bwilsonchronicle.jpg (24623 bytes)List of G. Clusters
List of G. Clusters Most distant G. Ranking by Brightest

Confirmed Milky Way Globulars as of June 2003

There are 150 Known Confirmed Galactic Globular Clusters, following is a breakdown of their designations. Data compiled by Barbara Wilson from various sources.

29 are Messier Objects of which 20 were new discoveries in his catalogue. Messier actually discovered 13 globulars, and catalogued 16 found by others. Messier, C., Catalogue des nebuleuses et des amas d'etoiles, Published in: Connaissance des Temps, Paris (1784)  Messier's globular clusters are numbered as: M2, M3, M4, M5, M9, M10, M12, M13, M14, M15, M19, M22, M28, M30, M53, M54, M55, M56, M62, M68, M69, M70, M71, M72, M75, M79, M80, M92, M107. See Discovery table of Milky Way Globulars here!

74 Globulars have primary NGC numbers. For the purposes here I have included NGC 6717= Pal 9 with the Palomar globulars, otherwise the list would contain 75 NGC numbers. 37 were discovered by William Herschel who coined the term "Globular Cluster". 33 of the 37 are on the Herschel 400 list. His full list of 2500 objects was published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: First catalogue of 1,000 nebulous objects (1786), second catalog of a second 1,000 nebulous objects (1789), and third catalog of 500 nebulous objects.

11 globular clusters are on Terzan’s list of infrared discoveries. Terzan 1 – 11 These 11 globulars discovered by Agop Terzan (France) in the infrared; mostly heavily obscured and situated near the Galactic Center. Terzan A., Quatre nouveaux amas stellaires dans la direction de la region centrale de la Galaxie, Astr. Astrophys. 12, 477-481 (1971) [Terzan] Originally 12 entries, of which the original Terzan 11 was a rediscovery of Terzan 5; I here call the original Terzan 12 as Terzan 11 in keeping with Terzan's redesignation. Terzan, A. "Erratum _Four New Star Clusters in the Direction of the Central Area of the Galaxy", Astron. & Astrophysics, v15, p.336.  The Milky Way may have captured Terzan 7 and 8, globulars originally belonging to the Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy.

2 have primary IC (Index Catalogue) designations: IC 1257, IC 4499. IC1276 = Pal 7 and here is included with the Palomars.  IC 1257 located in Ophiuchus was discovered in 1890 by Rudolf Spitaler and classified until 1997 as an open cluster. Czernik Crute questioned its classification as a probable globular on Sky Atlas 2000 charts, and contacted Brian Skiff in regards to its current status. Brian and I both contacted Dr. Harris.  Images were taken with the 200 inch Mt, Palomar telescope that confirmed its status as the 147th known Milky Way Globular.  I was proud to have taken a part in its rediscovery as a globular cluster. Discovery paper:  Harris, WE., Phelps R.L.., Madore, B.F., Pevenova O., Skiff, B.A., Crute, C., Wilson, B., and Archinal, B.. IC 1257: A New Globular Cluster in the Galactic Halo 1997, AJ, 113, 688)  IC 4499 in Apus was discovered in 1901 by Stewart.  Dreyer J.L.E., Index catalogue of nebulae, Reprinted in 1953 (1895) [IC]Numbers 1-1529.Dreyer J.L.E., Second index catalogue of nebulae and clusters of stars, Reprinted R. Astr. Soc., London, 1953 (1908) [IC].

15 globulars are designated "Palomar Globulars". George Abell catalogued thirteen during examination of the Palomar Sky Survey Plates in 1955. (Numbers 1-13).  Discovered and added later: Pal 14 = Arp 1 = C 1608+150 (1958, reported in1960), Pal 15 = An. (Zwicky) = C 1657-004 (1959). Discoverers: Pal 2,3,10,11 and 13 by A.G. Wilson in 1955.   Pal 4 was the first Palomar type globular found and remains the most distant of the Palomars at 109.2 kpc.   Hubble discovered it on a 48 inch Schmidt plate taken in 1949 before the Sky Survey began. In 1950 A.G. Wilson found it again independently.  Pal 5 was discovered by Baade in 1950 then later found and reported independently in 1955 by Wilson. Pal 12 by Harrington and Zwicky in 1953.    Pal 14 was discovered by  Sidney van den Bergh in 1958  by inspection of the POSS and confirmed by Halton Arp in 1960 with the 200 inch at Mt. Palomar.  Pal 15  was discovered by Zwicky in 1959 who claimed it contained about 400 stars with 19<mp<22. It first appears listed as Pal 15 in the catalogs of   Kukarkin (1974) and Harris and Racine (1979).    The rest were found by G. Abell: Pal 1,6,7,8,9.  Abell’s discoveries include two globulars previously discovered by earlier astronomers:   Swift in 1889 found IC 1276 (Pal 7) W. Herschel in 1784 found H III 143 later catalogued as NGC 6717 by Dreyer in 1888, then labeled Pal 9 by Abell apparently unaware of it, as it was not catalogued as a globular by Herschel.  Discovery paper:   Abell G. O., Globular clusters and planetary nebulae discovered on the National Geographic Society-Palomar Observatory sky survey, Table I, P.A.S.P. 67, 258-261 (1955) [Pal] Numbers 1-13. The distant globular clusters Palomar 14 and Palomar 15

2 globulars are designated Arp Madore (AM). Three clusters of faint stars were discovered by Arp and Madore in 1979 during a search for peculiar galaxies on UK Schmidt telescope plates. Of these three, AM-2 is a large loose old open cluster, AM 3 is a very small sparse globular belonging to the SMC, so these two are not included in our list. But, the third cluster, AM 1 in Horologium is the most distant globular cluster gravitationally bound by the Milky Way. AM 4 found by the team in 1982, is also a distant globular in Hydra. Madore B.F., Arp H.C., A distant star cluster in Hydra, AM-4, P.A.S.P. 94, 40-42 (1982) Madore B.F., Arp H.C., Three new faint star clusters, Astrophysical Journal, Part 2 - Letters to the Editor, vol. 227, Jan. 15, 1979, p. L103, L104.

 2 are designated Djorgovski globulars: Djorg 1 and 2. Djorg 2= ESO 456- 38 = C 1758-278. They were discovered in 1986 by examination with a hand held magnifier of SRC Southern Sky survey I band films, using a list selected from the IRAS point source catalogue by Djorgovski and later follow-up CCD imaging.  Later, Djorg 3 was found to be the same object as NGC 6540. NGC 6540 was catalogued in the NGC as an open cluster until Djorgovski determined it was a globular but was unaware of its previous NGC designation. NGC 6540 is its primary designation, and is included here in the NGC listings. Discovery papers: Djorgovski S., Discovery of three obscured globular clusters, Astrophys. J., 317, L13-L14 (1987). DJORGOVSKI S, Searches for obscured globular clusters, and a discovery of three new clusters,1986BAAS...18..910D - Bull. American Astron. Soc., 18, 910-911 (1986)

Arp 2 In 1958, van den Bergh found a faint star cluster on POSS plates. Arp took images with the 200 inch at Palomar and determined that the cluster has  a giant branch, concluding that it was a globular cluster. Arp H., Van den Bergh S., A new faint Globular Cluster, P.A.S.P. 72, 48 and Plate, 1960 Arp 2 = C 1925-304

BH 176 VDBH = (BH) = (Van den Bergh-Hagen) in the constellation of Norma was discovered by Van den Bergh and Hagen in a survey of star clusters in the southern Milky Way in 1975. The survey conducted with the Curtis-Schmidt Telescope of Cerro Tololo Observatory produced a list of 262 open clusters, of which BH 176 was included. It has been classified as an oc and a globular. BH176 was reinstated to Harris’ list based on new findings as a probable globular in 1995. The authors of this study concluded that the color magnitude diagram for BH 176 left them undecided, but they state it should be a true globular cluster or a very old open cluster such as NGC 6791. BH 176 and AM-2: globular or open clusters? Authors: Ortolani, S.; Bica, E.; Barbuy, B. Journal: Astronomy and Astrophysics, v.300, p.726 1995A&A...300..726O

 Discovery paper: Van den Bergh S., Hagen G.L., Uniform survey of clusters in the Southern Milky Way, A.J. 80, 11-16, 1975 [VdB-Ha]

The Eridanus Cluster is a distant outer halo globular cluster found on a 60 minute Schmidt photographic plate obtained on Dec 11, 1976 taken with the ESO Schmidt telescope . “ It was found to be a comparatively loose cluster of concentration class X – XII. Its brightest stars are very red.”  Its discovery was reported in a Letter to the Editor in 1977A&A....61L..31C Cesarsky, D. A.; Lequeux, J.; Laustsen, S.; Schuster, H.-E.; West, R. M., 1977. Two new faint stellar systems discovered on ESO Schmidt platesThe Eridanus cluster was confirmed as an outer halo cluster in C0422-213 (Eridanus) - A second intermediate metal abundance globular cluster in the outer Galactic halo Da Costa 1985 ApJ 291,230.

E 3 = ESO 037-SC001 = C0921-770 is a deep southern sky peculiar star-poor globular cluster in Chamaeleon found in 1976 by Lauberts. Lauberts found three star clusters, two are globulars; E1 (AM1) and E3. E3’s coordinates are RA = 9h 20'59.3", Dec = -77°16'57. A sparse subgiant branch was found, indicating that the object is a globular cluster. Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Publications (ISSN 0004-6280), vol. 96, June 1984, p. 406-418. The discovery paper is: Lauberts A., Three distant stellar clusters found on ESO blue survey plates, Astr. Astrophys. 52, 309-311 (1976). E 1 was found to be the same object as Arp Madore 1 (AM1).  E2 is an open cluster in the LMC halo.

ESO 452-SC11 located in Scorpius was discovered in1982 by Lauberts on the survey charts of the European Southern Observatory, and suggested to be a globular at that time. It was never confirmed until new studies were done in 1999. The authors cited below conclude that it is a globular with comparable average age to other halo globulars and that ESO 452-SC11 appears to be a southern counterpart of the Palomar clusters. The nature of the star clusters ESO 93-SC08 and ESO 452-SC11 Authors: Bica, E.; Ortolani, S.; Barbuy, B. Astronomy and Astrophysics Supplement, v.136, p.363-372, 1999. Discovery paper: Lauberts, A., The Uppsala Survey of the ESO(B)-Atlas, München 1982 [ESO]

ESO 280-SC06 is a new globular reported in Sept 2000. Its coordinates are 18 09 06 -46 25.4 From the discovery paper Abstract : " By means of VI CCD photometry we identify a new globular cluster in the Galaxy: ESO 280-SC06. The images and Colour Magnitude Diagrams indicate that we are dealing with a sparsely populated globular cluster, showing a compact core. The cluster is located in Ara, projected at only 12.6o from the plane, and appears to be metal poor ([Fe/H] ~ -1.8). We derive a reddening E(B-V) = 0.07 and a distance from the Sun d_sun = 21.9 kpc. It is a halo globular cluster on the opposite side of the Galaxy. Observations collected at the European Southern Observatory -- ESO, Chile; ESO proposal no. 64L-0212(A)" : A new globular cluster in the Galaxy Ortolani, S.; Bica, E.; Barbuy, B. 2000A&A...361L..57O 2000.0 Sept 2000.

HP 1 (C1 Haute-Provence 1) in Ophiuchus is one of five globulars found with the Haute Provence Observatory Schmidt telescope. It was discovered in 1954 on infrared films and reported by Dufay, Berthier, Morignat. HP1 might be a halo cluster crossing the bulge or belong to the low-metallicity tail of the bulge at a distance of 6.85 kpc from the Sun. HP 1 = C 1727-299 = ESO 455-SC11. HP 2, 3, 4, 5 are Terzan 1, 2, 4, 6 respectively. Designation data from Simbad query.  HP 1: A blue horizontal branch globular cluster in the bulge Authors: Ortolani, S.; Bica, E.; Barbuy, B. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 284, Issue 3, pp. 692-698  Discovery paper: Dufay J., Berthier P., Morignat B., 1954, Comptes Rendus Acad. Sci., 259, 478

Liller 1, a highly reddened, extremely concentrated, compact (16" x 13") globular in Scorpius was discovered by William Liller in 1976 (IAU circular 2929) on deep plates (in the near infrared) with the CTIO 4 meter telescope while searching for x ray burst sources. Liller W., Searches for the optical counterparts of the X-ray burst sources MXB 1728-34 and MXB 1730-33, Astrophys. J., 213, L21-L23 (1977) [Liller]

Lynga 7 in Norma was thought to be an old open cluster (catalogued by Gosta Lynga in 1964) then much later in 1993,  a probable metal rich young globular cluster or the oldest open cluster to date by Ortolani et al,.   S. Ortolani, E. Bica and B. Barbuy, 1993. Lynga 7 : a new disk globular cluster ? In 1995, it was relisted as a probable globular on studies by Tavarez and Friel (1995) These authors conclude that by comparing Lynga 7 to the globular clusters, and taking into account its location, kinematics, and metallicity that Lynga 7 is most likely a member of the disk globular cluster population, but the only way to know for certain is to obtain proper motion for the cluster members. Lynga 7: Old Open Cluster or Globular Cluster? Tavarez, Maritza; Friel, Eileen D., Astronomical Journal v.110, p.223. Discovery paper: Lynga G., Studies of the Milky Way from Centaurus to Norma. II. Open clusters, Lund Medd. Astron. Obs. Ser. II, 140, 1 (1964)

2 MASS Globulars  These two very newly discovered globulars were found during 2000 on visual inspection of the Two Micron All Sky Survey  infrared  images. GC02 was first noted as a probable globular by 2MASS telescope operator Joselino Vasquez in his log, and noted during spot checks of the data during quality assurance reviews.  The discovery paper is: Serendipitous 2MASS Discoveries Near the Galactic Plane: A Spiral Galaxy and Two Globular Clusters R.J. Hurt et. Al. The Astronomical Journal, Volume 120, Issue 4, pp. 1876-1883.  These new discoveries are the 148 and 149th (respectively) known galactic globular clusters and are very close to each other in Sagittarius:  RA (J2000) GC 01 18 h 08 m 21.81 -19° 49' 47" GC02 18 h 09 m 36.5 s -20° 46' 44" .The two globulars are about 2 to 3 ‘ in size and are hidden behind foreground extinctions of 18 to 21  magnitudes.  “The globular cluster candidates GC01 & GC02 appear particularly striking in three-color images because of their yellow-red appearance. These colors, dominated by H & K s bands, indicate the high extinctions found only ~10° from the Galactic Center. COBE/IRAS dust models predict a total visual extinction of ~72 mag towards GC01 and ~38 mag towards GC02.” 

Pyxis System (CJ0908-373) This is a recently discovered globular cluster by Weinberger during an eyeball search of sky survey plates for planetary nebulae in 1995. It inhabits an intermediate position in the Galactic outer halo, at a galactocentric distance of 41 kpc, similar to the clusters Pal 15 (37kpc) and NGC 7006 (38kpc). With the exception of the 6 extreme outer halo globular clusters, these 3 clusters are the most distant from the galactic center. Pyxis is one of the most diffuse (low central concentration, large core radius) globular clusters (e.g., AM-1, Pal 5, Pal 14, NGC 6496). The PYXIS Cluster: A Newly Identified Galactic Globular Cluster, Irwin, M. J.; Demers, Serge; Kunkel, W. E. Astrophysical Journal Letters v.453, p.L21 Distance determination: Sarajedini, Ata; Geisler, Doug , Deep Photometry of the Outer Halo Globular Cluster in PYXIS, Astronomical Journal v.112, p.2013

Rup 106 was originally classified as an open cluster. It is located in Centaurus at 12 38 40.2|-51 09 01. Ruprecht 106 was discovered on plates taken in South Africa by J. Ruprecht. Recent literature classifies the cluster as a "young" metal-poor globular cluster; (e.g., Arp 2, Eridanus, Pal 1, Pal 3, Pal 4, Pal 12, Ter 7, and IC 4499.) Young Galactic Globular Clusters, van den Bergh, Sidney Astrophysical Journal Letters v.495, p.L79 (03/1998 Ruprecht 106 - A young metal-poor Galactic globular cluster. Buonanno, R.; Buscema, G.; Fusi Pecci, F.; Richer, H. B.; Fahlman, G. G. Astronomical Journal (ISSN 0004-6256), vol. 100, Dec. 1990, p. 1811-1840. Discovery paper: Ruprecht J., Classification of open star clusters, B.A.C. 17, 33-44, 1966 [Ruprecht]

Ton 2 The globular cluster Tonantzintla 2 (Pismis 26) was discovered by Paris Pismis in 1959 on Schmidt plates taken at the Tonantzintla Observatory, Mexico. The cluster is also designated GCL B1732-3831, BH 236 and ESO 333-SC16. A relatively lesser known globular, its color magnitude diagram was finally taken in 1996 by Ortolani, et al. They found a red horizontal branch in a moderately loose cluster. It’s location at 2 Kpc from the galactic center makes it is a member of the bulge population of globulars, but is only moderately metal rich. It lies 6.4 kpc from the Sun. Ton 1 was found to be the same object as NGC 6380, so that remains its primary designation. Ton 1 (NGC 6380) and Ton 2 both in Scorpius are misplotted on several versions of Uranometria and Sky Atlas 2000 and   MegaStar versions prior to version 5. Ton 2 is mis-plotted by ½ degree on several atlases. Ton 2  is actually very close to a 3rd magnitude star.   It’s correct position is: 17 36 10.5 -38 33 12. NGC 6380 (Ton1) is at 17 34 28.0 -39 04 09. Discovery paper: Pismis P., 1959, Bol. Obs. Tonantzintla y Tacubaya 18, 37. NTT V, I colour-magnitude diagrams of the bulge globular cluster Tonantzintla 2. BICA E., ORTOLANI S., BARBUY B. 1996A&AS..120..153B - Astron. Astrophys., Suppl. Ser., 120, 153-156 (1996)

UKS 1 = UKS 1751-241 Discovered by Longmore and Hawarden (private communication) on IV-N infrared plates taken with the United Kingdom Schmidt 48 inch Camera. It is completely invisible on the Palomar blue and red survey prints. This globular is highly obscured and is notorious for being the faintest globular cluster of the Milky Way. Recent work indicates that UKS1 is a metal rich globular in the near side of the galaxy at 7.4 kpc from the sun. My paper on this cluster: Obscure Globular Clusters of the Milky Way - Terzan Clusters and The Faintest Globular UKS-1 An observational and Imaging Success. Webb Society Deep Sky Journal 1998, B. Wilson.   Infrared studies of globular clusters near the Galactic Center, Malkan M., Kleinmann D.E., Apt J., Astrophysical Journal, Part 1, vol. 237, Apr. 15, 1980, p. 432-437.

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