Globular Clusters

Globular clusters are spherical concentrations of stars typically 100 light years across and containing thousands of stars. Globular clusters are very old, at least 10 billion years old and were presumably formed when the galaxy was still forming. They are scattered in a spherical halo surrounding our galaxy and they require hundreds of millions of years to orbit it.

Digitized Sky Survey images
Three globular clusters. On the left is NGC 2419, it is a large but very distant globular cluster lying far beyond the edge of the galaxy. M13 in the middle is much closer, it is one of the brightest globular clusters in the sky. On the right is Pal 11, a very pathetic globular cluster in Aquila.

Below is a list of most of the globular clusters that surround our galaxy.

    1          2         3       4       5     6      7       8       9      10
 Catalog |   Other   |  Equatorial   |  Galactic  | Visual|Angular|Distance|Con
 Number  |   Name    |  Coordinates  | Coordinates|  Mag. | Diam. | (kly)  |
_________|___________|__RA______Dec__|___l____b_|_______|__(')__|________|___
NGC 104   47 Tuc      00 24.1  -72 05  305.9 -44.9   3.95    50'      15    Tuc
NGC 288               00 52.8  -26 35  152.3 -89.4   8.09    13'      29    Scl
NGC 362               01 03.2  -70 51  301.5 -46.3   6.40    14'      28    Tuc
NGC 1261              03 12.3  -55 13  270.5 -52.1   8.29     7'      53    Hor
Pal 1                 03 33.4  +79 35  130.1 +19.0  13.18     1'      36    Cep
AM 1      E 1         03 55.0  -49 37  258.4 -48.5  15.72     1'     398    Hor
Eridanus  UGCA 91     04 24.7  -21 11  218.1 -41.3  14.70     1'     294    Eri
Pal 2                 04 46.1  +31 23  170.5  -9.1  13.04     2'      90    Aur
NGC 1851              05 14.1  -40 03  244.5 -35.0   7.14    12'      39    Col
NGC 1904  M79         05 24.2  -24 31  227.2 -29.4   7.73    10'      42    Lep
NGC 2298              06 49.0  -36 00  245.6 -16.0   9.29     5'      35    Pup
NGC 2419              07 38.1  +38 53  180.4 +25.2  10.39     5'     275    Lyn
Pyxis                 09 08.0  -37 13  261.3  +7.0  12.90     3'     129    Pyx
NGC 2808              09 12.0  -64 52  282.2 -11.3   6.20    14'      31    Car
E 3       ESO 37-01   09 21.0  -77 17  292.3 -19.0  11.35     5'      14    Cha
Pal 3                 10 05.5  +00 04  240.1 +41.9  14.26     2'     302    Sex
NGC 3201              10 17.6  -46 25  277.2  +8.6   6.75    20'      16    Vel
Willman 1 SDSS1049+51 10 49.4  +51 03  158.6 +56.8  15?       7'     147    UMa
Pal 4                 11 29.3  +28 58  202.3 +71.8  14.20     2'     356    UMa
NGC 4147              12 10.1  +18 33  252.9 +77.2  10.32     4'      63    Com
NGC 4372              12 25.8  -72 40  301.0  -9.9   7.24     5'      19    Mus
Rup 106               12 38.7  -51 09  300.9 +11.7  10.90     5'      69    Cen
NGC 4590  M68         12 39.5  -26 45  299.6 +36.1   7.84    11'      33    Hya
NGC 4833              12 59.6  -70 52  303.6  -8.0   6.91    14'      21    Mus
NGC 5024  M53         13 12.9  +18 10  333.0 +79.8   7.61    13'      58    Com
NGC 5053              13 16.5  +17 42  335.7 +78.9   9.47    10'      53    Com
NGC 5139  Omega Cen   13 26.8  -47 29  309.1 +15.0   3.68    55'      17    Cen
NGC 5272  M3          13 42.2  +28 23   42.2 +78.7   6.19    18'      34    CVn
NGC 5286              13 46.4  -51 22  311.6 +10.6   7.34    11'      36    Cen
AM 4                  13 56.4  -27 10  320.3 +33.5  15.90     1'      98    Hya
NGC 5466              14 05.5  +28 32   42.2 +73.6   9.04     9'      52    Boo
NGC 5634              14 29.6  -05 59  342.2 +49.3   9.47     6'      82    Vir
NGC 5694              14 39.6  -26 32  331.1 +30.4  10.17     4'     113    Hya
IC 4499               15 00.3  -82 13  307.4 -20.5   9.76     8'      62    Aps
NGC 5824              15 04.0  -33 04  332.6 +22.1   9.09     7'     104    Lup
Pal 5                 15 16,1  -00 07    0.9 +45.9  11.75     5'      76    Ser
NGC 5897              15 17.5  -21 01  343.0 +30.3   8.53    11'      40    Lib
NGC 5904  M5          15 18.6  +02 05    3.9 +46.8   5.65    23'      24    Ser
NGC 5927              15 28.0  -50 40  326.6  +4.9   8.01     6'      25    Lup
NGC 5946              15 35.5  -50 40  327.6  +4.2   9.61     3'      35    Nor
BH 176    ESO 224-08  15 39.1  -50 03  328.4  +4.3  14.00     4'      51    Nor
NGC 5986              15 46.1  -37 47  337.0 +13.3   7.52    10'      34    Lup
Lynga 7   ESO 178-11  16 11.1  -55 19  328.8  -2.8            3'      23    Nor
Pal 14    AvdB        16 11.1  +14 57   28.8 +42.2  14.74     2'     241    Ser
NGC 6093  M80         16 17.0  -22 59  352.7 +19.5   7.33    10'      33    Sco
NGC 6121  M4          16 23.6  -26 32  351.0 +16.0   5.63    36'       7    Sco
NGC 6101              16 25.8  -72 12  317.8 -15.8   9.16     5'      50    Aps
NGC 6144              16 27.2  -26 01  351.9 +15.7   9.01     7'      28    Sco
NGC 6139              16 27.7  -38 51  342.4  +6.9   8.99     8'      33    Sco
Terzan 3              16 28.7  -35 21  345.1  +9.2  12.00     4'      24    Sco
NGC 6171  M107        16 32.5  -13 03    3.4 +23.0   7.93    13'      21    Oph
1636-283  ESO 452-11  16 39.4  -28 24  351.9 +12.1  12.00     3'      25    Sco
NGC 6205  M13         16 41.7  +36 28   59.0 +40.9   5.78    20'      25    Her
NGC 6229              16 47.0  +47 32   73.6 +40.3   9.39     5'      99    Her
NGC 6218  M12         16 47.2  -01 57   15.7 +26.3   6.70    16'      16    Oph
NGC 6235              16 53.4  -22 11  358.9 +13.5   9.97     5'      37    Oph
NGC 6254  M10         16 57.1  -04 06   15.1 +23.1   6.60    20'      14    Oph
NGC 6256              16 59.5  -37 07  347.8  +3.3  11.29     4'      27    Sco
Pal 15                17 00.0  +00 33   18.9 +24.3  14.00     3'     145    Oph
NGC 6266  M62         17 01.2  -30 07  353.6  +7.3   6.45    15'      23    Oph
NGC 6273  M19         17 02.6  -26 16  356.9  +9.4   6.77    17'      28    Oph
NGC 6284              17 04.5  -24 46  358.4  +9.9   8.83     6'      50    Oph
NGC 6287              17 05.2  -22 42    0.1 +11.0   9.35     5'      30    Oph
NGC 6293              17 10.2  -26 35  357.6  +7.8   8.22     8'      29    Oph
NGC 6304              17 14.5  -29 28  355.8  +5.4   8.22     8'      20    Oph
NGC 6316              17 16.6  -28 08  357.2  +5.8   8.43     5'      36    Oph
NGC 6341  M92         17 17.1  +43 08   68.3 +34.9   6.44    14'      27    Her
NGC 6325              17 18.0  -23 46    1.0  +8.0  10.33     4'      26    Oph
NGC 6333  M9          17 19.2  -18 31    5.5 +10.7   7.72    12'      26    Oph
NGC 6342              17 21.2  -19 35    4.9  +9.7   9.66     4'      28    Oph
NGC 6356              17 23.6  -17 49    6.7 +10.2   8.25    10'      50    Oph
NGC 6355              17 24.0  -26 21  359.6  +5.4   9.14     4'      31    Oph
NGC 6352              17 25.5  -48 25  341.4  -7.2   7.96     9'      19    Ara
IC 1257               17 27.1  -07 06   16.5 +15.2  13.10     5'      82    Oph
Terzan 2  HP 3        17 27.6  -30 48  356.3  +2.3  14.29     2'      28    Sco
NGC 6366              17 27.7  -05 05   18.4 +16.0   9.20    13'      12    Oph
Terzan 4  HP 4        17 30.6  -31 36  356.0  +1.3  16.00     2'      30    Sco
HP 1      ESO 455-11  17 31.1  -29 59  357.4  +2.1  11.59     3'      46    Oph
NGC 6362              17 31.9  -67 03  325.6 -17.6   7.73    15'      25    Ara
Liller 1              17 33.4  -33 23  354.8  -0.2  16.77     1'      31    Sco
NGC 6380  Ton 1       17 34.5  -39 04  350.2  -3.4  11.31     4'      35    Sco
Terzan 1  HP 2        17 35.8  -30 29  357.6  +1.0  15.90     2'      18    Sco
Ton 2     ESO 333-16  17 36.2  -38 33  350.8  -3.4  12.24     3'      26    Sco
NGC 6388              17 36.3  -44 44  345.6  -6.7   6.72    10'      33    Sco
NGC 6402  M14         17 37.6  -03 15   21.3 +14.8   7.59    11'      30    Oph
NGC 6401              17 38.6  -23 55    3.5  +4.0   9.45     5'      34    Oph
NGC 6397              17 40.7  -53 40  338.2 -12.0   5.73    31'       8    Ara
Pal 6                 17 43.7  -26 13    2.1  +1.8  11.55     2'      19    Sgr
NGC 6426              17 44.9  +03 10   28.1 +16.2  11.01     4'      68    Oph
Djorg 1               17 47.5  -33 04  356.7  -2.5  13.60     2'      39    Sco
Terzan 5  Terzan 11   17 48.1  -24 47    3.8  +1.7  13.85     2'      34    Sgr
NGC 6440              17 48.9  -20 22    7.7  +3.8   9.20     4'      27    Sgr
NGC 6441              17 50.2  -37 03  353.5  -5.0   7.15    10'      38    Sco
Terzan 6  HP 5        17 50.8  -31 17  358.6  -2.2  13.85     1'      31    Sco
NGC 6453              17 50.9  -34 36  355.7  -3.9  10.08     8'      31    Sco
UKS 1                 17 54.5  -24 09    5.1  +0.8  17.29     2'      27    Sgr
NGC 6496              17 59.0  -44 16  348.0 -10.0   8.54     6'      38    Sco
Terzan 9              18 01.6  -26 50    3.6  -2.0  16.00     2'      21    Sgr
Djorg 2   ESO 456-38  18 01.8  -27 50    2.8  -2.5   9.90     2'      22    Sgr
NGC 6517              18 01.8  -08 58   19.2  +6.8  10.23     4'      35    Oph
Terzan10              18 03.0  -26 04    4.4  -1.9  14.90     1'      19    Sgr
NGC 6522              18 03.6  -30 02    1.0  -3.9   8.27     9'      25    Sgr
NGC 6535              18 03.8  +00 18   27.2 +10.4  10.47     3'      22    Oph
NGC 6528              18 04.8  -30 03    1.1  -4.2   9.60     5'      26    Sgr
NGC 6539              18 04.8  -07 35   20.8  +6.8   9.33     8'      27    Oph
NGC 6540  Djorg 3     18 06.1  -27 46    3.3  -3.3   9.30     2'      12    Sgr
NGC 6544              18 07.3  -25 00    5.8  -2.2   7.77     9'       9    Sgr
NGC 6541              18 08.0  -43 30  349.5 -11.1   6.30    15'      23    CrA
2MS-GC01  2MASS-GC01  18 08.4  -19 50   10.5  +0.1                    12    Sgr
ESO-SC06  ESO 280-06  18 09.1  -46 25  346.9 -12.6            1'      71    Tel
NGC 6553              18 09.3  -25 55    5.3  -3.0   8.06     9'      20    Sgr
2MS-GC02  2MASS-GC02  18 09.6  -20 47    9.8  -0.6                    13    Sgr
NGC 6558              18 10.3  -31 46    0.2  -6.0   9.26     4'      24    Sgr
IC 1276   Pal 7       18 10.7  -07 12   21.8  +5.7  10.34     8'      18    Ser
Terzan12              18 12.3  -22 45    8.4  -2.1  15.63     1'      16    Sgr
NGC 6569              18 13.6  -31 50    0.5  -6.7   8.55     6'      35    Sgr
NGC 6584              18 18.6  -52 13  342.1 -16.4   8.27     7'      44    Tel
NGC 6624              18 23.7  -30 22    2.8  -7.9   7.87     9'      26    Sgr
NGC 6626  M28         18 24.5  -24 52    7.8  -5.6   6.79    14'      18    Sgr
NGC 6638              18 30.9  -25 30    7.9  -7.2   9.02     7'      31    Sgr
NGC 6637  M69         18 31.4  -32 21    1.7 -10.3   7.64     7'      30    Sgr
NGC 6642              18 31.9  -23 29    9.8  -6.4   9.13     6'      27    Sgr
NGC 6652              18 35.8  -32 59    1.5 -11.4   8.62     6'      33    Sgr
NGC 6656  M22         18 36.4  -23 54    9.9  -7.6   5.10    32'      10    Sgr
Pal 8                 18 41.5  -19 50   14.1  -6.8  11.02     2'      42    Sgr
NGC 6681  M70         18 43.2  -32 18    2.9 -12.5   7.87     8'      29    Sgr
NGC 6712              18 53.1  -08 42   25.4  -4.3   8.10    10'      23    Sct
NGC 6715  M54         18 55.1  -30 29    5.6 -14.1   7.60    12'      87    Sgr
NGC 6717  Pal 9       18 55.1  -22 42   12.9 -10.9   9.28     5'      23    Sgr
NGC 6723              18 59.6  -36 38    0.1 -17.3   7.01    13'      28    Sgr
NGC 6749              19 05.3  +01 54   36.2  -2.2  12.44     4'      26    Aql
NGC 6752              19 10.9  -59 59  336.5 -25.6   5.40    29'      13    Pav
NGC 6760              19 11.2  +01 02   36.1  -3.9   8.88    10'      24    Aql
NGC 6779  M56         19 16.6  +30 11   62.7  +8.3   8.27     9'      33    Lyr
Terzan 7              19 17.7  -34 39    3.4 -20.1  12.00     3'      76    Sgr
Pal 10                19 18.0  +18 34   52.4  +2.7  13.22     3'      19    Sge
Arp 2                 19 28.7  -30 21    8.6 -20.8  12.30     4'      93    Sgr
NGC 6809  M55         19 40.0  -30 58    8.8 -23.3   6.32    19'      17    Sgr
Terzan 8              19 41.8  -34 00    5.8 -24.6  12.40     5'      85    Sgr
Pal 11                19 45.2  -08 00   31.8 -15.6   9.80     3'      42    Aql
NGC 6838  M71         19 53.8  +18 47   56.7  -4.6   8.19     7'      13    Sge
NGC 6864  M75         20 06.1  -21 55   20.3 -25.8   8.52     7'      68    Sgr
NGC 6934              20 34.2  +07 24   52.1 -18.9   8.83     7'      51    Del
NGC 6981  M72         20 53.5  -12 32   35.2 -32.7   9.27     7'      55    Aqr
NGC 7006              21 01.5  +16 11   63.8 -19.4  10.56     4'     135    Del
NGC 7078  M15         21 30.0  +12 10   65.0 -27.3   6.20    18'      34    Peg
NGC 7089  M2          21 33.5  +00 49   53.4 -35.8   6.47    16'      38    Aqr
NGC 7099  M30         21 40.4  -23 11   27.2 -46.8   7.19    12'      26    Cap
Pal 12                21 46.6  -21 15   30.5 -47.7  11.99     2'      62    Cap
Pal 13                23 06.7  +12 46   87.1 -42.7  13.47     1'      84    Peg
NGC 7492              23 08.4  -15 37   53.4 -63.5  11.29     4'      84    Aqr

Column 1: Usual catalog number of the globular cluster.
Column 2: Other name (usually a Messier number).
Column 3: Right Ascension in hours and minutes for epoch 2000.
Column 4: Declination in degrees and minutes for epoch 2000.
Column 5: Galactic longitude of the globular cluster.
Column 6: Galactic latitude of the globular cluster.
Column 7: The visual magnitude.
Column 8: Approximate angular diameter of the globular cluster in arcminutes.
          (This is a rough estimate of the cluster's visual isophotal diameter.)
Column 9: Distance to the globular cluster in thousands of light years.
          The error on these distances is typically about 10%.
Column 10: Constellation the globular cluster is in.

References:
Harris W, (2003), Catalog of parameters for Milky Way globular clusters.
Willman B, Blanton M, West A, Dalcanton J, Hogg D, Schneider D, Wherry N,
      Yanny B, Brinkmann J, (2005), A New Milky Way Companion: Unusual Globular
      Cluster or Extreme Dwarf Satellite?. Astron J, 129, 2692.

A map of globular clusters
A plot of the above data onto a side view of the Galaxy, revealing how globular clusters form a spherical halo around the Galaxy.
The Milky Way Galaxy Back to the Milky Way Galaxy page