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Entire DOCdb database of 18,816 objects.



NGC 288 (583 of 18,816)


oc gc pln bn dn gx gxcl ast aka lost




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NGC 288

NGC 288, C 0050-268, Cl Melotte 3, GCl 2, Bennett 5, VI 20, h 74, h 2354, GC 162

RA: 00h 52m 45.3s
Dec: −26° 34′ 51″

Con: Sculptor
Ch: MSA:364, U2:307, SA:18


(reference key)

Type: globular cluster

Mag: B=10, V=9.37

Size: 13′
PA: ?

Image gallery

Sketches  (3)

Select a sketch and click the button to view

Photos  (1)

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Historical observations

William Herschel (c.1784)

Synonyms: H VI-020

Discovered in 1785 by William Herschel with an 18.7-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He called it "cB, iR, 8 or 9' diameter, a great many of the stars visible, so that there can remain no doubt but that it is a cluster of vS stars."

John Herschel (1847) Cape Observations

This 8.6 mag globular cluster was observed by Sir John Herschel at the Cape of Good Hope with an 18-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He recorded it as "globular cluster; bright; large; round; gradually brighter in the middle; all resolved into stars 12..16 mag; 5' diameter."

Published comments

Doig, P. (1925)

Doig, P. (1925) Notes on the nebulae and clusters in Webb's 'Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes' (Sixth edition, Vol.ii). Part IV. M.N.R.A.S., 36(2), 58.

Melotte, P.J. (1915)

A catalogue of star clusters shown on Franklin-Adams chart plates. Mem.R.A.S., 60(5), 175-186.

Hinks, A.R. (1911)

Hinks, A. R. (1911) On the galactic distribution of gaseous nebulae and of star clusters. MNRAS, 71(8), 693-701.

List 6: "NGC numbers of clusters classed as globular, not in Bailey's catalogue"

Bailey, S.I. A catalogue of bright clusters and nebulae. Ann.Harv.Coll.Obs., 60(8), 199.

Helwan Obs. Bulletin No 9 (1912)

Loose globular cluster, 8' in diameter.

Helwan Obs. Bulletin No 22 (1921)

! globular cluster some 15' in extent, easily resolved to the very centre. The stars appear to be graded approximately into two magnitudes, about 15 and 20. There are 3 other small nebulae in the field, Helwan 257, 258 and 259, 257 being actually involved in the cluster. This is scarsely surprising as the cluster is within 2 degrees of the Galactic Pole.

[From DOC database: Helwan 257 is called "! F, 1/3' long, mE 90deg, in globular cluster NGC 288" No object in the database at these coordinates.]

Other objects: Helwan 258 = ESO 474-G038; Helwan 259 = ESO 474-G039.

Harris, W.E. (1997)

RA 00 52 47.5 (2000) Dec -26 35 24 Integrated V magnitude 8.09 Central surface brightness, V magnitudes per square arcsecond 19.95 Integrated spectral type Central concentration, c = log(r_total/r_core); a 'c' denotes a core-collapsed cluster .96 Core radius in arcmin 1.42. ["Catalog Of Parameters For Milky Way Globular Clusters", compiled by William E. Harris, McMaster University. (Revised: May 15, 1997; from http://www.physics.mcmaster.ca/Globular.html; Harris, W.E. 1996, AJ, 112, 1487) ]

Photo index

Photo Index by Jim Lucyk: Sky&Tel. 4/84 p306, Astronomy mag. 11/86 p110, Vehrenberg's Atlas of DS Splendors (3ed) p23.

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 9.0 mag globular cluster.

Modern observations

Walter Scott Houston

Houston notes that this "8th mag ball of stars about a quarter of a degree in diameter lies about two degrees southeast of NGC 253. Steve Gottlieb of Albany, California, reports that his 13-inch Dobsonian at 166x resolved some 40 to 50 stars against a background of hazy light." In 1976 Houston wrote: " . . binoculars were sufficient to distinguish NGC 288, which I make to be 12' in diameter and of visual magnitude 7.0. In a pair of 5-inch 20power binoculars, it was possible to see individual stars around the edge of the cluster. With a 12.5-inch f/8 the cluster could be resolved almost to its centre. Only the regulaority of the star pattern indicated that NGC 288 was a globular cluster. ."

Tom Lorenzin

Tom Lorenzin, in the electronic version of "1000+ The Amateur Astronomers' Field Guide to Deep Sky Observing", notes: "8M; 14' diameter; easily resolved at 100x into compressed glitter of 12M and dimmer stars; 1.75 degrees SE of N253; S Galactic Pole is 40' to SW (don't look for it!)."

Clarke, W.P. (1992)

William P. Clarke (San Diego, California, USA) writes in The Webb Society Nebulae and Clusters Section Report No. 10, July 1992: "A large, irregular-looking globular with no core. Many tiny stars resolved. (10-inch, x48)."

Ancient City Astron.Club (1980)

Listed by the Herschel Club, described as "a large globular with a bright nucleus. Using 70x can make out a bit of resolution of stars. 8-inch, 40x."

Steve Coe

Steve Coe, observing with a 17.5" f/4.5 at 100X, notes: "Pretty faint, large, not much brighter in the middle, irregularly round, 40 stars resolved at 135X. It can be seen in a pair of 10X50 binoculars as a dim, small spot. Even this low surface brightness globular cluster is a welcome as a break in all these galaxies.

Brian Skiff

Lu+1992 ApJS 83,203: m11 * in triangle (7cm obs) V=11.46, b-y=0.38. br *

in triangle W of this * V=9.82, b-y=0.26.

7cm - fntr @ 30x than N253. grainy. 50x: partially res, classic mod broad

concen w/no well-def core or nuc. outliers reach 1/2 to 2/3 way to m11 *

NW that is innermost and fntst of triangle w/two m8-9 *s. main body (core

if you want) ~1/2 of this. BS, 26Nov1992, Anderson Mesa.

15cm - good fairly br cl part res @ 80x. 140x: reaches at least halfway, usu

2/3 way to m12,13 pair NW. classic mod broad concen [independent

comment, I swear!]. *s m13.5+, brtst m13.0 on N edge of core, which is

1/3 total diam. BS, 15Nov1993, LCO.

Contemporary observations

Auke Slotegraaf

1997 November 28

1997 November 28, Tue/Wed: Jonkershoek, seeing 3, transparency 3, sky darkness 4, lim.mag. at south pole 6.0 (naked eye) "A delicate, round puffy globular cluster, some 8 arcmin across, amongst the stars of a parallelogram."


A 10-inch f/5 at 30x shows this as a considerably bright, very large unresolved cluster, presenting a surface which does not even appear mottled. The higher contrast at 120x shows it clearly composed of pretty evenly scattered, very small stars. At times it appears somewhat elongated, but this is doubtful.

Magda Streicher

1992 November 20

Location: Pietersburg. ( South 23 53. East 29 28).

Sky conditions: Very good 7 magnitude.

Instrument: Meade 12 inch (Eyepiece super 40mm).

Date: 20 November 1997.

Field of view: 52.7 arc minutes.

This globular cluster appears irregular and looks more like an open cluster with small stars and no core. Neighbouring NGC 253 and embedded in a sprinkled starfield, it looks like a bright ball of light hanging in the sky. Standing out beautifully against the background stars. I estimate this globular cluster about 5 arc minutes in size.

(no date)

12-inch f/10 SCT (EP: 2-inch 40mm SW 76x 53' fov; 2-inch 14mm UW 218x 23' fov)

This globular cluster appears irregularly round and looks more like a dense very distant faint open cluster (76x). Neighbouring NGC 253 to the southeast, it looks like a bright ball of glittering lights splash out in a haze. Although it displays a soft haziness with resolved stars, it stands out beautifully against the background stars. Brighter stars dotted the outside edge of this globular right into the field of view (218x).

Richard Ford

2013 November 3rd, Sunday



Sky Conditions:The fainter parts of the Milky Way are barely visible.Haziness only visible on the horizon.Atmosphere stable with little interference.

Instrument:12-inch Dobsonian.

This diffuse globular cluster looks like a large mottled snowball where the stars in this cluster have a granular appearance.In this cluster some of the bright stars are resolved although the nucleus of this clusters stars are spherically concentrated towards each other.This globular cluster measures 7.1'x 5.9'.

2011 October, 29th Saturday


Instrument:12-inch Dobsonian Reflector Telescope.

Sky Conditions:The fainter parts of the Milky Way are barely visible with the naked eye.

Transparency Of The Sky:Haziness only visible on the horizon.

Seeing:Atmosphere stable with little interference.

Limiting Magnitude:4.9.

NGC 288


Object Type:Globular Cluster.

First Impression:This object looks like a globular cluster.



Chart Number:No.14(Extract taken out of "Atlas of the Night Sky").

Size:26mm Eyepiece:Field Of View:57'/7=8.1'.

20mm Eyepiece:Field Of View:50'/6=8.3'.

8.1'+ 8.3'=16.4'.


Size in Arc Minutes:8.2'(Nucleus).


Major Axis:8.2'(Nucleus).


Minor Axis:2.7'(Halo).

Globular Cluster is 8.2'* 2.7'.

Brightness:Magnitude 8.1.

Brightness Profile:From the central outskirts of this globular cluster it grows brighter.

Challenge Rating:Difficult.



The stars are partially resolved in this globular cluster as a large spherical agglomeration of bright stars which are poorly concentrated towards each other.Around the outskirts of this cluster I have found some starless patches in this globular cluster.

Tom Bryant

2007-09-17 21:00:00

Observing site: Pinnacles overlook

Telescope: C-8

[0h 52m 48s, -26° 35' 0"] A large, loose, faint globular cluster, easily resolved, however, when seen.

Carol Botha

2011 - 12 - 07

Location:Betty's Bay

Time: 21:50

Telescope: 12” Dobsonian – f4,9. Eyepiece 15mm. FOV- 36’

Sky conditions: Seeing 3/5 (intermittent high cloud cover)

Actual dimensions: 13.8' x 13.8'(Cartes Du Ciel)

Object description:

Globular cluster in Sculptor

Hey there! Don’t forget me!

Pretty globular cluster can be seen in a same fov just SE of the Sculptor Galaxy.

Bluish in colour.Resolves to appear as a round ball of soft steel wool.

A large semi-circle of stars cradle the cluster from NW around to S – one could argue that it looks like a hairy ear canal !

Three bright stars to N, E and NW form triangles with the semi-circle stars

S and SW two relatively bright stars just in fov.

Favourite lists

Lacaille's catalogue

The Messier objects

Dunlop's catalogue

The Bennett objects

The Caldwell list

Named DSOs

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