|NGC 5897: Globular Star Cluster (Libra) RA: 15h 17.4m / DEC: -21° 00'.6|
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder
Globular star clusters are a personal favorite. The brightest have an almost three-dimensional appearance with countless stars resolved to the core. M5 in nearby Serpens Caput is a prime example. NGC 5897 does not, however, fit this mold. It is a relatively large, low surface brightness globular located in central Libra. My drawing captures the view in my 10-inch Starfinder equatorial Newtonian at 129X. The cluster appears as a circular nebulous patch some 7' in diameter. Several 13th magnitude GSC stars, which may be members of the cluster, are peppered across its face. An additional 28 field stars have been drawn. The brightest of these are strung out along the northeast field boundary. You'll find NGC 5897 about 5 degrees northeast of 3.3 magnitude Brachium, Sigma (20) Librae.
|Instrument: 18-inch Obsession|
NGC 5897 is much better resolved in the 18-inch Obsession at 199X. Quite a few 14th and 15th magnitude stars are seen scattered across the globular's 9' diameter hazy cast. More typically, cluster members shine at magnitude 16.3 or thereabouts, and these give NGC 5897 a distinctly granular or salty undertone. A closely grouped string of some three or four stars extends as a loose hair from the southern edge of the globular cluster.
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Revised: June 3, 2005 [WDF]