The Palomar globular
clusters are by and large small, faint objects that make better challenges
than showpieces. Not many observers can say they have seen this cluster,
so you can take some satisfaction in knowing that your observation is a
rarity. Palomar 4 isn't the most difficult of the Palomars but it
has stymied observers for years due a widely circulated positional error.
Although the integrated magnitude of the cluster is within reach of a 12-inch,
the brightest individual stars are 18th magnitude.
Detecting this globular takes
a transparent, very dark night with good seeing. You must be perfectly
dark adapted and should be comfortable, sitting if possible. In my
18-inch f/4.5 this globular cluster appeared as a very diffuse, round glow,
just visible with averted vision. It reminded me of a small, faint
The field in a 18-inch
at 97x. North is down and east is to the right.