M53 Globular Star Cluster



M53 is a 7th magnitude globular star cluster that was discovered by J.E. Bode in February 1775. Charles Messier independently discovered it in February 1777 and added it as object number 53 in his catalog. Messier was unable to resolve any stars in the cluster with his crude telescope, and to him it looked like the comet of 1779, appearing round and without stars. We see M53 in a star poor region of the sky containing numerous galaxies. The background is therefore dark, and the faint swarm of stars stands out well in large size amateur telescopes. Sir William Herschel noted that M53 is similar in appearance to M10. M53 is about 65,000 light-years away.

This is a CCD image taken with a Takahashi FCT-150 telescope using an SBIG ST-8XE CCD. This image was taken from my backyard in Scottsdale, Arizona.

M53 (NGC 5024)
Constellation: Coma Berenices
RA: 13h 13m 13s Dec: +18d 08' 07"
December 31, 2005
Image by Sid Leach
Scottsdale, Arizona

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