch
Diablo Nebula                N6853       M27  (Jeff Bondono, Sky Cat 2000), also the Dumbbell Nebula
Double Cluster               N 869/84         h+Chi Persei
Double-Headed Shot           N6853       M27  (Jeff Bondono, Sky Cat 2000), also the Dumbbell Nebula
Draco Dwarf                                   17:20.2  +57:55  DDO 208, UGC 10822; in Local Group
Dragon Nebula              < N5623      < M8  Part of the Lagoon Nebula (Sky Cat. 2000)
Dumbbell Nebula              N6853       M27  also Diablo Nebula (Jeff Bondono), Double-Head Shot (Jeff Bondono), Apple Core Nebula (J.R. Freeman)
Dumbbell Nebula, Little      N 650-1     M76  (Sky Catalogue 2000) also Cork, Butterfly, or Barbell Nebula; Apple Core Nebula (Mike Frazier)
Eagle Nebula                 I4703     ~ M16  also Star Queen Nebula; associated with cluster M16=NGC 6611
Eagle Nebula                 I2199
Egg Nebula                                    21:02.3  +36:42  CRL 2688, AFGL 2688 planetary nebula; also Cygnus Egg
Eight-burst Planetary        N3132
Eskimo Nebula                N2392            also Clown Nebula
Eta Carinae Nebula           N3372
Exclamation Mark Galaxy                       00:39.3  -43:06
Eyes                         N4435/8          in Virgo Cluster
Fath 703                     N5892
Filamentary Nebula           N6960            part of Veil Nebula
Flaming Star Nebula          I 405
Fornax A                     N1316            Arp 154
Fornax Dwarf                                  02:39.9  -34:32  MCG-06-07-001; in Local Group
Fourcade-Figuero                              13:34.8  -45:33  MCG-07-28-004
GR 8 (Gibson Reaves)                          12:58.7  +14:13  DDO 155, UGC 8091; in Local Group
Gamma Cassiopeiae Nebula     I  59,63
Gamma Cygni Nebula           I1318
Garland                                       10:04.2  +68:40  S of NGC 3077
Ghost of Jupiter             N3242
Grus Quartet                 N7552/82/90/99
h Persei                     N 869            Double Cluster with NGC 884 (Chi Persei)
Hardcastle's Galaxy                           13:13.0  -32:41  MCG-05-31-039
Heart-Shaped Cluster         N2323       M50  (Jeff Bondono)
Helix Galaxy                 N2685
Helix Nebula                 N7293
Hercules A                                    16:51.2  +04:59  MCG+01-43-006
Hercules Globular Cluster    N6205       M13
Herring Galaxy (Nebula)      N4631            (interstellarum No. 3)
Hind's Variable Nebula       N1555
Hoag's Object                                 15:17.2  +21:35
Holmberg I                                    09:40.5  +71:11  DDO 63, UGC 5139
Holmberg II                                   08:19.3  +70:43  Arp 268, DDO 50, UGC 4305
Holmberg III                                  09:14.6  +74:14  UGC 4841
Holmberg IV                                   13:54.7  +53:54  DDO 185, UGC 8837
Holmberg IX                                   09:57.6  +69:03  DDO 66, UGC 5336
Holmberg V                                    13:40.6  +54:20  UGC 8658
Holmberg VI                  N1325a           03:24.9  -21:20
Holmberg VII                                  12:34.7  +06:17  DDO 137, UGC 7739
Holmberg VIII                                 13:13.3  +36:12  DDO 166, UGC 8303
Horologium Dwarf                              03:59.2  -21:20  also Schuster's Spiral
Horsehead Nebula                              05:40.9  -02:28  Barnard 33, in front of IC 434
Horseshoe Nebula             N6618       M17  also Omega, Swan, Lobster, or Checkmark Nebula
Hourglass Nebula           < N5623      < M8  (A.D. Thackeray 1956) brightest part of the Lagoon Nebula
Hubble's Variable Nebula     N2261
Hyades                                        04:27    +16 :   Melotte 25
Hydra A                                       09:18.1  -12:06  MCG-02-24-007
Integral Sign Galaxy                          07:11.4  +71:50  UGC 3697
January Salt-and-Pepper      N2099       M37  (Jeff Bondono)
Jewel Box                    N4755
July Salt-and-Pepper         N6705       M11  (Jeff Bondono)
Kappa Crucis Cluster         N4755            also Jewel Box
Keenan's System              N5216/6a/8       Arp 104
Kowal's Object                                19:29.9  -17:41
Lace-work Nebula             N6960            = Filamentary Nebula, part of Veil Nebula
Lagoon Nebula                N6523        M8  contains the Hourglass Nebula
Lambda Centauri Nebula       I2944/48
Lambda Orionis Nebula                         05:35    +10:    Sharpless 2-264
Large Magellanic Cloud, LMC                   05:23.6  -69:45  "Nubecula Major"; in Local Group
Leo I                                         10:08.5  +12:18  Regulus dwarf, DDO 74, UGC 5470, Harrington-Wilson #1; in Local Group
Leo II, Leo B                                 11:13.4  +22:10  DDO 93, UGC 6253, Harrington-Wilson #2; in Local Group
Leo III, Leo A                                09:59.3  +30:45  DDO 69, UGC 5364; in Local Group
Leo Triplet                  N3623/7/8   M65/M66/NGC 3628
Lindsay-Shapley Ring                          06:42.8  -74:15  Graham A
Little Dumbbell Nebula       N 650-1     M76  (Sky Catalogue 2000) also Cork, Butterfly, or Barbell Nebula; Apple Core Nebula (Mike Frazier)
Little Gem                   N6445
LMC, Large Magellanic Cloud                   05:23.6  -69:45  "Nubecula Major"; in Local Group
Lobster Nebula               N6618       M17  (Steve Mencinsky) also Omega, Swan, Horseshoe, or Checkmark Nebula
Lord Rosse's Nebula (Galaxy) N5194       M51  Whirlpool Galaxy
Lost Galaxy                  N4535            in Virgo Cluster
Maffei I                                      02:36.4  +59:39  UGCA 34
Maffei II                                     02:42.0  +59:37  UGCA 39
Maia Nebula                  N1432     < M45  in the Pleiades
Malin 1                                       12:37.0  +14:20  behind Virgo Cluster
Mayall's Object                               11:03.9  +40:50  Arp 148, MCG+07-23-019
McLeish's Object                              20:09.7  -66:13
Merope Nebula                N1435     < M45  in the Pleiades
Merope Nebula Part           I 349     < M45  Part of Merope Nebula in the Pleiades
Mexican Jumping Star         N2362            (Bill Arnett) = Tau CMa cluster
Mice                         N4676
Milky Way Patch            > N6603       M24  also "Delle Caustiche"
Miniature Spiral             N3928
Minkowski's Object                            01:25.8  -01:21  Arp 133, NE of NGC 541
Network Nebula               N6992/5
North America Nebula         N7000
October Salt-and-Pepper      N7654       M52  (Jeff Bondono)
Omega Centauri               N5139
Omega Nebula                 N6618       M17  also Swan, Horseshoe, Lobster, or Checkmark Nebula
Omicron Velorum Cluster      I2391
Orion A                      N1976       M42  Orion Nebula
Orion B                      N2024
Orion Nebula                 N1976       M42  (de Mairan's Nebula M43 is a part of it)
Owl Cluster                  N 457
Owl Nebula                   N3587       M97
Pancake                      N2685            Arp 336
Papillon                     I 708
Pegasus Dwarf                                 23:28.5  +14:44  DDO 216, UGC 12613; in Local Group
Pelican Nebula               I5067/70
Perseus A                    N1275/6
Phoenix Dwarf Irregular G.                    01:51.1  -44:26
Pinwheel Cluster             N1960       M36  (Jeff Bondono)
Pinwheel Galaxy              N5457      M101  (Murdin/Allen/Malin 1979, Sky Catalogue 2000, RASC Observer's Handbook)
Pinwheel Galaxy              N 598       M33  (Burnham, RASC), also Triangulum Galaxy, prop: "Triangulum Pinwheel"
Pinwheel Galaxy              N4254       M99  (RASC) prop: "Coma Pinwheel" or "Virgo Cluster Pinwheel"
Pisces Cloud                 N 379/80/82-5    Arp 331
Pisces Dwarf                                  00:03.8  +21:54  LGS 3; in Local Group
Pleiades                                 M45  also Subaru or the Seven Sisters
Polarissima Australis        N2573
Polarissima Borealis         N3172
Praesepe                     N2632       M44  also Beehive Cluster
Ptolemy's Cluster            N6475        M7  (Ptolemy mentioned it 138 AD)
Question Mark                N5194       M51  (Lord Rosse), also Whirlpool Galaxy
Reinmuth 80                  N4517a           12:32.5  +00:23  UGC 7685
Reticulum Dwarf                               04:36.2  -58:50  Sersic 040.03
Rho Ophiuchi Complex         I4603-4          + dark nebulae; interstellar cloud
Rho Ophiuchi Dark Cloud                       16:38:   -24:06  dark lanes in Rho Oph complex
Rho Ophiuchi Nebula          I4604
Ring Nebula                  N6720       M57
Ring Tail Galaxies           N4038-9          also Antennae Galaxies
Rosette Nebula               N2237-9/46
S Nebula                                      17:23.5  -23:38  Barnard 72 dark nebula; also Snake Nebula
SagDEG                                        18:55    -30..31  Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy; in Local Group
SagDIG                                        19:30.0  -17:41  Sagittarius Dwarf Irregular Galaxy; in Local Group
Sagittarius Dwarf                             19:30.0  -17:41  SagDIG; in Local Group
Sagittarius Star Cloud     > N6603       M24  also "Delle Caustiche", Milky Way Patch
Salt-and-Pepper Clusters                 M11,M37,M52  (Jeff Bondono)
Saturn Nebula                N7009
Schuster's Spiral                             03:59.2  -21:20  also Horologium Dwarf
Sculptor Dwarf                                01:00.2  -33:42  MCG-06-03-015; in Local Group
Sculptor Dwarf Irregular                      00:08.1  -34:34  SDIG
Sculptor Galaxy              N 253            also Silver Coin Galaxy
Scutum Salt-and-Pepper       N6705       M11  (Jeff Bondono)
SDIG                                          00:08.1  -34:34  Sculptor Dwarf Irregular
Seashell Galaxy                               13:47.4  -30:23  Companion to NGC 5291
Serpens Dwarf                                 15:16.1  -00:08  Palomar 5, UGC 9792
Seven Sisters                            M45  also Subaru, the Pleiades
Sextans A                                     10:11.0  -04:41  DDO 75, UGCA 205; in Local Group
Sextans B                                     10:00.0  +05:19  DDO 70, UGC 5373
Sextans C                                     10:05.6  +00:04  UGC 5439
Seyfert's Sextet             N6027/27a-e
Shapley-Ames 1                                01:05.1  -06:13
Shapley-Ames 2               N4507
Shapley-Ames 3                                12:49.4  -10:07  MCG-02-33-015
Shapley-Ames 4                                12:55.2  +00:07  UGC 8041
Shapley-Ames 5                                20:24.0  -44:00  MCG-07-42-001
Shapley-Ames 6                                21:23.2  +45:46
Siamese Twins                N4567-8          in Virgo Cluster
Silver Coin Galaxy           N 253            also Sculptor Galaxy
Sleeping Beauty Galaxy       N4826       M64  also the Blackeye Galaxy
Small Magellanic Cloud, SMC                   00:52.7  -72:50  "Nubecula Minor"; in Local Group
Smoking Gun                < N4486     < M87  (Nasa/STScI) the active center of M87
Snake Nebula                                  17:23.5  -23:38  Barnard 72 dark nebula; also S Nebula
Sombrero Galaxy              N4594      M104
Southern Pinwheel Galaxy     N5236       M83
Southern Pleiades            I2602            Theta Carinae
Snickers                                      06:28    +15     Possible nearby dwarf galaxy, discovered in radio, 1975
Spider                                        10:42.6  +34:27  DDO 84, UGC 5829
Spindle Galaxy               N3115
Spindle Galaxy               N5866      M102?
Spiral Cluster               N1039       M34  (Jeff Bondono)
Star Queen Nebula            I4703     ~ M16  also Eagle Nebula, associated with the star cluster M16=NGC 6611
Starfish Cluster             N1922       M38  (Jeff Bondono)
Stephan's Quintet            N7317-20         Arp 319
Struve's Lost Nebula         N1554
Subaru                                   M45  also the Pleiades, Seven Sisters
Sunflower galaxy             N5055       M63
Swan Nebula                  N6618       M17  also Omega, Horseshoe, Lobster, or Checkmark Nebula
Tank tracks                  N2024            (Bill Arnett), = Orion B
Tarantula Nebula             N2070
Tau CMa cluster              N2362            (Bill Arnett), = Mexican Jumping Star
Taurus A                     N1952        M1  Crab Nebula
Thor's Helmet                N2359            (Bill Arnett)
Theta Carinae                I2602            Southern Pleiades
Toby Jug Nebula              I2220
Trapezium Cluster          < N1976     < M42  Cluster of young stars in the Orion Nebula
Triangulum Galaxy            N 598       M33  also Pinwheel, Triangulum Pinwheel
Triangulum Pinwheel Galaxy   N 598       M33  also Triangulum Galaxy
Trifid Nebula                N6514       M20
Ursa Major Moving Cluster                     Closest open cluster (70 ly), most stars of Big Dipper, and others
Ursa Minor Dwarf                              15:08.8  +67:12  DDO 199, UGC 9749; in Local Group
Veil Nebula                  N6960,92,95      Cygnus SNR, Cygnus Loop, Cirrus Nebula
Virgo A                      N4486       M87  Active center: "The Smoking Gun", in Virgo Cluster
Virgo Cluster Pinwheel Gal.  N4254       M99  (prop based on RASC)
WNC 4 (Winnecke 4)                       M40
Whirlpool Galaxy             N5194       M51  also "Question Mark" (Lord Rosse)
Wild Duck Cluster            N6705       M11  (Smyth)
Wild's Triplett                               11:46.8  -03:49  Arp 248, MCG-01-30-032..4
Winnecke 4 (WNC4)                        M40
Witch Head Nebula            N2118
Wolf-Lundmark-Melotte, WLM                    00:02.0  -15:28  DDO 221; in Local Group
X-mas Tree Cluster           N2264
Zwicky #2                                     11:58.4  +38:03  DDO 105, UGC 6955
Zwicky's Triplet                              16:49.5  +45:30  UGC 10586, Arp 103

  References and Links
     * List of Common Names for Messier Objects: 
     * List of Galaxies with proper names (RASC)
         RASC Observer's Handbook 1996 or 1997
     * List of Common Names for NGC and IC Objects from the NGC 2000.0,
       edited by R.W. Sinnott, Sky Publishing 1988
     * Glossary of Selected Astronomical Names in the Sky Catalog 2000.0
       by A. Hirshfeld and R.W. Sinnott, Sky Publishing 1985
     * Various issues of the German interstellarum magazine
  Related Stuff
     * NGC Catalog Online: Find the NGC 2000.0 data for any NGC or IC
       object interactively
     * Images of NGC objects (ASP)
   Thanks to Bill Arnett for helpful suggestions and discussion.
   Hartmut Frommert (spider@seds.org)