A Space & astronomy forum. SpaceBanter.com

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Go Back   Home » SpaceBanter.com forum » Astronomy and Astrophysics » Amateur Astronomy
Site Map Home Authors List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Web Partners

Newbie Question about Star Catalogs



 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old October 26th 05, 08:13 PM
Rhino
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Newbie Question about Star Catalogs

Actually, I'm not really even a newbie, just a science fiction fan with a
vague interest in astronomy.

But, as it happens, I'm reading a novel which gives a catalog reference to a
particular star and I would like to know where this star is and what it's
called. I know the novel will tell me this eventually but I'd like to know
*now* :-)

The star mentioned in the book is identified as "NGS 549672"; if I'm not
mistaken, "NGS" refers to a particular star catalog (National Galactic
Survey?) and "549672" uniquely identifies a specific star. I googled on "NGS
549672" but found nothing useful. Then I googled on "star catalog" and found
tons of hits and discovered that there are apparently a number of popular
star charts. Unfortunately, I don't know how to use *any* of them to
discover what the name of this particular star is.

Now, I am NOT asking anyone to simply tell me the star's name is; I'd like
to learn a little something along the way :-) So, can anyone tell me what
catalog to use to find this star and where I can find an online tool (or
program) that will enable me to do this lookup? For example: "use the XYZ
Star Catalog, which can be found at http://xyz.com and has a
self-explanatory interface where you can specify the star's identifier."

I should mention that the book was written in 1953 so the catalog in
question, NGS, may not exist any more, having been superseded by something
newer. If that is the case, I assume there is some way to translate my
reference to the name used in the later catalog(s) so I'd appreciate some
guidance in how to find a conversion tool.

See, I *am* trying to learn something, not just have all the answers handed
to me on a silver platter :-)

--
Rhino


Ads
  #2  
Old October 26th 05, 08:26 PM
Greg Crinklaw
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Newbie Question about Star Catalogs

Rhino wrote:
The star mentioned in the book is identified as "NGS 549672"; if I'm not
mistaken, "NGS" refers to a particular star catalog (National Galactic
Survey?) and "549672" uniquely identifies a specific star.


I work with astronomical catalogs a lot and I'm sorry to say that there
doesn't seem to be any NGS catalog. The number is also way too big for
a catalog from the 50's (remember that's the pre-computer era), so I
think it's safe to say that it was simply made up. You are right about
how it would work though.

Some links if you are still curious:
SIMBAD http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/
NED http://nedwww.ipac.caltech.edu/

--
Greg Crinklaw
Astronomical Software Developer
Cloudcroft, New Mexico, USA (33N, 106W, 2700m)

SkyTools: http://www.skyhound.com/cs.html
Observing: http://www.skyhound.com/sh/skyhound.html
Comets: http://www.skyhound.com/sh/comets.html

To reply have a physician remove your spleen
  #3  
Old October 26th 05, 08:37 PM
Martin R. Howell
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Newbie Question about Star Catalogs

On Wed, 26 Oct 2005 15:13:43 -0400, Rhino wrote:


The star mentioned in the book is identified as "NGS 549672"



I believe that is either John Steinberg or Howard Lester. . .no wait. . .it
would be Dave Jessie.


--Martin
I am just here for something to do until I do something
  #4  
Old October 26th 05, 08:50 PM
Rhino
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Newbie Question about Star Catalogs


"Greg Crinklaw" wrote in message
...
Rhino wrote:
The star mentioned in the book is identified as "NGS 549672"; if I'm not
mistaken, "NGS" refers to a particular star catalog (National Galactic
Survey?) and "549672" uniquely identifies a specific star.


I work with astronomical catalogs a lot and I'm sorry to say that there
doesn't seem to be any NGS catalog. The number is also way too big for
a catalog from the 50's (remember that's the pre-computer era), so I
think it's safe to say that it was simply made up. You are right about
how it would work though.

Some links if you are still curious:
SIMBAD http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/
NED http://nedwww.ipac.caltech.edu/

Really? The novel, Childhood's End, is by Arthur C. Clarke. I always thought
Clarke had a reputation as a genuine scientist, not just a novelist. I had
expected accuracy from him.

In 1953, looking up something like that catalog number would probably have
been something you could only do at a major metropolitan library or
university with an astrophysics department. I assumed this reference was
basically an inside joke for the readers he had who were actually
astronomers....

Well, I guess I was wrong and the reference is bogus.

Thank you for clearing that up! Your note probably also explains why my
google search on the NGS number failed to work.

Rhino


  #5  
Old October 26th 05, 08:53 PM
Rhino
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Newbie Question about Star Catalogs


"Martin R. Howell" wrote in message
.. .
On Wed, 26 Oct 2005 15:13:43 -0400, Rhino wrote:


The star mentioned in the book is identified as "NGS 549672"



I believe that is either John Steinberg or Howard Lester. . .no wait. .

..it
would be Dave Jessie.

Ok, I'll bite: who are they? I've never heard of any of them....

Rhino


  #6  
Old October 26th 05, 08:57 PM
Sam Wormley
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Newbie Question about Star Catalogs

Rhino wrote:
Actually, I'm not really even a newbie, just a science fiction fan with a
vague interest in astronomy.

But, as it happens, I'm reading a novel which gives a catalog reference to a
particular star and I would like to know where this star is and what it's
called. I know the novel will tell me this eventually but I'd like to know
*now* :-)

The star mentioned in the book is identified as "NGS 549672"; if I'm not
mistaken, "NGS" refers to a particular star catalog (National Galactic
Survey?) and "549672" uniquely identifies a specific star. I googled on "NGS
549672" but found nothing useful.



New General Catalogue (NGC)
http://www.ngcic.org/DSS/dss_ngc.asp

"NGS 549672" doesn't appear to have anything to do with real astronomy

Notable Nearby Stars
http://www.solstation.com/stars.htm

Nearby Stars
http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/as...s/980609b.html
http://vizier.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/ftp-index?V/70A
  #7  
Old October 26th 05, 09:08 PM
Mike Simmons
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Newbie Question about Star Catalogs

On Wed, 26 Oct 2005 15:50:20 -0400, Rhino wrote:

"Greg Crinklaw" wrote in message
...
Rhino wrote:
The star mentioned in the book is identified as "NGS 549672"; if I'm not
mistaken, "NGS" refers to a particular star catalog (National Galactic
Survey?) and "549672" uniquely identifies a specific star.


I work with astronomical catalogs a lot and I'm sorry to say that there
doesn't seem to be any NGS catalog. The number is also way too big for
a catalog from the 50's (remember that's the pre-computer era), so I
think it's safe to say that it was simply made up. You are right about
how it would work though.

Some links if you are still curious:
SIMBAD http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/
NED http://nedwww.ipac.caltech.edu/

Really? The novel, Childhood's End, is by Arthur C. Clarke. I always thought
Clarke had a reputation as a genuine scientist, not just a novelist. I had
expected accuracy from him.

In 1953, looking up something like that catalog number would probably have
been something you could only do at a major metropolitan library or
university with an astrophysics department. I assumed this reference was
basically an inside joke for the readers he had who were actually
astronomers....

Well, I guess I was wrong and the reference is bogus.

Thank you for clearing that up! Your note probably also explains why my
google search on the NGS number failed to work.

Rhino


There's a chance Clarke was using a designation that might have made sense
at the time, based on your speculation that "NGS" could stand for the
National Geographic Society. What is now referred to as the Palomar
Observatory Sky Survey (POSS) had begun in 1949 and was at the time
referred to as the National Geographic Society-Palomar Observatory Sky
Survey (for the sponsor of the survey). Thus Clarke might have used "NGS"
as a catalog designation in anticipation of the publication of a catalog he
might have expected many years in the future (the survey was completed in
1958 but any catalog that might have resulted would have taken many more
years to reduce from the glass photographic plates. No such systematic
catalog was ever produced and I don't think such a project was ever planned
but this could have been something from Clarke's rather fertile
imagination.

This is all speculation and only Clarke could say if there's any truth to
it. Of course, you could always write to him and ask -- there's nothing to
lose by trying but a few minutes of your time. But even if the above was
correct (and it seems like a long-shot) the star designation is clearly
made up.

I wouldn't fault Clarke for that, though. Since he was writing about the
future he could just as easily use a star catalog that had yet to be
developed. His use of it seems to be in line with common usage and the
high number that Greg points out is consistent with future, advanced
technologies. Besides, Clarke undoubtedly was familiar with the problems
associated with naming a real star. He'd probably encountered plenty of
people who take such things literally, assuming that the government is
hiding something that has to do with that star. Many of the rest of us
have encountered such people.

Mike Simmons
  #8  
Old October 26th 05, 09:15 PM
Chris L Peterson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Newbie Question about Star Catalogs

On Wed, 26 Oct 2005 15:50:20 -0400, "Rhino"
wrote:

Really? The novel, Childhood's End, is by Arthur C. Clarke. I always thought
Clarke had a reputation as a genuine scientist, not just a novelist. I had
expected accuracy from him.


In fact, Clarke identifies "NGS" as the "great National Geographic
Survey", which was identified as having been completed 50 years before
Jan looks up the reference- and certainly after the date the book was
written. So the reference is to a purely fictional catalog.

_________________________________________________

Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com
  #9  
Old October 26th 05, 09:19 PM
Chris L Peterson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Newbie Question about Star Catalogs

On Wed, 26 Oct 2005 13:08:02 -0700, Mike Simmons
wrote:

There's a chance Clarke was using a designation that might have made sense
at the time, based on your speculation that "NGS" could stand for the
National Geographic Society. What is now referred to as the Palomar
Observatory Sky Survey (POSS) had begun in 1949 and was at the time
referred to as the National Geographic Society-Palomar Observatory Sky
Survey (for the sponsor of the survey). Thus Clarke might have used "NGS"
as a catalog designation in anticipation of the publication of a catalog he
might have expected many years in the future (the survey was completed in
1958 but any catalog that might have resulted would have taken many more
years to reduce from the glass photographic plates.


Interesting. That sounds very much like something Clarke would do (and
he does identify NGS in the book as the National Geographic Survey).

_________________________________________________

Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com
  #10  
Old October 26th 05, 09:29 PM
Dave Jessie
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Newbie Question about Star Catalogs

Martin R. Howell wrote:
The star mentioned in the book is identified as "NGS 549672"


I believe that is either John Steinberg or Howard Lester. . .no wait. .
.it
would be Dave Jessie.

Hi Martin!
I am just here for something to do until I do something


I know exactly what you mean. Me too!

Clear Dark Steady Skies,
Dave Jessie


 




Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Space Calendar - August 26, 2005 [email protected] Astronomy Misc 0 August 26th 05 05:08 PM
IOTA: Best May occ'n in N.America May 17; many other good events eflaspo Astronomy Misc 0 May 13th 05 02:21 PM
Space Calendar - October 24, 2003 Ron Baalke Astronomy Misc 0 October 24th 03 04:38 PM
Space Calendar - October 24, 2003 Ron Baalke Misc 0 October 24th 03 04:38 PM
Space Calendar - July 24, 2003 Ron Baalke Misc 0 July 24th 03 11:26 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 09:03 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2021 SpaceBanter.com.
The comments are property of their posters.