It’s Globular Cluster Season!

Becky Ramotowski

The distribution of globular clusters in our home galaxy is
concentrated around Sagittarius, Scorpius and Ophiuchus-all of which are in prime viewing spots right now.

Sagittarius has 35 of these stellar disco balls, Scorpius is home to 23 and Ophiuchus boasts 33.  Add them all up and that’s 91 globular clusters!

Why get so excited about a bunch of gravitationally bound balls of bling? 

Well, globulars are amazing to look at and they each have
their own personalities.  Some are big and bodaciously bright like M22, M13 and Omega Centauri, and some are dim,
tightly compacted wads of stars like NGC 7006 in Delphinus.

Once you start admiring them, you might get hooked on
globulars just as I did many years ago when I began my quest to see as many Milky Way globulars as possible.  (I’ve seen 105 of the 157*)

If you have a “Bright Star Atlas” by Tirion and Skiff,
you’ll note that chart 7 has a whopping 24 globular clusters on it. Twenty of these beauties are Messiers so if you’ve been contemplating the Messier
catalog, this would be a fantastic way to jump-start the adventure! 

Another cool thing about observing globulars is that you can earn a “Globular Cluster” award from the Astronomical League by observing, classifying and logging a mere 50 of these beautiful star balls.  See http://www.astroleague.org/al/obsclubs/globular/globular1.html
for details.

You’ve probably seen quite a few globular clusters already and if you want to log a few more, now’s the time!

Messier 22 (NGC 6656) was the first globular cluster discovered in 1665 by Abraham Ihle, a German amateur astronomer.
If you want to be uber cool, look at it first!

A summer list of 129 globulars is below:

Object        Constellation    RA      Dec.      Mag.     Size

 
NGC 4147              Com  12:10:06.30  +18:32:33.5   10.32   4.4
Rup 106               Cen  12:38:40.2   -51:09:01     10.90   2.0
M 68, NGC 4590        Hya  12:39:27.98  -26:44:38.6    7.84  11.0
M 53, NGC 5024        Com  13:12:55.25  +18:10:05.4    7.61  13.0
NGC 5053              Com  13:16:27.09  +17:42:00.9    9.47  10.0
NGC 5139, Omega Cen   Cen  13:26:47.24  -47:28:46.5    3.68  55.0
M 3,  NGC 5272        CVn  13:42:11.62  +28:22:38.2    6.19  18.0
NGC 5286              Cen  13:46:26.81  -51:22:27.3    7.34  11.0
AM 4                  Hya  13:56:21.7   -27:10:03     15.88   3.0
NGC 5466              Boo  14:05:27.29  +28:32:04.0    9.04   9.0
NGC 5634              Vir  14:29:37.23  -05:58:35.1    9.47   5.5
NGC 5694              Hya  14:39:36.29  -26:32:20.2   10.17   4.3
NGC 5824              Lup  15:03:58.63  -33:04:05.6    9.09   7.4

Object       Constellation    RA      Dec.         Mag.      Size

Palomar 5, Ser dw     Ser  15:16:05.25  -00:06:41.8   11.75   8.0
NGC 5897              Lib  15:17:24.50  -21:00:37.0    8.53  11.0
M 5, NGC 5904         Ser  15:18:33.22  +02:04:51.7    5.65  23.0
NGC 5927              Lup  15:28:00.69  -50:40:22.9    8.01   6.0
NGC 5946              Nor  15:35:28.52  -50:39:34.8    9.61   3.0
BH 176                Nor  15:39:07.45  -50:03:09.8   14.00   3.0
NGC 5986              Lup  15:46:03.00  -37:47:11.1    7.52   9.6
Palomar 14, AvdB      Her  16:11:00.6   +14:57:28     14.74   2.2  
M 80, NGC 6093        Sco  16:17:02.41  -22:58:33.9    7.33  10.0
M 4, NGC 6121         Sco  16:23:35.22  -26:31:32.7    5.63  36.0
NGC 6144              Sco  16:27:13.86  -26:01:24.6    9.01   7.4
NGC 6139              Sco  16:27:40.37  -38:50:55.5    8.99   8.2
Terzan 3              Sco  16:28:40.08  -35:21:12.5   12.00   3.0
M 107, NGC 6171       Oph  16:32:31.86  -13:03:13.6    7.93  13.0
ESO452-SC11, 1636-283 Sco  16:39:25.45  -28:23:55.3   12.00   1.2
M 13, NGC 6205        Her  16:41:41.24  +36:27:35.5    5.78  20.0
NGC 6229              Her  16:46:58.79  +47:31:39.9    9.39   4.5
M 12, NGC 6218        Oph  16:47:14.18  -01:56:54.7    6.70  16.0
FSR 1735              Ara  16:52:10.6   -47:03:29     12.90   0.8
NGC 6235              Oph  16:53:25.31  -22:10:38.8    9.97   5.0
M 10, NGC 6254        Oph  16:57:09.05  -04:06:01.1    6.60  20.0
NGC 6256              Sco  16:59:32.62  -37:07:17.0   11.29   4.1
Palomar 15            Oph  16:59:51.0   -00:32:20     14.00   3.0
M 62, NGC 6266        Oph  17:01:12.80  -30:06:49.4    6.45  15.0
M 19, NGC 6273        Oph  17:02:37.80  -26:16:04.7    6.77  17.0
NGC 6284              Oph  17:04:28.51  -24:45:53.5    8.83   6.2
NGC 6287              Oph  17:05:09.13  -22:42:30.1    9.35   4.8
NGC 6293              Oph  17:10:10.20  -26:34:55.5    8.22   8.2
NGC 6304              Oph  17:14:32.25  -29:27:43.3    8.22   8.0
NGC 6316              Oph  17:16:37.30  -28:08:24.4    8.43   5.4
M 92, NGC 6341        Her  17:17:07.39  +43:08:09.4    6.44  14.0
NGC 6325              Oph  17:17:59.21  -23:45:57.6   10.33   4.1
M 9, NGC 6333         Oph  17:19:11.26  -18:30:57.4    7.72  12.0
NGC 6342              Oph  17:21:10.08  -19:35:14.7    9.66   4.4
NGC 6356              Oph  17:23:34.93  -17:48:46.9    8.25  10.0
NGC 6355              Oph  17:23:58.59  -26:21:12.3    9.14   4.2
NGC 6352              Ara  17:25:29.11  -48:25:19.8    7.96   9.0
IC 1257               Oph  17:27:08.5   -07:05:35     13.10   5.0
Terzan 2, HP 3        Sco  17:27:33.10  -30:48:08.4   14.29   0.6
NGC 6366              Oph  17:27:44.24  -05:04:47.5    9.20  13.0
Terzan 4, HP 4        Sco  17:30:39.00  -31:35:43.9   16.00   0.7
HP 1, BH 229, HP      Oph  17:31:05.2   -29:58:54     11.59   1.2
Liller 1              Sco  17:33:24.50  -33:23:20.4   16.77       
NGC 6380, Ton 1       Sco  17:34:28.0   -39:04:09     11.31   3.6
Terzan 1, HP 2        Sco  17:35:47.8   -30:28:11     15.90   2.4
Ton 2, Pismis 26      Sco  17:36:10.5   -38:33:12     12.24   2.2
NGC 6388              Sco  17:36:17.23  -44:44:07.8    6.72  10.4

Object        Constellation    RA       Dec.        Mag.      Size

M 14, NGC 6402        Oph  17:37:36.10  -03:14:45.3    7.59  11.0
NGC 6401              Oph  17:38:36.60  -23:54:34.2    9.45   4.8
NGC 6397              Ara  17:40:42.09  -53:40:27.6    5.73  31.0
Palomar 6             Oph  17:43:42.2   -26:13:21     11.55   1.2
NGC 6426              Oph  17:44:54.65  +03:10:12.5   11.01   4.2
Djorg 1               Sco  17:47:28.3   -33:03:56     13.60       
Terzan 5, Terzan 11   Sgr  17:48:04.80  -24:46:45     13.85   2.4
NGC 6440              Sgr  17:48:52.70  -20:21:36.9    9.20   4.4
NGC 6441              Sco  17:50:13.06  -37:03:05.2    7.15   9.6
Terzan 6, HP 5        Sco  17:50:46.38  -31:16:31.4   13.85   1.4
NGC 6453              Sco  17:50:51.70  -34:35:57.0   10.08   7.6
UKS 1, UKS 1751-241   Sgr  17:54:27.2   -24:08:43     17.29   2.0
NGC 6496              Sco  17:59:03.68  -44:15:57.4    8.54   5.6
Terzan 9              Sgr  18:01:38.8   -26:50:23     16.00   0.2
Djorg 2, E456-SC38    Sgr  18:01:49.1   -27:49:33      9.90   9.9
NGC 6517              Oph  18:01:50.52  -08:57:31.6   10.23   4.0
NGC 6522              Sgr  18:03:34.02  -30:02:02.3    8.27   9.4
Terzan 10             Sgr  18:03:36.4   -26:04:21     14.90   1.5
NGC 6535              Ser  18:03:50.51  -00:17:51.5   10.47   3.4
NGC 6528              Sgr  18:04:49.64  -30:03:22.6    9.60   5.0
NGC 6539              Ser  18:04:49.68  -07:35:09.1    9.33   7.9
NGC 6540, Djorg 3     Sgr  18:06:08.6   -27:45:55      9.30   1.5
NGC 6544              Sgr  18:07:20.58  -24:59:50.4    7.77   9.2
NGC 6541              CrA  18:08:02.36  -43:42:53.6    6.30  15.0
2MASS-GC01, Hurt 1    Sgr  18:08:21.81  -19:49:47     27.74   3.3
ESO 280-SC06          Ara  18:09:06.0   -46:25:23     12.00   1.5
NGC 6553              Sgr  18:09:17.60  -25:54:31.3    8.06   9.2
2MASS-GC02, Hurt 2    Sgr  18:09:36.50  -20:46:44     24.60   1.9
NGC 6558              Sgr  18:10:17.60  -31:45:50.0    9.26   4.2
IC 1276, Palomar 7    Ser  18:10:44.20  -07:12:27.4   10.34   8.0
Terzan 12             Sgr  18:12:15.8   -22:44:31     15.63   1.0
NGC 6569              Sgr  18:13:38.80  -31:49:36.8    8.55   6.4
AL 3, BH 261          Sgr  18:14:06.6   -28:38:06     11.00   1.3
GLIMPSE-C02           Sgr  18:18:30.5   -16:58:38     17.9    9.8        
NGC 6584              Tel  18:18:37.60  -52:12:56.8    8.27   6.6
NGC 6624              Sgr  18:23:40.51  -30:21:39.7    7.87   8.8
M 28, NGC 6626        Sgr  18:24:32.81  -24:52:11.2    6.79  11.2
NGC 6638              Sgr  18:30:56.10  -25:29:50.9    9.02   7.3
M 69, NGC 6637        Sgr  18:31:23.10  -32:20:53.1    7.64   9.8
NGC 6642              Sgr  18:31:54.10  -23:28:30.7    9.13   5.8
NGC 6652              Sgr  18:35:45.63  -32:59:26.6    8.62   6.0
M 22, NGC 6656        Sgr  18:36:23.94  -23:54:17.1    5.10  32.0
Palomar 8             Sgr  18:41:29.9   -19:49:33     11.02   5.2
M 70, NGC 6681        Sgr  18:43:12.76  -32:17:31.6    7.87   8.0
GLIMPSE-C01           Aql  18:48:49.7   -01:29:50     22.24      
NGC 6712              Sct  18:53:04.30  -08:42:22.0    8.10   9.8
M 54, NGC 6715        Sgr  18:55:03.33  -30:28:47.5    7.60  12.0
NGC 6717, Palomar 9   Sgr  18:55:06.04  -22:42:05.3    9.28   5.4

Object      Constellation    RA      Dec.        Mag.      Size

NGC 6723              Sgr  18:59:33.15  -36:37:56.1    7.01  13.0
NGC 6749              Aql  19:05:15.3   +01:54:03     12.44   4.0
NGC 6760              Aql  19:11:12.01  +01:01:49.7    8.88   9.6
M 56, NGC 6779        Lyr  19:16:35.57  +30:11:00.5    8.27   8.8
Terzan 7              Sgr  19:17:43.92  -34:39:27.8   12.00   1.2
Palomar 10            Sge  19:18:02.1   +18:34:18     13.22   4.0
Arp 2                 Sgr  19:28:44.11  -30:21:20.3   12.30   2.3
M 55, NGC 6809        Sgr  19:39:59.71  -30:57:53.1    6.32  19.0
Terzan 8              Sgr  19:41:44.41  -33:59:58.1   12.40   3.5
Palomar 11            Aql  19:45:14.4   -08:00:26      9.80  10.0
M 71, NGC 6838        Sge  19:53:46.49  +18:46:45.1    8.19   7.2
M 75, NGC 6864        Sgr  20:06:04.69  -21:55:16.2    8.52   6.8
NGC 6934              Del  20:34:11.37  +07:24:16.1    8.83   7.1
M 72, NGC 6981        Aqr  20:53:27.70  -12:32:14.3    9.27   6.6
NGC 7006              Del  21:01:29.38  +16:11:14.4   10.56   3.6
M 15, NGC 7078        Peg  21:29:58.33  +12:10:01.2    6.20  18.0
M  2, NGC 7089        Aqr  21:33:27.02  -00:49:23.7    6.47  16.0
M 30, NGC 7099        Cap  21:40:22.12  -23:10:47.5    7.19  12.0
Palomar 12,           Cap  21:46:38.84  -21:15:09.4   11.99   2.9
Palomar 13,           Peg  23:06:44.44  +12:46:19.2   13.47   0.7
NGC 7492              Aqr  23:08:26.63  -15:36:41.4   11.29   4.2
 
*the complete list can be found at http://www.physics.mcmaster.ca/~harris/mwgc.dat

Leave a Reply