Interesting Objects -Some Information

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Interesting objects for observations

This section brings together some interesting and informative web links, documents and notes on some of the more interesting objects available to the amateur.

Francois' great webpage has some very good content (Be stars and novae) and links to the current and previous notes from Prof. Steve Shore. Well worth the read.

Wolf-Rayet Stars

These interesting emission stars are well worth observing. Since their discovery in 1867, there are now approx 227 catalogued. Many are found in the Cygnus area and the brightest is in the southern hemisphere - Gamma Vel, a WC8 type star..

WR VII Catalogue This is the latest and up-to-date WR catalogue.

The typical WR emission lines which can be recorded depends on the type of WR star (WC WO or WN), the typical spectra of WR stars (WC and WO types) can be found here and information on the WN type here

The recent campaigns on WR 140 are documented here. Robin Leadbeater also has a nice HiRes WR140 on his website.

Be Stars

The June 1975 issue of S&T contained a good overview of the emission Be stars by Su-Shu Huang.

There's a good overview of Shell Stars on this website, as well as some great links for further reading.

The BeSS database contains all the Be stars and is the repository of all the amateur (and professional) data.

There's a VO (Virtual Observatory) add-in available for the planetarium programs C2A and CdC which plot all the Be stars and identify the one's needing observation.

Deneb has been regularly observed and is a good target. See Noel Richardson's report  here

Novae and SN

These transient phenomena present a great opportunity to contribute useful data to the community. Details of new discoveries are published in the Astronomer's Telegram and listed on the websites below.

Rochester Astronomy Provides details of all the latest SN discoveries

Super Nova Another listing of all SN

Novae This link provides practical information on the observing and recording of novae.

Nova Cygni is covered in the Nov75 Sky and telescope  

Gelato SN A must have comparison site for any SN spectral images. Defines type 1 and type 2 SN.

SNID A SN Identification software by Stephane Blondin. Runs under Linux etc.

Paul Luckas recently observed the nova in Centarus


This clearly shows the hydrogen emission lines and the "Iron curtain" of Fe emissions around 5000A. Typical of a nova close to maximum.

Robin Leadbeater recorded SN2017eaw with a 200 l/mm modified ALPY and compared his data with GELATO


Variable Stars

Under construction


Some interesting meteor spectra appear in the following issues of Sky and Telescope.

Aug74 Sky and Telescope 

Jun74 Sky and Telescope 

Nov75 Sky and Telescope 

The BAA article 1991 Perseid meteor spectra is also informative.

The Millman document 115 years of meteor spectroscopy covers a lot of the historical ground.

Under construction


Under construction

Quasars and Lyman galaxies

Under construction

Planetary and nebula

Under construction

Solar and Zeeman effect

Under construction

Other Objects

Eta Car

They say there's only two things to be observed in the universe - Eta Carinae and the rest!


Light pollution

Under construction

Other Useful Information



ELODIE An on-line database of high-resolution stellar spectra.

Simbad A mandatory source for astronomical data. A must have link!

spectral library Comprehensive listing of useful catalogues.

Gray Spectral Atlas A Digital Spectral Classification Atlas. Comprehensive, definitive reference source.