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NGC 6144 (13,732 of 18,816)


oc gc pln bn dn gx gxcl ast aka lost




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NGC 6144

NGC 6144, IC 4606, GCl 42, Bennett 77, VI 10, h 3629, GC 4193

RA: 16h 27m 14.14s
Dec: −26° 01′ 29″

Con: Scorpius
Ch: MSA:1397, U2:336, SA:22

Ref: SIMBAD, NGC/IC, Archinal&Hynes (2003), SEDS

(reference key)

Type: globular cluster

Mag: B=10.55, V=9.63

Size: 7.4′
PA: ?

Image gallery

Sketches  (1)

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History and Accurate Positions for the NGC/IC Objects (Corwin 2004)

NGC 6144 may also be IC 4606, which see for the story.

Historical observations

William Herschel (c.1784)

Synonyms: H VI-010

Discovered in 1785 by William Herschel with an 18.7-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He called it "a very compressed and considerably large cluster of the smallest stars imaginable, all of a dusky red colour, the next step to an easily resolvable nebula." In the Philosophical Transactions, 1818, William Herschel wrote: "The ruddy colour of the stars is probably owing to its low situation."

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 "pL, oval, gbM, resolved."

NGC/IC Dreyer (1888, 1895, 1908)

The NGC lists it as "cluster, considerably large, much compressed, gradually brighter in the middle, well resolved into stars."

Published comments

Shapley, H. (1930)

Shapley, H. (1930) "Star Clusters" Harvard Obs. Monographs No. 2.

p 22: There are a few individual globular clusters, NGC 4372, NGC 6144 and NGC 6569 that are in or near recognized dark or luminous nebulae. … [6144] is at the edge of the heavy rho Ophiuchi nebulosity…"

Melotte, P.J. (1915)

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

Burnham's Celestial Handbook

Burnham gives the cluster diameter as 3' and consisting of stars of 13th magnitude and fainter. Catalogues give a diameter 9.3' with a total magnitude of 9.1 and a concentration rating of 11, making it one of the least spread out clusters. The globular lies between Antares and M4, but unlike its neighbours it is unimpressive.

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 11.0 mag globular cluster.

NGC 6144 Donald J. Ware:"Lying only about one degree NW of Antares, this globular cluster is not as obvious as M-4, which is also nearby. It is faint and loose, about 4' in diameter, and appears slightly granulated, with no resolution seen."

Harris, W.E. (1997)

RA 16 27 14.1 (2000) Dec -26 01 29 Integrated V magnitude 9.01 Central surface brightness, V magnitudes per square arcsecond 20.27 Integrated spectral type F5/6 Central concentration, c = log(r_total/r_core); a 'c' denotes a core-collapsed cluster 1.55 Core radius in arcmin .94. ["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: Burnhams V3 p1665.

Modern observations

Hartung, E.J. (1968) Astron.Obj.South.Tel

Hartung writes: "This irregular globular cluster with little central condensation lies behind a diffuse nebula surrounding Antares, which makes the field somewhat bright. It is about 2' across and hazily resolved with faint outliers scattered in and around it, and a star on the preceding edge. A 6-inch shows this star and a faint patch of haze and an 8-inch gives the beginnings of resolution."

Clarke, W.P. (1992)

William P. Clarke (San Diego, California, USA) writes in the The Webb Society Nebulae and Clusters Section Report No. 11, January 1993: "Observed [NGC 6121 & NGC 6144] with 20x80 binoculars. NGC 6121 (M4) just shows some traces of resolution. NGC 6144, its smaller neighbour, is a small hazy spot north of the line joining Antares and M4. The field is an excellent binocular subject."

Callender, John

Observer: John Callender

Instrument: 8-inch Dobsonian reflector Location: Carpinteria, CA, USA

Light pollution: light Transparency: fair Seeing: good

Time: Sat Jul 5 07:10:00 1997 UT Obs. no.: 191

I believe I caught a few glimpses of this 10th magnitude globular at 49x using averted vision. It was a bit more noticeable at 122x. Just the vaguest of smudges, really. Checking the Palomar Sky Survey print via the Web, I think I had the right location; a field star I noted next to the fuzzy patch in my drawing appears in the outer reaches of the globular on the print.

Steve Coe

Steve Coe, observing with a 17.5" f/4.5 at 100X, notes: "Pretty bright, large, compressed, somewhat brighter in the middle, 12 stars resolved across the mottled face of this globular at 135X. It is at the edge of a very dark nebula.; 36" f/5 20mm Nagler TSP 96 39 stars resolved, somewhat brighter middle, a few stars brighter than the others.

Bennett, Jack

Bennett observed it with a 5-inch short-focus refractor, including it in his list of cometary objects as number 77. His coded description describes it as a very faint extended object, easily missed.

Charlier, C.V.L. (1931)

Charlier, C V L (1931) "Stellar clusters and related celestial phaenomena", Lund Annals 2, 14, No. 19. Charlier examined prints from the Franklink-Adams atlas, and notes: "On the FAC it is seen as a small nebula of faint stars. Spiral? 1 degree from M4." He notes that although Melotte calls it a globular, the NGC calls it an ordinary cluster, and it is not named in Bailey's catalogue of globular cluster published in H.A. 76.

Ed Finlay

1993 May 30

ASSA DSOS: Ed Finlay, observing with a Meade 4-inch ED APO refractor from Johannesburg, 1993 May 30, notes "After 1.5 hours of dark adaptation I was able to see this globular cluster. A quite discernable patch of white."

Also pleased to note that with my eyes adapted I could see M4 in my finderscope."

Contemporary observations

Auke Slotegraaf


A 15.5-inch at 220x shows a 10-11th mag star just north of this faint globular. It appears about 7' across, and is pretty evenly spread out. Any stray light falling on the observer renders the cluster visible only with averted vision.

Magda Streicher

1979 May 14

Location: Campsite Farm. (South 23 16 East 29 26)

Sky conditions: clear.

Instrument: Meade 8 inch (Super wide-angle 18mm eyepiece.

Date: 14 May 1979.

ASSA-DSO - Report H

Small dense and faint globular cluster with no stars visible. A bright star visible to the edge.

Small, dense, and faint, globular cluster, little condensation with no stars visible. Hazy edges with nebulous surroundings. A bright star visible to the south edge. Close to red Antares.

(no date)

12-inch f/10 SCT (EP: 2-inch 32mm SW 95x 42' fov; 2-inch 14mm UW 218x 23' fov; 2-inch 8.8mm UW 346x 15' fov)

Small, dense, faint globular cluster, little condensation and at first no stars visible. Hazy edges with nebulosity surrounds it in high power. A few splinter stars can be seen on the extreme edges. With even higher power (346x), although loosing resolution it became mottled. A 10th magnitude white star can be seen 6' arc min. to the south. Just 40' arc minutes northwest from Antares it bath in its glow as a faint mistiness in the rich Milky Way. (Mag 9.0; size 9.3'; brightest stars 13.4 mag. )

Tom Bryant

2008-07-03 00:00:00

Observing site: Pinnacles overlook

Telescope: C-8

[16h 27m 18s, -26 2' 0"] This was fainter than expected, but the skies were perhaps not totally dark, and the cluster was still in the eastern dome of commercial light. A few stars were seen with averted vision. Between Antares and M4

Richard Ford

2012 August, 18th


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 globular clusters stars present a granular appearance of stars and on the outskirts of this cluster there is some resolution of faint stars.Towards the center of this globular cluster there is an 8th magnitude star which gives power to this globular cluster.The stars in this globular cluster are slightly spherically concentrated towards each other.The nucleus of this globular cluster grows slightly brighter compared to the far outskirts of this cluster.Chart No.340, NSOG Vol.2.

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