Waid Observatory

Object: Messier 53 (NGC 5024)
Date: Mar. 21, 2024  -  Location: DSOC, Fort Davis, TX
Telescope: 16 inch RC  -  Mount: Paramount-MeII  -  Camera: FLI 16803
Exposure: L = 21x3 min. (Bin 1-1) - R = 19x3 min. G = 20x3 min. B = 12x2 min. (Bin 2x)
Click on the image below to view at higher resolution.




Messier 53 (NGC 5024)

Discovered by Johann Elert Bode[2]

M53 is one of the outlying globular clusters 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[1,2]. It lies in the direction of the constellation Coma Berenices[1].

As with many globular clusters, M53 is "metal-poor", meaning it is deficient in elements heaver than hydrogen and helium[1,2]. This indicates that the cluster has an abundance of first generation stars[1]. This is unlike the majority of observed globular clusters that are dominated by second generation stars[1].

With the advent of relatively affordable 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 instruments.

The above image is orientated with north up and east to the left.  Image integration and processing were accomplished using the software applications CCDStackTM, PixInsightTM, and PhotoshopTM.

1Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messier_53
2SEDS: http://www.messier.seds.org/m/m053.html

Copyright Donald P. Waid