In Harold Corwin’s new Galactic Globular Cluster List, he lists 158 globular clusters (GCs) that he believes could be or have been seen visually. Here is an Excel copy of his findings that was created by Tom Polakis – which I’m currently hosting in my Google Drive. I have found that his new magnitudes are a much better fit than those in William Harris’s catalog.
From my latitude in northern Arkansas (36.1°), only 12 never rise. So that leaves me with at least a glimmer of a shot at seeing 146 GCs. Currently, by using no more than my 10-inch SCT, I have seen 109 GCs, but I’m almost at the end of what I can do with this telescope. Which ones I’ve seen break down to:
12 – naked-eye
46 – handheld 7x35 binoculars
22 – handheld 8x56 binoculars
7 – handheld 12x54 binoculars
5 – 130mm tabletop Dobsonian (including 3 Palomars)
17 – 10-inch Meade SCT (including 5 Palomars, 5 Terzans)
*With no more than a pair of handheld Celestron 8x56 binoculars, I have seen 80 globular clusters.
*Of the 158 globular clusters on Corwin’s list, only 29 are technically in the Northern Celestial Hemisphere – the other 129 are below the Celestial Equator. I had never quite realized that before!
*Corwin’s list has 111 GCs having magnitudes brighter than +11.0, and only 11 of them are permanently below my horizon. Seems I have “access” to all but nearly a dozen bright ones!
But here is a question for everyone. Does the idea of a “Globular Cluster Marathon” ring a bell? For some reason, I seem to believe that I once read about the idea of trying to see 120 in a single night in a Sky & Telescope from the early 2000’s. For the life of me though, I can’t seem to find that article. Anybody remember what I’m talking about?
Oh, and please share how you have done on GCs. They are one of the rarest of the DSOs in our Galaxy, so as they say in Pokémon -- "Gotta catch 'em all"!
Edited by SNH, 12 May 2021 - 07:57 AM.