BAM600 - John Bambury's Southern Skies Observing List
Submitted: Tuesday, 17th May 2011 by John Bambury
What is the BAM600?
The BAM600 is a list of 600 observing targets for the Southern Hemisphere, covering all different types of targets and catering to various telescope apertures and observer experience.
How did it come about?
I am one of the “core 4” volunteers for the Three Rivers Foundation in Australia who do a lot of outreach astronomy. In addition to this we regularly host small and large groups of observers from the US to Australia with a bi annual astronomy tour called Ozsky.
My role with 3RF is “Observations Officer”. As most of the US visitors have a very short observing time down here (8 days per trip), I decided it would be beneficial to them if I put a comprehensive observing list together. Basically I wanted to do something similar to the Herschel 400 for Southern Hemisphere observers and for the US visitors who came down here.
I put the list together myself by incorporating several of the known common lists ( eg. Messier, Caldwell, etc), and then including a lot of targets I had observed myself over many years and by consulting with some of my observing colleagues on some of their favourite targets in each target category, which were “not” part of the common lists.
The list is attached as an excel spreadsheet with targets sorted in Right Ascension (RA) order. You can re sort the list to suit your own observing goals.
How to Use The List
You can observe the list in whatever way suits you to fit in with your available observing time. Most people will take a couple of years to work through the list.
A good way to start off might be to sort the list and allocate targets to each “planned” observing night based on “best month to observe”, setting your observing program for each night to observe targets rising towards the zenith from the East.
By doing it this way you will always have the targets on your program for the night well placed and you should be able to work through them all systematically.
Definitions and Abbreviations
BN = Bright Nebula
The following list of people have worked their way through all 600 of the BAM600.
If you've observed the BAM600 Southern Skies Observing List, contact Mike to get your name added here!