The Abell catalogue is an all sky catalogue of galaxy clusters. It contains 4,073 rich clusters with a nominal redshift of z less than or equal to 0.2. Each galaxy cluster must meet certain criteria of richness, compactness, distance and galactic latitude to be included.
For example, to meet the richness criteria a cluster must contain at least 30 galaxies within a set magnitude range. There are six groups defined:
Group 0: 30-49 galaxies
Group 1: 50-79 galaxies
Group 2: 80-129 galaxies
Group 3: 130-199 galaxies
Group 4: 200-299 galaxies
Group 5: more than 299 galaxies
The original Northern Survey was published in 1958 by George O. Abell and contained 2,712 clusters of rich galaxies. A later Southern Survey added a further 1,361 clusters. The catalogue is of interest to amateur astronomers with large aperture scopes since it contains challenging galaxies that require dark locations.