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complete NGC list
#1
This may be a dumb question (as it would be a large file), but here goes:  does anyone have a ST4 observing file for all of the NGC objects?

Thanks!
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#2
You could make your own list using the Database Power Search (DBPS), but I'm not sure if that would get the complete NGC catalog in ST4v.

The Skyhound website doesn't list the NGC catalog as one of the lists that's available there. The DBPS would certainly get most of the NGC objects.

Perhaps the Technoking has a better suggestion.

Hope this helps,

Phil S.
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#3
I know sometimes people who are used to other software think that data needs to be added to SkyTools externally. In case that's what you are thinking, the entire NGC/IC catalog already resides in SkyTools, along with all of the cross references and other associated data.

The only advantage of an observing list is that you can put it into the Nightly Planner. But of course, nobody can observe the entire NGC in one night, so that doesn't really make sense to do. I do not recommend making observing lists that long. The Nightly Planner has to do calculations for each object in the list, and it will bog down if your list is too long. There are better ways to accomplish whatever you are trying to do.

1. There are observing lists created as subsets of the NGC/IC, such as the Herschel catalogs. These tend to be the more brighter and interesting objects. You could use one of these.

2. You can use tools such as the Nightly Observing List Generator, or the Database Power Search, to generate a list of NGC objects that are good for your location on a specific night, or to find any subset of the NGC, such as only the open clusters, or nebulae, or those available at specific times of the year, only those that are easy in your scope, or whatever criteria you want to apply.

3. Some software basically limits you to the NGC/IC, but there are a lot of interesting objects out there that are not in these catalogs, and more importantly SkyTools has the ability to figure out which of these you can actually see in your telescope. So unless you have a specific purpose in mind, such as seeing every NGC object, it makes more sense to search the entire database rather than limit yourself to only the NGC.

Regardless, the better procedure is: SkyTools Database --> smaller curated observing list.
Clear skies,
Greg

Technoking of Skyhound
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#4
Hi Greg,

I should have asked the OP why he wanted an Observing List Containing all of the NGC objects when ST4v already has the catalog included. The whole catalog would be very unwieldy to work with as a single OL on a given night as you noted.

If the OP describes his use case, perhaps it will be more clear.

Phil S.
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#5
I guess I should have been more explicit in the explanation of my desire.  I am working on observing all of the NGC objects.  I recently did a log dump to an excel file with the hope of culling out all of the NGC objects I have already observed, but found that attempting to sort that list is more complicated than I had originally thought.  Consequently I thought, perhaps, that there might be an total ST4 NGC list that I could use as a check off list - much of how I use the AL lists.  What I have done - and will continue to do - is that anytime I observe an NGC object, check to see if I've logged it.  I'm almost finished with the H2 list and  - along with all the rest I've observed, I'm likely close to having observed 1000 NGC objects. I've got a long way to go...

I do know that the Hershel Society has lists that I can use; they're just not as flexible as the ST4 lists.

Thanks for the help!  I will continue to use the ST4 search option.
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#6
That's kind of a hard one. There's nothing keeping you from using the Database Power Search to make a list for all the NGC, but my guess it is would be too unwieldy to use in practice. If there is some sort of natural way to narrow down your observations into separate lists, maybe by season or object type or something? then it might be possible to check the shorter list as you go.
Clear skies,
Greg

Technoking of Skyhound
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#7
The DBPS has an option to exclude logged entries, so you might use that to avoid reobservations. There doesn't seem to be an option to search in a declination band for example, but you could make separate lists for each constellation. If you decide to use the DBPS, you'll need an OL for galactic & extragalactic objects during the search. These could be merged later.

This looks like a big job, good luck.

Phil S.
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#8
A nit Phil: you don't need separate observing lists when using the DPS. It adds objects to existing lists, it doesn't overwrite them. So its just a matter of adding the results of the two searches to the same list.
Clear skies,
Greg

Technoking of Skyhound
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#9
Thanks Greg. I've never tried to do that with the DBPS lists - handy feature. That would make building several lists by seasons much easier, too. 

This still looks like a big job.

Phil S.
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#10
Thanks for the help, guys!  It's greatly appreciated.  I'm currently a AL Master Observer, Silver level and am looking to streamline the process to both the Gold level as well as moving forward with the Herschel Society's certificates.  Learning the ins and outs of ST4's DBPS will help a great deal.

Jerry Jones
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