George O. Abell, born March 1, 1927, was a professor of astronomy at the University of California. He was well known for his abilities to do research as well as to teach and to popularize his science. He also worked as a lecturer at the Griffith Planetarium while working on his doctorate.

He is best known for his very comprehensive galaxy cluster catalogue, created during the 1950s.

In 1966 he also published a catalogue of 86 (later corrected to 82) new planetary nebulae, most of which are very dim. The visual magnitudes range from 11.3 to over 20.0, making them very difficult to observe without a medium to large telescope.

In 1975 Abell and Harold Corwin picked up on the galaxy cluster cataloging, and began a survey of the southern hemisphere, which was completed by Corwin and Ronald Olowin in 1987, after Abell's unfortunate death in 1983.

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