Synopses & Reviews
This book covers, in just under 500 pages, star clusters, globular clusters, asterisms and other objects that have been misidentified as such. It is both a descriptive text of the historical study and astrophysics of some the youngest (open clusters) and oldest (globular clusters) objects that populate the Universe, along with the most up-to-date catalog of these objects in existence an effort that has taken more than a decade to complete. Over the last few hundred years, many of these objects have been repeatedly rediscovered and subsequently renamed, misidentified as to their true nature, or given incorrect celestial coordinates. Altogether there are 5,045 individual objects catalogued in this work that have a total of 13,949 "alias" names; on average, nearly 3 names for each object.
This work catalogs 2,017 clusters in the Milky Way or previously misidentified as Milky Way clusters, including 151 globular clusters or possible globular clusters, and 1547 open clusters or possible open clusters. Also cataloged are clusters or objects misidentified as such in several of the Local Group galaxies. This includes 2,025 objects in the Large Magellanic Cloud, 419 objects in the Small Magellanic Cloud, 578 objects in the Andromeda (M 31) galaxy and 6 objects in the Fornax Dwarf galaxy. An extensive Appendix explains the origin of all object names and abbreviations and provides detailed references to the original source material for all object discoveries.
In total there are 197 illustrations and 119 pages of extended notes on objects that are either astrophysically or observationally of interest, or have been especially troublesome to catalogers. The approach to developing this catalog has involved a comprehensive survey of discovery documents, visual reports from telescopic observers and personal inspection of the great photographic surveys of the past century. Particular care has been exercised to determine accurate positions across the entire catalog. Finally, in addition to the chapters on the history and astrophysics of globular and open clusters a chapter is devoted to the observation of these objects.
About the Author
Professionally, Brent Archinal received his PhD from the Ohio State University Department of Geodetic Science and Surveying in 1987. For 13 years he was employed as an Astronomer at the U. S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D. C. His work there centered on performing research into methods for more accurately determining the Earth's orientation and improving the coordinate systems of the Earth and sky. In May of 2000 Brent began professional work on coordinate systems for the other bodies of the solar system with particular emphasis on improving the control network for the planet Mars and high-resolution mapping of proposed 2004 Mars landing sites.
Brent has also been an active amateur astronomer for many years. While attending Ohio State during the latter 1970's and early 1980's, his interest in observational and amateur astronomy grew. During this same time period he also became active in various astronomy clubs where he served in several official capacities, including as President, of the OSU Astronomy Club and the Columbus Astronomical Society. More recently he has been a member of the Richland (Ohio) Astronomical Society, the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club, and now the Coconino (Arizona) Astronomical Society.