Re: (IAAC) Thoughts on Data Sources (was: Basel 11B etc, etc.)
Jeff posted a VERY thought-provoking... well, Essay(!) on deep-sky object
naming! It includes some excellent ideas for the IAAC, which I intend to follow
up on in succeeding days (and weeks and months... :>) THANKS, Jeff!
I did have one immediate comment though: I absolutely agree that the most
common catalog AND the most accurate/up-to-date catalog should be used to
identify an object when logging observations. For Ms, NGCs, ICs, and UGCs, the
choice of which to use is usually clear.
However, sometimes for more obscure objects the most up to date catalog is NOT
the most common. Your suggestion to use Strasbourg-ESO is an example of what I
mean: this catalog certainly seems to be the standard of reference, as
evidenced by Jeff B.'s use of it for 'dObjects'.
However, 'dObjects' is also careful to provide a COMPLETE list of known
synonyms for objects. This is for good reason: because the sources many
amateurs use to decide on new targets (or to find out more about old ones) use
a variety of older catalogs to refer to them! E.g., various paper atlases and
amateur catalogs still very frequently use Perek-Kohoutek (PK) designations for
fainter planetaries. The same is true of galaxies: Zwicky, Arp, MCG, and ESO
are all variously used for more obscure targets.
In the end, I strongly suggest that those inclined to submit observations of
the obscure and misnamed (which are MUCH welcomed) provide as MANY designations
of these objects in their posts as they can. (Adding additional synonym IDs in
parentheses is the easiest, best way to do this.)
In the mean time, as some folks have already noted, there are PLENTY of Messier
and Herschel 400 objects we still don't have logs for yet! Maybe if I settle
down from administering the list this next New Moon, I'll be able to do my
share to fill in some of those "holes" with my own logs. And as skies darken, I
hope you'll all do what you can to help me! ;>