Sharpless catalog

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Sharpless catalog
Sharpless 2-106.jpg
Survey typeastronomical catalog Edit this on Wikidata
TargetH II region Edit this on Wikidata
Commons page Related media on Wikimedia Commons

The Sharpless catalog is a list of 313 H II regions (emission nebulae), intended to be comprehensive north of declination −27°. (It does include some nebulae south of that declination as well.) The first edition was published in 1953 with 142 objects (Sh1), and the second and final version was published by US astronomer Stewart Sharpless in 1959 with 312 objects. Sharpless also includes some planetary nebulae and supernova remnants, in addition to H II regions.[1]

In 1953 Stewart Sharpless joined the staff of the United States Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station,[2] where he surveyed and cataloged H II regions of the Milky Way using the images from the Palomar Sky Survey. From this work Sharpless published his catalog of H II regions in two editions, the first in 1953 with 142 nebula.[3] The second and final edition was published in 1959 with 312 nebulae.[2][4]

Sharpless coordinates are based on the star catalogs Bonner Durchmusterung (BD) and Cordoba Durchmusterung (CD), but the second release was adjusted to the 1900 epoch.[1]

In the second release, some coordinates for southern hemisphere regions have an uncertainty over 1 minute of arc.[1] This can make them difficult to find, so a revised catalog called BFS (Blitz, Fich and Stark) was released.[1] BFS has 65 new regions and about 20 removals.[1] Most of the removed items were taken out because they were the aforementioned nebula or remnants.[1]

The 312 items in Sharpless sometimes overlap with the 110 Messier objects (M), 7,840 objects in the New General Catalogue (NGC), the Caldwell catalogue (that itself is a "best of" from other catalogues, with 109 items), and the RCW catalog. Contemporary catalogs were Gum and RCW, but they mainly covered the southern hemisphere.


Examples of second Sharpless (1958 version) catalog; click on image for image credit, most of which are either various amateur astronomers, the ESO, ESA, or NASA

Sh2 No. A common name Images Names and designations
6 NGC 6302 NGC 6302HST.jpg Sh2-6, NGC 6302, Bug Nebula,

PK 349+01 1, Butterfly Nebula, RCW 124, Gum 60, Caldwell 69

8 NGC 6334 NGC 6334.jpg ESO 392-EN 009, Sharpless 8, RCW 127, Gum 64, NGC 6334
11 NGC 6357 EmissionNebula NGC6357.jpg Sh2-11, NGC 6357, RCW 131, Gum 66, War and Peace Nebula
25 Lagoon Nebula M8HunterWilson.jpg Sh2 25, RCW 146, Gum 72, Messier 8
29 Sharpless 29 Eso1740a.jpg Sh2 29
30 Trifid Nebula Trifid.nebula.arp.750pix.jpg Sh2 30, M20, NGC 6514, RCW 147, Gum 76
45 Omega Nebula ESO-The Omega Nebula-phot-25a-09-fullres.jpg Omega Nebula, M17, NGC 6618, Swan Nebula, Sharpless 45, RCW 160, Gum 81
49 Eagle Nebula Eagle Nebula from ESO.jpg Sh2 49, Messier 16, NGC 6611, RCW 165, Gum 83
64 W 40 W40 star-forming region (no arrow).jpg Sh2 64, RCW 174
101 Tulip Nebula Sharpless 101
105 Crescent Nebula Crescenthunter.jpg Sh2 105, NGC 6888, Sharpless 105, Caldwell 27
106 Sh2-106 Sharpless 2-106.jpg Sh2-106, Celestial Snow Angel
117 North America Nebula North-America-nebula.jpeg NGC 7000, Caldwell 20
125 Cocoon Nebula CocoonHunterWilson.jpg IC 5146, Caldwell 19
140 Sh2-140 Ssc2004-07a.jpg Sh2-140.jpg Sh2-140
155 Cave Nebula Cave Nebula.jpg Sh2-155, Caldwell 9
162 NGC 7635 NGC 7635 (vivid).jpg Sh2-162, NGC 7635, Bubble nebula
184 NGC 281 NGC281HunterWilson.jpg NGC 281, IC 11
191 Maffei 1 Maf1atlas.jpg Sh2-191, Maffei 1, PGC 9892
197 Maffei 2 Maf2atlas.jpg Sh2-197, Maffei 2, UGCA 39,[5]PGC 10217,[5]
199 Soul Nebula W5 cropped.jpg Sh2-199, LBN 667, Soul Nebula, IC 1848 (cluster only)
220 California Nebula California-nebula.jpeg NGC 1499, Sharpless 220
229 IC 405 FlamingStarHunterWilson.jpg Flaming Star Nebula, Caldwell 31, IC 405, Sh2-229
237 NGC 1931 NGC1931HunterWilson.jpg Sharpless 237
238 NGC 1555 Ngc1555.jpg NGC 1555, Hind's Nebula, Sharpless 238
244 Crab Nebula Crab Nebula.jpg Messier 1, NGC 1952,
248 IC 443 Ic443 wide.jpg IC 443, Sh2-248, Jellyfish Nebula
275 Rosette Nebula Rosette nebula s.jpg Sh2-275, CTB 21
279 Sh2-279 NGC1977 Running Man Nebula from the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter Schulman Telescope courtesy Adam Block.jpg
276 Barnard's Loop BarnardLoopHunterWilson.jpg Sh2-276, Barnard's Loop
277 Flame Nebula NASA-FlameNebula-NGC2024-20140507.jpg Sh2-271, NGC 2024
281 Orion Nebula Orion Nebula - Hubble 2006 mosaic 18000.jpg M42, NGC 1976, LBN 974
297 Sh2-297 Ced 90.jpg Ced 90, LBN 1039
298 NGC 2359 Thors Helmet - NGC 2359.png Thor's Helmet, Gum 4, Sharpless 298, NGC 2359

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Galaxy Map – The Gum, RCW, Sharpless and BFS catalogs
  2. ^ a b Steven, Dick (2002). Sky and Ocean Joined: The U.S. Naval Observatory, 1830–2000. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-81599-4.
  3. ^ Stewart Sharpless, A Catalogue of Emission Nebulae Near the Galactic Plane, Astrophysical Journal, vol. 118, p.362, 1953
  4. ^ Stewart Sharpless, A Catalogue of H II Regions, Astrophysical Journal Supplement, vol. 4, p.257, 1959
  5. ^ a b "NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database". Results for Maffei 2. Retrieved 2006-11-25.

External links[edit]