Globular Cluster C87

Designation:  Caldwell 87, NGC 1261, in constellation of Horologium.
Visual magnitude:   +8.3
Apparent size: 6.8 arc-minutes.
Diameter: 105 light years.
Distance: 53,000 light years.
Date: 2020-01-31
Exposure: 25 frames @ 107 sec = 44 minutes

There are about one hundred and fifty globular clusters in orbit around the Milky Way galactic core. Their habitat is the halo outside the spiral disc. They all share a similar resemblance – a spherical collection of stars, tightly bound by their common centre of gravity, with an increasingly dense stellar population towards their centres.

Caldwell 87 is not a particularly bright globular cluster, nor is it especially large. It lies in the southern sky at a considerable distance of 53,000 light years and so is not one of the most conspicuous.

However, having started out on a journey which includes a target of photographing as many Caldwell and Messier objects as I can, it becomes one of those which I can add to the list.

The bright nearby star is HD 20224, magnitude 9.1.

I managed just three imaging sessions during this lunar cycle, all from home. I can’t complain about that but after nearly seven weeks of home isolation already, spending an evening under the stars seems to be a rare treat. Even a night under a moonlit sky tonight or tomorrow would be looking attractive if it were not for the gusty wind.

Annotation from

Telescope Details
SkyWatcher Esprit 120 mm apochromatic 3-element refractor.
840 mm focal length @ f/7 with field flattener.
Baader L-Booster UHC-S light pollution filter 2458276.
SkyWatcher EQ6-R Pro mount.
Camera: ZWO ASI 071 MC Pro (CMOS 28.4mm 16 Mpx)
ZWO ASI120 guide camera, using PHD2 software.
2018-03-10 Telescope & Roger
Images © Roger Powell
I’m a founder member of Macarthur Astronomical Society,
Australia. 🙃


  1. I like your image. I got a good view of Venus in Pleiades on the 1st. Dense clouds since. Maybe tonight I will get another peek.


  2. It always pleases me to see your posts. We saw the funny photos of people dressing up to dump
    items into dust bins. We need laughter to combat the virus and stay sane.


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