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Dunlop 445 (6,799 of 18,816)

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The Vela Globular

Dunlop 445, NGC 3201, Cl Melotte 99, C 1015-461, GCl 15, Bennett 44, Caldwell 79, Vela Globular, h 3238, GC 2068

RA: 10h 17m 36.76s
Dec: −46° 24′ 40.4″

Con: Vela
Ch: MSA:961, U2:399, SA:20

Ref: SIMBAD, SEDS

(reference key)

Type: globular cluster

Mag: B=9.18, V=8.24

Size: 20′
PA: ?

Image gallery

Sketches  (1)

Select a sketch and click the button to view

Historical observations

John Herschel (1847) Cape Observations

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, irregularly round, gbM, not v m comp, 6', resolved into stars 13...15th mag." On a second occassion he called it "irregularly round, 7' diameter, but the outliers extend to at least 10' or 12'; gpmbM, but not very much compressed; all resolved into stars 13..16th mag."

Published comments

Melotte, P.J. (1915)

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

Bailey, S.I. (1908)

"! globular cluster, open."

Bailey, S.I. (1908) A catalogue of bright stars and nebulae. Ann.Harv.Coll.Obs., 60(8), 199.

Harris, W.E. (1997)

RA 10 17 36.8 (2000) Dec -46 24 40 Integrated V magnitude 6.75 Central surface brightness, V magnitudes per square arcsecond 18.77 Integrated spectral type F6 Central concentration, c = log(r_total/r_core); a 'c' denotes a core-collapsed cluster 1.31 Core radius in arcmin 1.45. ["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) ]

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

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

Photo index

Photo Index by Jim Lucyk: Ast.Obj.for South.Tel. (Hartung, 1984).

Modern observations

Harrington, Phil

Harrington calls it a "loose stellar concentration." He notes that "the feeble form of this 7th mag globular cluster becomes readily apparent when viewed through 6- to 8-inch telescopes, as many of its 13th mag members are immediately resolvable around the core. Observers also report a noticeable clumping of stars along the cluster's northern edge, though photographs show no evidence of this."

Walter Scott Houston

Houston notes that his 4-inch shows this cluster well as it is fairly bright and about 8' in diameter.

Brian Skiff

Alcaino?: m~11.5 pair ~10' NW. fntr pair 6'.4 W/sl N V=12.78/1.31 and

V=14.14/0.45.

15cm - nice lg cl well res @ 80x. 195x: 12' diam and sl oval in outer part since outliers truncated on E side by dkr area. brtst *s m12.5. m12.5 pair isolated W side; cl extends beyond this pair. wk even concen, some dk lanes S side. about 150 *s res w/o reaching threshold. BS, 24Feb1990, LCO.

Head, Marilyn

"10 Easy Globs!" by Marilyn Head (105 Owen Street, Newton, Wellington, Aotearoa / New Zealand; mhead@clear.net.nz)

"Harlow Shapley (who incidentally used globulars to establish the shape of the Milky Way, albeit making it twice as large as it really is) classified Globulars by their concentration of stars correlated with the central surface brightness from I to XII ... NGC 3201 provides the contrast, being a class X globular which can be found by following the line between the two stars, Delta and Kappa Velorum, upwards. There is a fainter star about the same distance away, then slightly further and to the right you will notice three stars in a line; NGC 3201 lies to the right and below these and is quite easy to find because it covers a wider field of view. At 16,300 l.y. it is almost twice as close as NGC 2808. It is not as bright but the stars are resolveable and it is very attractive with some stars in "short curved rays like jets of water from a fountain" (Malin & Frew)."

Contemporary observations

Magda Streicher

2008 June 13

NGC 3201 Vela globular

Tel: 16" S/C 102x - 127x - 290x - Date: 13 June 2008 - Site: Pburg - Good

Individual faint stars radiating away from the globular, but loosely concentrated towards the nucleus, which show a spherical halo. Chains and dark patches can be seen in medium power.

2006 December 21

Pietersburg

16-inch f/10 SCT (102x, 290x)

Conditions: Good

Uneven and elongated globular SE-NW cluster which is not familiar to the shape of most globular cluster. The middle area is speckled with faint stars. This area take on the shape of a some kind of hat. The SW side of the cluster spray out with a mist of faint stars into the field of view.

1998 February 27

Location: Campsite (23 16 South 29 26 East)

Sky conditions: 7 magnitude clear.

Instrument: Meade 8" (Super wide angle 18mm eyepiece)

Meade 8" (Super fossel 26mm) Field of view 40.6.

Irregular with knots of stars and a sort of stretch dark area to the north, from which the stars blow away in outliers and curves to the south.

1997 April 5

Location: Campsite (23 16 South 29 26 East)

Sky conditions: 7 magnitude clear.

Instrument: Meade 8" (Super wide angle 18mm eyepiece)

An excellent globular cluster containing bright white well resolved stars from 12 to 15 magnitude. A dark lane runs to the side of this globular cluster, as if the cluster on that side opens into a busy starfield. Faint star jets form on the outside. I estimate this globular cluster about 6 magnitude in brightness, and 20' in size.

(no date)

12-inch f/10 SCT (EP: 2-inch 32mm SW 95x 42' fov; 2-inch 14mm UW 218x 23' fov)

An excellent large globular cluster containing bright white well resolved stars. Irregular with knots of stars, with a seemingly stretch-out dark area which cut of a piece to the southwest (218x). Star-strings appear delicate and widely dispersed up to the end of the star field. A wonderful cluster, display a variation of magnitude stars which shows slight clumping on the north edge. Between the outer ridges dark lines can be seen. Stars spray out from the small compact core towards the outer ring in small curved strings.

Auke Slotegraaf

2004 March 25

Stellenbosch (Paradyskloof rifle range)

6-inch f/8 Newtonian

Conditions: NELM 5.8 at the pole. Thin cloud in the distance.

This wonderful globular cluster is 5 arcmin across, and doesn't have a distinct smaller nucleus. Instead, the entire disk is sprinkled with tiny stars. Looking directly at lower power the stars lurk just below the threshold of visibility. But with averted vision at 96x they snap into view, star-studding its entire 5 arcmin extent. Particularly interesting is that the cluster appears to be lob-sided, with the stars denser and brighter on the eastern side. Dimmer stars seem to extend, loosely scattered, to the west, exactly as if someone took the central portion and shifted it eastward a notch. Two 9th mag stars, shown on MSA 961 as touching the cluster's northeast edge, are well-distant when seen with the 6-inch.

2004 March 24

Old Rifle Range, Stellenbosch

6-inch f/8 Newt.

Blatantly obvious, though, was NGC 3201 due north. This wonderful globular cluster is as tantalizing as ESO 213 G11. The cluster is 5 arcmin across, and doesn't have a distinct smaller nucleus. Instead, the entire disk is sprinkled with tiny stars. Looking directly at lower power the stars lurk just below the threshold of visibility. But with averted vision at 96x they snap into view, star-studding its entire 5 arcmin extent. Particularly interesting is that the cluster appears to be lob-sided, with the stars denser and brighter on the eastern side. Dimmer stars seem to extend, loosely scattered, to the west, exactly as if someone took the central portion and shifted it eastward a notch.

Two 9th mag stars, shown on MSA 961 as touching the cluster's northeast edge, are well-distant when seen with the 6-inch.

1998 April 27

1998-04-27/28, 11x80 tripod-mounted binoculars, Die Boord. Seeing average, transparency average, dew. "Reasonably easy globular cluster, of a soft light, amongst small stars. Appears about 10' across, with averted vision grows to 13', but this is then very dilute. Grows brighter to the middle to a broad nucleus 5.5' across.

1998 February 18

1998 February 18/19, Stellenbosch Rifle Range site, 11x80 tripod-mounted, 5.8 naked eye. A bright, round glow, slightly brighter to the middle to a broad centre. Not one of the small-nucleated globulars; rather like a nebulous fuzzy coin.

Size nowhere near that shown on the U2 chart - estimate its around 8 arcmin across. Sketched the binocular field of view.

1998 January 2

1998 January 2/3; Jonkershoek. 11x80 tripod-mounted; seeing outstanding; lim mag well below Uranometria charts; daytime view crisp. "An easy, bright fluff of cotton-light in a very rich field. The total light of the cluster, spread out over 11 arcmin, gathers gradually into a broad centre, just under 7' across. An easy, attractive object."

1997 April 14

1997 April 14, 02:00 - 04:00 Jonkershoek. Large soft glow just outside the Milky Way. Broad centre, 10' across, with only a narrow fringe.

1995 May 30

1995-05-30: 11x80.Technopark. 23:00 SAST. Hazy sky. A prominent globular in a busy field. It took me by surprise this time around, I was somehow expecting a larger cluster. Could be the large size shown on the U2000 confused me.

1994 February 12

1994-02-12 23:00 Die Boord, 11x80s tripod-mounted. Easily seen. I estimate the diameter as 10'.

1994 January 23

1994-01-23, Die Boord, 11x80 binoculars. Observing in strong moonlight, this cluster is reasonably bright, large and extended. Easy to see even in the moonlight, it appears roughly the same size as the inner bright portion of Omega Cen - the same impression I had at Sutherland. It lies four degrees from a line of three 7th mag stars. Several other (smaller) lines and curved rows are to be found within this busy surrounding.

1993

Observing from the 1500 metre plateau of the SAAO observing site in Sutherland, 11x80 binoculars shows this as a splendidly large, diffuse globular cluster, lying outside of the main stream of the Vela milky way. The field is very rich in large and small stars; the cluster, while very large, appears very diffuse. It seems to be as large as the brighter inner region of Omega Cen. Easy to sweep up in handheld 11x80's while at zenith.

Richard Ford

2015, April, 19th

Location:Perdeberg.

Time:1:30am.

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.

The stars in this globular cluster is well resolved into over 70 stars in a spherical halo and that this cluster is strongly concentrated towards each other.This globular cluster looks like a granular misty cloud.This globular cluster measures 9.2'x 6.5'.Chart No:374,NSOG,Vol.3.

2012 February 19, Sun

Location:Perdeberg.

Instrument:12-Inch Dobsonian Reflector Telescope.

Time:1:40.

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

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

Seeing:Atmosphere stable with little interference.

The stars in this globular cluster are spherically concentrated towards each other almost like a large swarm of bright suns.However all the stars in this globular cluster are all well resolved into individual stars.The nucleus of this globular cluster grows brighter compared to the stars in the far outskirts of this cluster.

It measures 8.2'*2.7'.

Challenge Rating:Moderately Easy.

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