On Wikipedia, it describes the Tarantula nebula as

the second of the "Nebulae of the First Class",

Wikipedia says that a Nebulae of the First Class is a Nebula with no other stars visible in a telescope of two feet. But what was the first of these nebulae? Was there a third?


1 Answer 1


Following the links on the Wikipedia page leads to Jones, K. G., “The search for the nebulae - VI.”, Journal of the British Astronomical Association, vol. 79, pp. 213–222, 1969., which identifies each of the "nebulosities". The first is better known as 47 Tucanae or NGC 104. It is a globular cluster, but his telescope was unable to resolve any of the individual stars.

There were, in fact 14 nebulae in each of his three classes (nebulae without stars, star clusters that appear to be nebulae, and stars surrounded by nebulae of the first class)

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