NGC/IC Objects

NGC 5053: Globular Star Cluster (Coma Berenices) RA: 13h 16.5m / DEC: +17° 41'.9
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder

NGC 5053 had been a thorn in my side for several years. However in spring 2002, I made my first observation of this faint globular cluster. It's located in Coma Berenices about 58' southeast of larger, brighter M53. 4.3 magnitude Alpha (42) Comae Berenices is 1.5 degrees due west. According to Skiff, NGC 5053 has an integrated visual magnitude of 9.5 and is 10'.0 in diameter. This suggests a surface brightness of about 23.1 magnitude per square arc second. That's not exactly bright but not extraordinarily faint, either. This should be a fairly trivial object in my 10-inch but previous attempts under murky Midwest skies had always proved frustrating.

Both M53 and NGC 5053 are visible in the same low power view on this night. The sketch at left presents an 82X view in my 10-inch, f/4.5 Newtonian. NGC 5053 appears as an 8' diameter haze, very delicate to the eye. 7.7 magnitude HD 115352 stands 24' due south. The gauzy globular is flanked by a pair of moderately bright stars, 9th magnitude GSC 1454:692 residing 6' to the southeast and 11th magnitude GSC 1454:802 glowing 8' to the southwest. A handful of faint member stars are resolved across the face of the cluster. The remaining field stars, 20 in all, probably include several additional cluster members.

NGC 5005 & NGC 5033 NGC 5054


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Revised: May 6, 2002 [WDF]