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"The README.TXT of the new SAC70 deepsky database"

Information on the  Saguaro Astronomy Club  Database version 7.0

dated June 4, 2000

by Steve Coe, SAC Vice President

email: Steve Coe  (scoeandlross@excite.com)

This club project started many years ago, when we wanted a listing of the brightest deep sky objects on our computers. Thinking it would be an easy task, here we are nearly 20 years later, still maintaining and updating a much larger listing of information about what to observe at the telescope. How far we have come from the list of objects from Burnham's Celestial Handbook, all typed in on my Apple II+. Time flies. As always, if you find an error, please let us know.

This ZIP file contains five text files:

This README.TXT file.

SACDOC.TXT is the documentation for the SAC database, there is much information here on the data fields and what the data means. Please spend some time reading this info before trying to utilize the database, it will help you to use this data effectively.

REVHIST.TXT is the revision history, a short file about the various releases of the SAC database.

POTPORRI.TXT is a set of information about a wide variety of astronomical phenomena from white dwarf stars, red stars and meteor showers. These are useful files, but they did not fit the information style of the main database.

SAC70.TXT is version 7.0 of the Saguaro Astronomy Club database in quote, comma, quote delimited form. Any modern database manager or spreadsheet will import the data in this form. I contains information on over 10,000 deepsky objects.

There are a few changes to the database fields from the previous releases of the SAC database:

1) The SIZE field has been split into two fields, one for major axis and one for minor axis. The SIZE fields use the lower case letter <m> for arcminutes, <s> for arcseconds and <d> for degrees. Because the database is delimited (field separated) with a double quote, it was confusing in some programs to also use a double quote for arcseconds.

2) The addition of the BCHM field allows easy access to Messier or other references from prominent catalogs.

3) The NGC description field and the NOTES field are now next to each other, so that they can be easily included or left out of a printed observing list.

Much time and effort was spent to update the data with information available on the NGCIC.ORG Web site. Thanks to Bob Erdmann for managing the site and providing this valuable resource. Both Wolfgang Steineke and Dr. Harold Corwin have many hours of searching for, and correcting, errors in the NGC. Their work is reflected in this release of the SAC database. A small fraction of the number of objects still persist as NONEXISTENT, compared to the beginning of this database. Brian Skiff of Lowell Obs. has also been a constant help with a variety of information about these deep sky objects.

Thank you to the skill, knowledge and expertise of all who helped the Saguaro Astronomy Club create an excellent listing of what to observe in the deep sky.