Discovered 1775 by Johann Elert Bode.
M53 is one of the outlying globulars in our galaxy. It is approximately 60,000 light years from the galactic center of the Milky Way and about 58,000 light years from our solar system. It lies in the direction of the constellation Coma Berenices. At its distance from our location it is rather small and indistinct when viewed in a small telescope. It is difficult to resolve into stars with telescopes less than 6 to 8 inches in aperture. Larger telescopes with apertures of 10 to 12 inches are able to well resolve the cluster visually and it shows up with a moderately concentrated core and the outlying fringe stars spread over an area of approximately 12 arc minutes. With the advent of modern digital cameras, amateurs can now image the cluster and view this beautiful stellar swarm with clarity formally available only with the aid of professional quality equipment.