NGC 5053

Alt. Designations: NGC 5053
Object Type: globular cluster
Constellation: Coma Berenices
Distance: 56.7 kly
Right Ascension: 13h 16m 27.0s
Declination: +17° 41´ 55"
Visual Magnitude: 9.0
Apparent Dimension: 10.0´ Dia.
Best Month To View: Mar

Located within a degree of the more famous globular M53, it can be interesting to compare and contrast the two. Oddly, the smaller and fainter NGC 5053 is actually the closer of the two (although not by much). In fact, it is one of the intrinsically faintest of the known globular clusters, shining perhaps with the light of a mere 16,000 suns. It is also one of the most metal-poor known, indicating that it formed from interstellar gas that had not been significantly enhanced with the byproducts of many generations of stars. Like all Milky Way globular clusters this group of stars formed together long ago (about 13 Billion years).