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Small Packages, 


            Gary Imm

Small Packages

Technical card

Basic astrometry details job: 3521931

Resolution: 12816x9255

Locations: Backyard (Mag 20.8 - New Moon), Onalaska, Texas, United States

Data source: Backyard


“Good things come in small packages.”

The origin of this common phrase is unknown. It is unlikely that it had its origin in astronomy, but it should have. Small DSO objects are often overlooked but are some of the most interesting objects in the sky.

I have previously uploaded 5 compilation posters of popular deep sky object catalogs:

1. The catalog of 110 Messier objects, established in the 1700s by Charles Messier.

2. The catalog of 109 Caldwell objects, published in 1995 by Patrick Moore.

3. The catalog of 109 Hidden Treasures objects, published in 2007 by Stephen James O’Meara.

4. The catalog of 109 Secret Deep objects, published in 2011 by Stephen James O’Meara.

5. The catalog of 109 Orphaned Beauties , compiled by me this year, comprised of large objects which did not have a home in the first 4 catalogs.

Together these 5 catalogs contain over 500 of the most interesting objects in the heavens. The majority of them are large in apparent size. For this Small Package (SP) catalog, I have assembled the best 109 small objects which have not appeared in any of the previous 5 catalogs. All of these objects have an apparent size no greater than about 4 arc-minutes, which is 4 times the largest apparent size of Venus. Some of these images I have captured with a 130mm refractor, which is the smallest aperture scope that I would recommend using for these objects. The rest were captured with an 11 inch SCT.

The majority of the objects on this list are fairly obscure, without nicknames. For some objects, their image here is the only amateur image of it to my knowledge. This catalog contains 75 galaxies, 12 galaxy clusters, 11 planetary nebulae, 10 HII regions, and 1 reflection nebula.

The high resolution poster (12816 x 9255) is best seen using Astrobin's full resolution view. The 109 objects are sorted in 10 categories by column:

1. Familiar Shapes
2. Dynamic Duos
3. Star Streams
4. Planetary Nebulae
5. Rings
6. Clusters & Chains
7. HII Regions
8. Mergers
9. Cores
10. Dust Bands

In addition to this poster, I have uploaded 2 images which describe the catalog in tabular form, showing the location, size, object type, transit date and nickname for each object. For more detailed information on each of these objects, please see my Astrobin Small Packages Collection.

I have created a sortable spreadsheet that contains key information for all of the objects from the 6 catalogs mentioned above. A screenshot of the spreadsheet is attached as an example. In total, these 6 catalogs contain over 624 unique objects, the majority of which make interesting astrophotography targets. I am hopeful that this compilation and spreadsheet may be helpful to those of you looking for new targets to image. To obtain a free copy, please email me at [email protected]

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.



Gary Imm
License: Attribution-NonCommercial Creative Commons


  • Final
    Small Packages, 


            Gary Imm
  • Small Packages, 


            Gary Imm
  • Small Packages, 


            Gary Imm
  • Small Packages, 


            Gary Imm


Description: Small Packages Catalog (1 of 2)


Description: Small Packages Catalog (2 of 2)


Description: Screenshot of object spreadsheet for all 6 catalogs, available free from Gary Imm


Small Packages, 


            Gary Imm