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M53 (NGC 5024)
Cliff Hardy

Messier 53

M53 is a globular star cluster about 58,000 light years away from the solar system. A globular cluster is a group of stars tightly bound by gravity, which is why they form a somewhat spherical shape. The stars in globular clusters usually contain less metal than other stars. M53 is special because its stars are lower in metal than average globular cluster stars. M53 is also one of the more distant globular clusters at 58,000 light-years away from the Solar System.

The contrast in the first image has been altered in order to show some of the details better. This allows things like the center of the cluster to be seen better while still showing the stars in the edges of the cluster. This is nice because it allows us to see the object in a way that we normally wouldn't be able to. The contrast in the second image is set more linearly in order to show the brightness of the center of the cluster compared to the outer stars.

M53linear

References:

Frommert, Hartmut; Kronberg, Christine. "Messier 53." Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. <http://messier.seds.org/m/m053.html>

Wikipedia, "Globular Cluster".

Wikipedia, "Messier 53"

Right Ascension (J2000) 13:12:55.25
Declination (J2000) +18:10:11.0
Filters used B (Blue), I (Infrared), R (Red), V (Green)
Exposure x number of images for each filter I, V, R: (90s x 6); B(90s x 7)
Image dimension 728x477 pixels; 15.9x10.4 arcminutes
Date/time observed March 17, 2016 UT
Distance 17.8 kpc (Wikipedia, Messier 53)
Scale 5.18 pc/arcminute

 

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