Sky & Telescope - December 2020 - 21

This popular list of observing targets published
in 1995 is marking its first quarter-century.
his month marks the 25th anniversary of the first
publication of the Caldwell Catalog in the December
1995 issue of Sky & Telescope. In the past quarter-century the Caldwell Catalog has inspired further creations, provoked discussions and debates, and led thousands of amateur
astronomers to observe objects that they might otherwise
have overlooked. And yet, after all this time there are parts of
the story of the Caldwell Catalog that aren't widely known.
This anniversary seems like a fitting time to look back at the
origin of the catalog, chart its history, and examine its current status in the landscape of astronomy.

hosted the monthly "The Sky at Night" television program for
the British Broadcasting Corporation. He would continue to
host the program the rest of his life, setting a world record for
the longest-running television series with the same presenter.
For his contributions to astronomy and the popularization of science, Moore received many honors, including
a knighthood in 2001. He always described himself as an
amateur and, as a visual observer of the Moon and planets,
a "dinosaur." Moore liked to joke that anything beyond the
orbit of Neptune was a bit remote for him. Regrettably, he
also held regressive views on immigration and gender roles.
Our goal here is not to focus on his political opinions, but
instead to celebrate his deep-sky observing list and the
objects it highlights.

Enter Patrick Moore

The Caldwell Catalog Comes into Being

The story of the Caldwell list starts with Patrick Moore, the
doyen of British astronomy from the 1950s until his death in
2012. Moore, an astronomical prodigy, became interested in
the subject at the age of six, and by the age of 11 he'd joined
the British Astronomical Association. At only 13 he published his first scientific paper, which was on craterlets on the
Moon that he'd observed from home using a 3-inch refractor.
Moore's first book, Guide to the Moon, appeared in 1953, and
he'd go on to write many more, mostly nonfiction astronomy
titles. Working with Hugh Percy Wilkins, Moore mapped the
Moon in unprecedented detail, and both the early Russian and
American lunar programs would rely on the maps and data
generated by these visual observers. Starting in 1957, Moore

Although his primary interest was in the Moon and the
planets, Moore was nevertheless an experienced deep-sky

A Caldwell Tour
Whether you're an experienced deep-sky observer or
just starting out, the selection of two dozen late-autumn
Caldwell objects presented here will show you fine examples of every class of deep-sky object. Moore chose the
Caldwells for their inherent interest. In that spirit, and to
facilitate comparisons among objects, I've organized this
tour by object type rather than by proximity in the sky.

C20: M ASIL IM AGING TE A M; CH A RT: G REGG DINDER M A N / S&T

T

sk yandtelescope.org * DECEMBER 2 02 0

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Sky & Telescope - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sky & Telescope - December 2020

Contents
Sky & Telescope - December 2020 - Cover1
Sky & Telescope - December 2020 - Cover2
Sky & Telescope - December 2020 - 1
Sky & Telescope - December 2020 - Contents
Sky & Telescope - December 2020 - 3
Sky & Telescope - December 2020 - 4
Sky & Telescope - December 2020 - 5
Sky & Telescope - December 2020 - 6
Sky & Telescope - December 2020 - 7
Sky & Telescope - December 2020 - 8
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Sky & Telescope - December 2020 - Cover3
Sky & Telescope - December 2020 - Cover4
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