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Thread: The Palomar Globulars

  1. #1
    Member Preston Pendergraft's Avatar
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    The Palomar Globulars

    I was wondering those who have observed them could give some thoughts on how hard they are. I was really surprised to see Palomar 9 was discovered by Herschel.

    Any advice or thoughts on this list of objects. I use a 10in SCT.

  2. #2
    Administrator/Co-Founder Dragan's Avatar
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    Hi Preston,

    I'm at work right now and cannot access my notes but if I remember correctly I believe I've observed 12 or 13 of the 15 Palomars. Most of my observations would have been made with my 25". Needless to say, many were tough in my scope. I do not know the minimum aperture at which all 15 were observed but I'd bet you're going to have one heck of a time with the 10".

    One Palomar that has eluded me for years is 15 in Ophiuchus. Every year at the Nebraska Star Party I try for it and every year I get skunked. And that's with a 25 in mag 7.0+ skies! Its just one of those objects that I cannot make a confirmed observation of.

    Anyway, here are 2 good websites to help you with the Palomars.

    http://www.deepsky-visuell.de/Projekte/PalomarGC_E.htm

    And even our own Steve Gottliebs site:

    http://www.astronomy-mall.com/Advent...ce/palglob.htm

    I must say Preston, this website/forum was created just for these types of observations and challenges. Palomars with a 10"! Thats awesome!! What a great way to improve and sharpen your skills. Be sure to keep us all posted on your observations. I'm sure others would be interested in knowing how small a scope can be utilized to observe the Palomars!
    Clear Dark Skies,
    Dragan Nikin
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  3. #3
    Member Preston Pendergraft's Avatar
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    Dragin,

    That first link is exactly what I was looking for, not sure why searching on google didn't find it. One of my current observing projects is the Astro League's Globular Star Cluster pin. The book that goes with it has a listing of all the objects and some history going with them. The Palomars are in the book but the only note is one from Barbara Wilson stating that she observed them all and had them ranked in order of how hard they were to observe. Alvin Huey has a wonderful free download on his website with magnitude and location information on his website (which is ironically missing from the AL book).

    I have been enjoying the AL program and enjoy globular clusters as a whole, but for getting the pin I was trying to step away from the ones covered in the Messier and Herschel catalogs. For example G1 in M31 was pretty cool and is part of the program.

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    Member Marko's Avatar
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    15 I would agree is the 'darn begger' of the batch. I too 'felt strongly' that I had seen Pal 15 and tried very hard to not lie to myself but it is the kind of observation that requires the very best transparency and very dark skies. For me that was 8000 foot altitude at Lassen in north CA. The other 14 I was sure I had observed. All this in 18" f/3.7 or about 1944mm considering the ParaCorr. I very much doubt a 10" could bring them all in in a confirmed way. On Pal 15 there were several 'I give up' events on prior nights/years and the night that I got a 'I feel I think I saw glow in the correct place' was after sitting eyes closed and under a dark shroud for 15 or more minutes and then doing the observation while not letting any sky glow between my eye and the eyepiece. I still to this day question that sighting so with that in mind it makes it questionable. On my tape I was taking I sounded like I was convinced but still ... there is always averted imagination.

    The AL Glob project was a blast and my spreadsheet used G1 as you have mentioned plus Pal 6 and Ngc5053. I had several other of the challenge objects from prior observations but no sketch so I did the 3 sketches (required for challenge objects). I am embarrassed as I rarely do sketches and really shoud, it really must help become a more critical observer. Two years ago at meridian I had a lot of fun tracking down globs in M31 but have not gotten back to that project as there were about 10 more I wanted to get (all ones that can be definite sightings in an 18" and not the 'insane' ones). In my observations I tried to note 1) Totally covered core (not present on low concentration globs of course), 2) The diameter where there was 50% coverage and 3) the max size of detectable glow which as we all know is generally ALWAYS far smaller than the stated glob size due to that being determined with CCD. Also of course unique attributes and concentration class 'guess'. I enjoyed that project greatly and here is my submission: http://www.astrospotter.com/AlGlobClub_MarkJohnston.xls if curious.
    Last edited by Marko; March 2nd, 2012 at 04:52 AM.
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    Member FaithJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Preston Pendergraft View Post
    I was wondering those who have observed them could give some thoughts on how hard they are. I was really surprised to see Palomar 9 was discovered by Herschel.

    Any advice or thoughts on this list of objects. I use a 10in SCT.
    I've seen Pal 9 (aka NGC 6717) with my 8" and it is the easiest one of the lot. I've seen Pal 11 with my old 12". I've not (yet) tried for the others from my backyard but now I am using an 18" I will do.
    18" f/4.3 David Lukehurst Dob
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  6. #6
    Big Jim Jim Chandler's Avatar
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    Using a 25" f/5, Pal 15 is the only one I have not seen at a low altitude (~1500', SQM 21.6) dark site. That one required higher elevation (~6000', SQM 21.8) in addition to dark skies. A 10" sct will, of course, not be quite as contrasty as a newtonian, but if you can take it to higher elevation and very dark skies, you should have a reasonable chance of success with at least the brighter half of the Palomar list.

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    Member Sue French's Avatar
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    Preston,

    I've never pursued the Palomars as a list, but I've looked at some that were in areas of the sky I was observing. Here they are and what I could see them with.
    Pal 2: 105mm, 10-inch
    Pal 3: 15-inch
    Pal 4: 15-inch (Kent Blackwell has seen it in a 10-inch)
    Pal 5: 10-inch, 14.5-inch
    Pal 7: 105mm, 10-inch
    Pal 8: 105mm, 10-inch, 14.5-inch
    Pal 9: 105mm, 10-inch, 15-inch
    Pal 10: 130mm, 10-inch, 15-inch
    Pal 11: 105mm, 10-inch, 14.5-inch
    Pal 12: 105mm, 130mm, 10-inch, 14.5-inch
    Pal 13: 10-inch

    Clear skies, Sue

  8. #8
    I'm at work now, but I'll check my notes.

    But I saw all of them, but 2 or 3...and know that Palomar 15 is one of them! That was a TOUGH bugger. Looked for it at least 5 times under some pristine skies and still can't get it.

    Oh, here is another tough globular - UKS1 - No I did not see it yet. I know Jimi did...after sitting on it for at least 15 minutes with his 48".
    http://www.astronomy-mall.com/Advent...ce/obscure.htm
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    Alvin #26
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  9. #9
    Member stevecoe's Avatar
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    Both of these observations from Ophiuchus are with a 13 inch f/5.6 Newtonian.

    Palomar 6 Very, very faint, pretty large, round, not brighter in the middle at 165X. I could not have found this faint globular without Uranometria 2000 chart.

    Palomar 15 On a night I rated 6/10 for seeing and transparency this very low surface brightness globular cluster was just suspected with the 13" at 150X. Only because it was very slightly brighter in the middle can I say I saw it that night. However, I kept this glob on the observing list, waiting for a better night. I looked again at a site that is about 75 miles from Phoenix on a night I rated 7/10 for seeing and 8/10 for transparency. It was extremely faint, pretty small, round and has low surface brightness, but I am certain I observed it. Averted vision helps the contrast with this object.

    Clear skies;
    Steve Coe

  10. #10
    Member Keith Rivich's Avatar
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    Preston,
    The Pal's are very similar to observing the Terzans, tough sons of guns! The brighter ones look like globs...no big surprise there but the fainter ones can best be described as "faint twinkling against the background". Easy to overlook.
    Keith Rivich

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  11. #11
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    Here are sketches of 7, 8 and 9 with a 10", although from excellent skies (10,000' in Colorado; SQMs 21.5+).

    I've also attached a sketch of Pal 2, but that was done from home (larger instrument, but much poorer skies).

    I struck out on Pal 1 and 4 from home (16"), and Pal 11 from Colorado (10").

    Cheers,
    Jeff.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
    Member Preston Pendergraft's Avatar
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    Well I gave Pal 4 a go from my local site since it was up, I knew it was a long shot and well I didn't see squat. I am going to try again from a darker site.

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    Member Pawel_T's Avatar
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    Yesterday, out of pure curiosity, I tried to find Palomar 4th whereabouts. Star hopping is pretty easy. I started with a nice round NGC3687, then I located the 13 mag star by which the globular should be. I didn't have much hopes to see it considering the conditions I had (LM 6.1 mag approx. and poor transparency) and I was right, no sign of the fuzzy at all. Tried different magnifications (from 150x to 428x), no difference.
    But now I know where it is and next time the weather allows I'll do better, hopefully :-)
    I'm ashamed to say, I haven't seen any of Palomars yet...
    13" f/4.6; FS102; Miyauchi Bj100

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  14. #14
    Member Preston Pendergraft's Avatar
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    Well I logged my first Palomar globular this past Saturday... Palomar 9. I wasn't sure how hard it would be when the notes on the internet by Barbara Wilson said it was the easiest (while using large dobs) but I figured I had a chance considering the post earlier in this thread that Sue French mentions seeing it in a scope as small as a 4in APO. I used the photo in Alvin Huey's great online guide to globulars.

    I put in a 22mm Pan in the 10in LX200 I use and hit goto. The field looked just like the picture from the internet and Huey's book. I think having Huey's book really helped since the object didn't look like a typical globular cluster to me. It looks weird to me almost open cluster like, maybe it is the shape the object has.

    Anyway... one Palomar down fourteen to go!

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    I've seen 3, 5 and 8 with an 18" and the rest with a 20". A short article in Deep Sky Observer (Webb Society) 154: 22-25, 2011 followed that.

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    Just as another data point, I've observed Pals 7 (=IC 1276), 8, and 9 (=NGC 6717) with an 8" f/6 Dob from very good skies. To my eye, those three are the easiest, and of similar difficulty. With a 12" f/4.7 I've added Pals 10, 11, and 12.

  17. #17
    Member Pawel_T's Avatar
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    Well, I've seen Palomar 9 with my 13" (very easy) and Palomars 1, 2 and 13 with 18". Four down, eleven to go :-)
    13" f/4.6; FS102; Miyauchi Bj100

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    "Only he, who knows when to remain silent, talks without harm" (Thomas A. Kempis)

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