Globular Cluster NGC 4147

NGC 4147
NGC 4147: Image taken with Hubble Space Telescope. © 2019 ESA/Hubble & NASA, T. Sohn et al. [587]


On 15 February 1784 the German-British astronomer William Herschel found with his 18.7 inch reflecting telescope a «bright nebula» which he cataloged as I 11 and noted: «bright, pretty large, little elongated, brighter in the middle, much.» The position he gave was related to the star 5 Comae Berenices: preceding 1m 30s, south 2° 11'. Almost one month later, on 14 March 1784 he came along the same patch in the sky and unknowingly cataloged the same nebula, this time with the position measured relative to the star 11 Comae Berenices: preceding 10m 30s, north 0° 46'. He cataloged it again as I 19 with the description: «very bright, pretty large, gradually brighter in the middle.» [463]

Herschels son John listed the object I 19 in his Slough catalogue of 1833 as h 1106 and noted: «Bright, round, 80"; donsists of distinct stars. A globular cluster.» [466] In his «General Catalogue» of 1864 he listed GC 2758 (I 11) and GC 2752 (I 19) with different coordinates. The ones of GC 2758 (I 11) were circa a 1/4 degree off to southeast. [467] Dreyer copied the entries of John Herschel to his «New General Catalogue» with GC 2752 = NGC 4147 and the double entry with wrong coordinates being GC 2758 = NGC 4153. [313]

Physical Properties

This relatively small globular cluster is in a distance of 19.3 kpc from Earth and 21.4 kpc from the galactic center. It is a candidate for association with the Sagittarius tidal stream. It may have been captured by the Milky Way after it has been separated from the Sagittarius Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy. [588]

Revised+Historic NGC/IC Version 22/9, © 2022 Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke [277]
Name RA Dec Type bMag vMag B-V SB Dim PA z D(z) MD Dreyer Description Identification, Remarks
NGC 4147 12 10 06.2 +18 32 33 dup 10.4 4.4 19.000 globular, vB, pL, R, gbM, rrr WH I 19; h 1106; GC 2752; NGC 4153; GCL 18
NGC 4153 12 10 06.2 +18 32 33 GCL (VI) 10.4 4.4 19.000 B, pL, E, bM WH I 11; GC 2758; NGC 4147; GCL 18

Finder Chart

The globular cluster NGC 4147 is located in the constellation Coma Berenices. The best ovserving time is from December to July.

Finder Chart Globular Cluster NGC 4147
Globular Cluster NGC 4147 in constellation Coma Berenices. Charts created using SkySafari 6 Pro and STScI Digitized Sky Survey. Limiting magnitudes: Constellation chart ~6.5 mag, DSS2 close-ups ~20 mag. [149, 160]

Objects Within a Radius of 15°


  • [149] SkySafari 6 Pro, Simulation Curriculum;
  • [160] The STScI Digitized Sky Survey;
  • [277] «Historische Deep-Sky Kataloge» von Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke; (2021-02-17)
  • [313] «A New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars, being the Catalogue of the late Sir John F.W. Herschel, Bart., revised, corrected, and enlarged» Dreyer, J. L. E. (1888); Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society. 49: 1–237; Bibcode:1888MmRAS..49....1D
  • [463] «Catalogue of one thousand new nebulae and clusters of stars» William Herschel, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 1 January 1786; DOI:10.1098/rstl.1786.0027
  • [466] «Observations of nebulæ and clusters of stars, made at Slough, with a twenty-feet reflector, between the years 1825 and 1833» John Frederick William Herschel, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 1 January 1833, Pages: 359-505; DOI:10.1098/rstl.1833.0021
  • [467] «Catalogue of nebulae and clusters of stars» John Frederick William Herschel, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 1 January 1864; DOI:10.1098/rstl.1864.0001;
  • [587] Globular cluster NGC 4147; (2023-02-04)
  • [588] «A search for stellar tidal debris of defunct dwarf galaxies around globular clusters in the inner Galactic halo» Julio A. Carballo-Bello, Antonio Sollima, David Martínez-Delgado, Berenice Pila-Díez, Ryan Leaman, Jürgen Fliri, Ricardo R. Muñoz, Jesús M. Corral-Santana Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 445, Issue 3, 11 December 2014, Pages 2971–2993; DOI:10.1093/mnras/stu1949