Astrophotography by Anthony Ayiomamitis

Palomar Globular Cluster Image Gallery

Globular star clusters are a symmetrical collection of ancient stars (up to a million such stars) which are bound together gravitationally. Recent estimates indicate that about 150-200 globulars exist throughout our galaxy with only three being readily visible to the naked eye (the Andromeda Galaxy has been estimated to contain approximately 500 globular clusters). Since most of the globular clusters are more common in the southern hemisphere, scientists have deduced that our sun must lie away from the galactic core of the Milky Way. One of the most beautiful such globular clusters is M13 in Hercules.

Note: A survey of the POSS (Palomar Observatory Sky Survey) plates during the 1950's by various astronomers including Edwin Hubble, Halton Arp and George Abell revealed fifteeen new globular clusters which are diverse in both apparent diameter (1.8' to 10.9'x8.8') and magnitude (9.2 to 15.1). Some of the Palomar globulars (ex. PAL 6-7, 9-11) are typical in both size and distance but dim due to intervening galactic dust; other clusters, such as PAL 3-4 and 14, are significantly larger but lie at the outer limits of our galaxy. Similar to the Abell catalog of planetary nebulae, this particular list of globular clusters is a popular target of observers with large-aperture instruments such as Dobsonians and including an annual "Palomar marathon".

Note: For an excellent article on all fifteen Palomar clusters, see Astronomy Magazine (Aug/2010, pg 52-55).

Palomar Globular Clusters

PAL 1 in Cep

PAL 2 in Aur

PAL 3 in Sex

PAL 4 in UMa

PAL 5 in Ser

PAL 6 in Oph

PAL 7/IC 1276 in Ser

PAL 8 in Sgr

PAL 9 in Sgr

PAL 10 in Sge

PAL 11 in Aql

PAL 12 in Cap

PAL 13 in Peg

PAL 14 in Her

PAL 15 in Oph