LDN 134

In times gone by, those that studied the skies would give the objects that they observed fanciful, romantic names. However, these days, with our advanced equipment, surveys can contain thousands or millions of objects. There certainly isn't time to name them all and you would probably get stuck thinking of new names very quickly. These days, astronomers use names that look more like postcodes (zip codes) or telephone numbers and this makes the naming process much easier and quicker.

So an object name will usually start with an abbreviation of the name of the survey and then be followed by the number of the object in the survey. You may be familiar with the New General Catalogue (NGC), a list of almost 8000 deep sky objects compiled in the 1880s. You may also have heard of the Third Cambridge Catalogue of Radio Sources (3C), which contains many radio objects such as active galaxies and quasars. However, you probably haven't heard of Lynds Catalogue of Dark Nebulae (LDN). This is a list of dark nebulae that was compiled in 1962 by Beverly Lynds using red and blue prints from the National Geographic-Palomar Observatory sky atlas.

So what is special about LDN 134? Apart from being the 134th object in the survey - that isn't particularly exciting - it is classed as one of the best dark nebulae to observe. The nebula is 22.0 by 12.0 arcminutes in size and contains a Bok globule which is a dense cloud in which new stars are forming. So, if you want a challenge and are at a very dark site, try having a look for it.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Thursday 19th May 2005 (23:15 UTC) | Permalink
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]