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Observing Palomar Globular Clusters

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#1 hokkaido53

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 03:29 PM

I would like to converse with anyone who has had experience with observing the Palomar globulars. I recently downloaded  a list of 15 of them. I realize that some of these are quite dim, but I do have an 18" reflector, plus transparent desert skies.

 

There are currently (8/27/14) some of the brighter globs visible in Sagittarius, Aquila, and Serpens.

 

Thanks for your time,

 

Roy


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#2 kt4hx

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 04:22 PM

Hi Roy.  While I can't address them in any substantive manner, having only observed a couple of them in my Z10 from our dark site, I can recommend (if you haven't already) downloading Alvin Huey's globular observing guide.  It has charts and data on all 15 of the Palomar globs, as well as all globs north of -50 dec.  I find it quite useful in planning these types of projects.  Good luck!

 

http://www.faintfuzz...Clusters v4.pdf


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#3 hokkaido53

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 05:23 PM

Hi Roy.  While I can't address them in any substantive manner, having only observed a couple of them in my Z10 from our dark site, I can recommend (if you haven't already) downloading Alvin Huey's globular observing guide.  It has charts and data on all 15 of the Palomar globs, as well as all globs north of -50 dec.  I find it quite useful in planning these types of projects.  Good luck!

 

http://www.faintfuzz...Clusters v4.pdf

Thanks!

 

- Roy



#4 KidOrion

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 05:49 PM

I've observed #s 8 & 9 with a 12.5" (from green and yellow zones, respectively); these are the two easiest.  I've seen Terzan 7 and suspected Pal 11 in the same scope from a green zone.  Haven't tried Pal 7 yet, although it's among the easiest remaining.

 

I managed to track down Pal 13 (one of the more difficult, apparently) with a 17.5" from a grey zone a number of years back (got the Eridanus Cluster with same scope and location).



#5 aatt

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 08:27 PM

I tried  for 13 a couple of nights in a row and gave up. I guess I need much darker skies for that one.



#6 JimK

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 09:24 PM

My logs note that so far I have seen 2 of them:

 

Pal 2 (in Aur) in Feb'12 using a C-8 f/10 SCT

and

Pal 11 (in Aql) in Jun'11 using a C4-R f/10 refractor

 

Both were faint in the telescopes used.  I suspect others are fainter still.  So many things to see...



#7 kfiscus

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 09:59 PM

I have only gotten Pal 8.  I found it  while hunting (successfully) for Pluto .  Pal 8 is in Sagittarius and is easily seen in my 12".



#8 Starman1

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 09:36 AM

From my notes:

The following ones were easier: 11, 2, 12, 6, 13, 7, 9

These were tough: 1, 3, 8, 4, 

These were nearly impossible: 14, 5

And these not found (I have to go back to search): 15, 10

The first group looked like globulars at high power.

The second group looked like galaxies, frankly.

The 3rd group resembled faint galaxies at the limit with averted vision

And I'm not sure a 12.5" can see the last 2, but I'm going to keep trying.

Note: they're all larger than the globulars in M31, but some of those seemed brighter.


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#9 hokkaido53

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 09:43 AM

Last night, I decided to go for the brightest ones, and I was able to see Palomars 7 and 9, in Ophiuchus and Sagittarius, respectively. That was in the early evening when the skies are clearest here. I tried to pick up Palomar 11 in Aquila later, but the sky had become too hazy.

 

Roy


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#10 Galaxy_Mike

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 11:17 AM

Thanks for starting this thread.  We had picnics at Mt Palomar when I was a kid. Hoping to get these, someday. 

 

Here's an interesting article on it:

 

http://www.astronomy...ce/palglob.htm 

 

 


Edited by Galaxy_Mike, 28 August 2014 - 11:22 AM.


#11 hokkaido53

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 12:12 PM

Thanks for starting this thread.  We had picnics at Mt Palomar when I was a kid. Hoping to get these, someday. 

 

Here's an interesting article on it:

 

http://www.astronomy...ce/palglob.htm 

You're welcome, Mike. :) 

However, the link doesn't work. :(

 

Roy



#12 The Planetman

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 03:11 PM

Here is the link to the Palomar Globs. 

http://www.astronomy...ace/palglob.htm



#13 Feidb

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 09:20 PM

I've only nailed Pal 6,8 and 13 so far. They aren't easy and part of the issue is not only their dimness, but they're often in obscure parts of the sky, away from any key stars to guide you if you're star hopping. They're one of my goals and I keep trying every time I go out if one of them is up but often sky conditions get in the way.



#14 Galaxy_Mike

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 11:06 AM

Sorry, not sure what happened with that link. I think I tried it and it worked, but not working now.

Anyway, I ran across this. This guy has done several with a 4"! So that's encouraging.

http://www.deepsky-v...PalomarGC_E.htm

#15 kt4hx

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 02:15 PM

I notice that observer found four of the fifteen with a 4 inch, and one, Pal 12, wasn't a confirmed observation.  That would indeed be challenging, and not something a casual observer would accomplish.  Obviously one needs excellent charts and observing skills, particularly with smaller apertures.  Of course you must consider not only visual magnitude, but surface brightness and angular size.  Looking at them in rank order by visual magnitude alone, you get the following, sourced from Alvin's guide (linked in my 1st post):

 

Pal 9 @ 8.4

Pal 11 @ 9.8

Pal 7 @ 10.3

Pal 8 @ 10.9

Pal 6 @ 11.6

Pal 12 @ 11.7

Pal 5 @ 11.8

Pal 2 @ 13.0

Pal 10 @ 13.2

Pal 1 @ 13.6

Pal 13 @ 13.8

Pal 3 @ 13.9

Pal 15 @ 14.2

Pal 4 @ 14.2

Pal 13 @ 14.7


Edited by kt4hx, 29 August 2014 - 02:15 PM.


#16 Achernar

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 02:46 PM

Palomar 8 and 9 are the easiest ones by far. I have succeeded in finding both. The others are much harder, and you will find two or three of them to be tough propositions even for a 25-inch. I couldn't see Palomar 13 in Pegasus through a 25-inch at a very dark site in southern Alabama. Clear and transparent skies are absolutely essential for most Palomar globular clusters.

 

Taras



#17 Starman1

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 04:48 PM

Palomar 8 and 9 are the easiest ones by far. I have succeeded in finding both. The others are much harder, and you will find two or three of them to be tough propositions even for a 25-inch. I couldn't see Palomar 13 in Pegasus through a 25-inch at a very dark site in southern Alabama. Clear and transparent skies are absolutely essential for most Palomar globular clusters.

 

Taras

Hmm.  Palomar 13 has a surface brightness brighter than magnitude 13.  Perhaps you weren't looking for something that small (it's like a small planetary)

or loose (it's category XII).  Try it again at a minimum of 200X+ and you'll spot it if the sky is not too murky.  My notes show it was easier than Palomar 8,

but then Palomar 8 is over 7X wider (about 50X as much area).


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#18 Galaxy_Mike

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 11:21 AM

If it clears I plan on trying PAL 8 tonight, as it looks like the brightest, should be easy to find only 2.5° from M25, and was actually discovered (7&9 have IC #'s) in the survey, I think. Plus PAL 9 is right there

I think PAL 6 would be attainable in a large scope, as it's only 5° off M8. There are other interesting targets in the area , like 6401 and probably more difficult Terzan 5, 6440&45 aren't too far away. But the whole Sagittarius area is setting, so I wouldn't wait, although it may have to wait until a few days past the full moon.

I tried PAL 11 last year, no luck in a, small scope. It's up from the Barnard's galaxy Little Gem Nebula area. I may try it again, theres a galaxy nearby, too. There is a bit more time on that one, since it's towardthe back of the constellation.

Don, I think Steve Coe had an observation of PAL15 in his 13". I think it was on the Saguaro site

Edited by Galaxy_Mike, 30 August 2014 - 11:50 AM.


#19 Matt Lindsey

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 04:15 PM

I've seen 2, 7, 8, 9, 11, ( mostly the easier ones) with my 12" scope under dark orange and dark yellow zone skies.  All pretty difficult and require excellent transparency and concentration studying the star field.


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#20 LivingNDixie

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 01:38 PM

I have bagged Palomar 9, it is pretty easy. It is also known as NGC 6717.



#21 Galaxy_Mike

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 09:56 PM

Just saw PAL 9 in the moonlight with 4.5". Extremely easy,  as it is small and bright.  However,  you need to run the magnification up to get it away from the bright star. 90x was good,  150x better. 

 

Believe I saw 7&8, too, looking at the dso-browser.com photos. 

 

Really wasn't expecting much with the moon out.  



#22 hokkaido53

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 10:28 AM

Last night (9/1/14)I saw Palomar 11 in Aquila – Looks like a sparse open cluster with a dull glow behind it.

 

Used 24mm Meade eyepiece and a 12mm Nagler ep, magnifications are 86x and 171x respectively.

 

Roy


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#23 kt4hx

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 02:57 PM

I observed Pal 11 from our dark site (typically Bortle 2 to 3) with my Z10.  I don't have access to my notes presently to refer to, but I seem to remember that while readily apparent, it wasn't particularly eye catching with its suface brightness of 14.5 MPSAM.



#24 Edward E

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 10:49 AM

Last night (9/1/14)I saw Palomar 11 in Aquila – Looks like a sparse open cluster with a dull glow behind it.

 

Used 24mm Meade eyepiece and a 12mm Nagler ep, magnifications are 86x and 171x respectiv

 

If it clears I plan on trying PAL 8 tonight, as it looks like the brightest, should be easy to find only 2.5° from M25, and was actually discovered (7&9 have IC #'s) in the survey, I think. Plus PAL 9 is right there

I think PAL 6 would be attainable in a large scope, as it's only 5° off M8. There are other interesting targets in the area , like 6401 and probably more difficult Terzan 5, 6440&45 aren't too far away. But the whole Sagittarius area is setting, so I wouldn't wait, although it may have to wait until a few days past the full moon.

I tried PAL 11 last year, no luck in a, small scope. It's up from the Barnard's galaxy Little Gem Nebula area. I may try it again, theres a galaxy nearby, too. There is a bit more time on that one, since it's towardthe back of the constellation.

Don, I think Steve Coe had an observation of PAL15 in his 13". I think it was on the Saguaro site

 

I have been trying for Pal 11 for 2 years now with my 20" under the dark skies of E Arizona with no luck.  I can find star pattern around it but not the GC.  I'm planning to try it again next new moon, if it's clear.



#25 sgottlieb

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 11:59 AM

I'd recommend using fairly low power (roughly 100x) to first identify Palomar 11, which is situated just 4' southeast of a mag 8.6 star.  Look for a low surface brightness, patchy glow (many stars will be nearly resolving).  High power can definitely resolve a number of the mag 15 and fainter stars in a 20-inch.  As far as the details, here are a few of my more recent observations ...

 

24" (7/25/14): this relatively bright Palomar appeared fairly faint, but fairly large, ~3' diameter.  Contains a  brighter 1.5' central region that was partially resolved at 260x.  At 375x, the core contains roughly 5 or 6 brighter mag 14.5-15 stars and an additional 10-15 faint mag 15-16 stars including several within the central 45".  A number of stars in the halo sparkled on and off with averted vision or were close to each other, so counting was difficult.

 

24" (9/7/13): at 200x this relatively bright Palomar globular contained a brighter core and a roundish halo ~2.5' diameter, with several mag 15 and fainter stars resolved.  Well resolved at 375x and 500x into roughly two dozen mag 15/16 (several extremely faint) stars resolved in addition to 5 brighter mag 14.5-15 stars.  The resolved stars are distributed over the entire glow, though more concentrated in the 1' core that is slightly elongated SW to NE.  Situated 4' SE of mag 8.6 HD 186496 with several brighter mag 12-13 stars scattered outside the halo of the cluster.

 

18" (7/14/07): swept up at 150x as a very low surface brightness hazy region, ~3' in diameter with a few mag 15+ stars superimposed.  Cradled by three mag 13 stars close southwest, east and northeast. A 22" pair of mag 11.5/12 stars lie ~3.5' N. The observation was interrupted before I could use higher power to resolve.

 

18" (8/2/05): easily picked up in the field at 115x.  At 160x appears as a fairly large, very low surface brightness glow, perhaps 3.5' diameter though the periphery fades into the background and is not easily traced visually.  The cluster is nestled adjacent to a group of mag 13 stars and a 22" pair of mag 12 stars is to the north.  The surface brightness is irregular or mottled and several extremely faint stars pop in and out of visibility at this power including a few stars near the center.  Located 4' SSE of mag 8.6 HD 186496.

 

18" (7/19/04): at 225x, appears faint, moderately large, round, ~3'-3.5' diameter with almost no central brightening although the globular fades around the periphery. Several faint stars are superimposed.  It was difficult to estimate the size as the halo is not well defined.  At times I felt the diameter was as large as 6' but usually only appeared 3' at best.  At 435x, a half dozen faint stars are superimposed though some may be foreground stars (the brightest cluster members are mag 15.5). The cluster's surface brightness is quite low at the magnification.


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