NGC 5053

Globular cluster NGC 5053 in Coma Berenices is another of William Herschel's discoveries. Lying only about one degree from M53, a much brighter and better known globular, this one is unusual in that its stars are spread quite loosely, with no discernable central core, and the cluster appears more like an open than a globular. The distance to NGC 5053 is about 57,000 light years, almost the same as its neighbor, M53. And like M53, NGC 5053 consists of metal-poor stars, indicating that it formed from material that had not been significantly enriched with heavy elements, due to nearby supernovae explosions. The cluster shines a a visual magnitude of about 9 1/2 and requires a moderately large instrument to really appreciate its appearance.

Image taken June 21, 2012, with the C-14 operating at F:3.5 and the ST-8 camera binned 2 X 2. Exposure is 600 seconds.