Observing Our Galaxy's Newly Discovered Globular Cluster

PSO J174.0675-10.8774 is the designation for the newly discovered Globular Cluster of our galaxy.

A Globular Cluster is a tightly bound, spherical system of stars orbiting a galaxy.  One would not find such a cluster near the center of a galaxy, but on the edges and within the "halo" of a galaxy.  As a teenager, I assumed the term was pronounced like "glob" ular cluster.  But it occurred to me one day that this was stupid - it had to be like a globe and should have been pronounced "globe" ular.  Nope, I was right the first time.  Go figure. 

Most globular clusters are very round in nature, looking very much like a globe.  Occasionally some are like globs, lacking a perfect spherical shape. 

Omega Centauri (ω Cen), also known as NGC 5139, is seen below - perfect example of the beauty of a globular cluster.

Now compare the image above with the one below. 

I took this image of the newly discovered globular cluster using one of the remote controlled telescopes on the Canary Islands (Slooh.com).  Without enhancing the image, the globular cluster is not visible.  I have imposed a small area onto the original image, and in that small, enhanced image, the globular cluster is visible.

PSO J174.0675-10.8774 was found in the stacked photometric catalog of the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System 1 (Pan-STARRS1) Survey. The announcement of this discovery was published in March, 2014, at this link:  http://arxiv.org/pdf/1403.6593v1.pdf.

This relatively unattractive globular cluster is significant because it is believed to be the most distant such system from our galaxy's center, and suggests that the discoveries of globular clusters orbiting our galaxy has not yet been completed!  In other words, stand by - there may be more to be found in the years ahead.