Monday, June 5, 2017

NGC 1851, Globular Cluster in Columba

Fairly bright, easy to locate and perfect to be seen in binoculars, C73 or NGC1851 is a class II globular cluster (GC) in the southern constellation of Columba. Being a class II GC means that is has a fairly compact core which is precisely why it is bright enough for binoculars. If Charles Messier would have access a couple of degrees south of his location, I could see NGC1851 in his list of “like comets” DSOs.

Columba is a small constellation neighbor of the well known Canis Majoris, where Sirius resides. If one connects the dots (stars) is the right way and with some imagination, it would certainly resembles a colibri, but its name means dove in Latin so let’s say it looks like a landing dove.

The globular is couple of arc degrees south-west from Phact,a 2nd magnitude and the alpha star of Columba. Under my Bortle 5 skies it was easy to find in binoculars and it looked like a fuzzy round ball with some fuzz around. 

Definitely a good target to catch in the south even with a pair of binoculars.

Happy hunting,


Edited by: Jennifer Steinberg (editor in chief).

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