Globular Cluster Palomar 13 and Galaxy NGC 7479
Published 18 Feb 2021

Stacks Image 4832
Stacks Image 5604

NGC 7479 above

About this object

Palomar 13, also known as Pal 13 is a globular cluster which orbits in the halo of the Milky Way. It's one of the faintest globulars known and shines at magnitude 137. The brightest individual stars in the cluster are 17th magnitude. Its also very small with a diameter of only 1.8 arc min. The image above is a full resolution crop of Pal 13. Pal 13 is the small fuzzy cluster near center with about 50 faint stars visible. Pal 13 is really far away at an estimated distance of 82 thousand light years. The orbit of Pal 13 is highly eccentric meaning parts of the orbit brings it closer to the galactic center. This happens every 1-2 billion years. The last time this happened was 70 million years ago. Each time it gets close gravity tends to pull and tug on the cluster. In fact, some studies show that the next time it passes close may be its last. The full uncropped version of this image is almost 2 deg in size and shows many faint background galaxies and a rather bright Galaxy called NGC 7479. See the annotated image here. Be sure to check out the full resolution un-cropped image in the link above or by clicking on the image itself. Panning around the image you will see many faint galaxies and a surprising amount of molecular dust. The background is actually full of faint dust, probably helping to obscure Pal 13 a bit. I left the background on the annotated image a bit brighter so you can easily make out the background dust. The galaxy NGC 7479 also deserves its own look. It's located down in the right corner of the full frame image. NGC 7479 is a magnitude 11.6 barred spiral galaxy and is over 100 million light years distant.
Image Details

  • Optics : Stellarvue SVX 152 refractor @f8 1200mm FL
  • Mount: Paramount MYT
  • Camera: ZWO ASI6200
  • Filters: Chroma 50mm LRGB
  • Exposure (min): LRGB 155:160:182:195 11.5 hrs, 2x2 binning
  • Camera/Mount Control: The Sky X, Voyager
  • Guiding: StarlightXpress Lodestar X2
  • Processing: PixInsight 1.8, PS CC 2021
  • Location: Stark Bayou Observatory, Ocean Springs, MS
  • Sky: Typical SQM 19.6-20.1, Bortle 5, Suburban
  • Date: 4-18 Nov 2020
Stacks Image 5599
Stacks Image 74
Stacks Image 75
Stacks Image 5333