David Levy
David Levy giving a presentation on Shomaker-Levy 9 at JPL in 1994

Anyone who spends enough time at the eyepiece and becomes very familiar with the sky will develop a list of favorite deep sky objects. David Levy spends more time than most of us, daily scanning the sky for comets. Unlike most of use he has published his list of favorite objects, both in the form of a book, as well as on his website for the rest of us to enjoy.

Levy's Catalog of Comet Masqueraders and More

The list is quite an assortment of objects, some chosen for their beauty, some for personal associations, and some because the look exactly like the small fuzz balls of dim comets. I have found the list more viewable than Caldwell's more famous viewing list. Observing the entire list is a challenge. Several of the objects, such as 47 Tucanae, are southern hemisphere objects. There are also some very dim objects on the list, reaching down as faint as 15th magnitude, so a larger scope would be required to view the entire list.

The list strays from the Messier and NGC catalog, including many lesser known objects like IC1795 an emission nebula in Cassiopea or the Tombaugh clusters discovered by Clyde Tombaugh during Lowell Observatory's historic search for Pluto.

Upon adding the list to my personal database I found I had already many of the 384 objects. I suspect most skilled observers will have likewise come across most of the objects. The remainder of the objects are often odd objects that do not appear on most published observing lists.

David viewing Saturn in front of a Tucson Wal-Mart during the 2006 Telescopes for Telethon