Jump to content


Photo

Have you seen globular cluster NGC5053?

  • Please log in to reply
88 replies to this topic

#26 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 17482
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Per sylvam ad astra

Posted 15 May 2013 - 06:11 AM

Hi Roy,

I've seen NGC 5053 through my 10" f/4.8 Dob. This was at a yellow zone site on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. :waytogo:

5053 is about a degree se of M53. They can both be seen in the same field at low power. 5053 is pretty faint and large, has low surface brightness. It is an H400 II object and is also on Don Pensack's list of Best DSO.

Mike

#27 hokkaido53

hokkaido53

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 276
  • Joined: 07 May 2012
  • Loc: New Mexico

Posted 15 May 2013 - 11:14 AM

Hi Roy,

I've seen NGC 5053 through my 10" f/4.8 Dob. This was at a yellow zone site on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. :waytogo:

5053 is about a degree se of M53. They can both be seen in the same field at low power. 5053 is pretty faint and large, has low surface brightness. It is a H400 II object and is also on Don Pensack's list of Best DSO.

Mike


Yellow? Well, the best we can do in Harford County is orange, thanks to I-95 and six dozen car dealers. The good news is: I'm moving to New Mexico in July. :jump:

#28 Achernar

Achernar

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9168
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Mobile, Alabama, USA

Posted 15 May 2013 - 11:57 AM

NGC-5053 is easy compared to NGC-7492 in Aquarius. That one was a very dim, featureless blob through my 10-inch. At that, the only place I was able to see it at all was from the Conecuh National Forest during a very clear night. I doubt the view would improve much unless you bring a 30-inch or larger telescope to bear on it, it is very remote at 86,000 light years from the Sun and intrinsically faint too. An absolute magnitude of -6 is faint for a globular, where an average globular has a luminosity of 100,000 suns or more. That means an absolute magnitude of at least -8 if not -9 or -10 for the most luminous examples. It's apparent magnitude is 11.5, which is why it's so hard to see in telesopes. If you want a challenge object for the fall, this globular certainly would be a challenge for a 10 or 12-inch telescope.

Taras

#29 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 17482
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Per sylvam ad astra

Posted 15 May 2013 - 12:23 PM

Yellow? Well, the best we can do in Harford County is orange, thanks to I-95 and six dozen car dealers. The good news is: I'm moving to New Mexico in July. :jump:


My home site is in a red zone. I have to drive an hour to get to the yellow zone. New Mexico sounds much better.

Mike

#30 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 17482
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Per sylvam ad astra

Posted 15 May 2013 - 12:25 PM

NGC-5053 is easy compared to NGC-7492 in Aquarius. That one was a very dim, featureless blob through my 10-inch.


NGC 7492 is in my spreadsheet, but I haven't seen it yet. I'll have to give it a try later this year.

Mike

#31 Greatshot

Greatshot

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 348
  • Joined: 15 Apr 2010
  • Loc: Norton, MA

Posted 15 May 2013 - 06:35 PM

I was very perplexed myself as to why I couldn't find it in my 8".


Light pollution.

NGC 5053 isn't as tough as (say) Barnard's Galaxy (NGC 6822), much less a seriously low-surface brightness galaxy like IC 1613. But it's orders of magnitude harder than your average NGC galaxy.

I was even able to track down NGC 2419 a few years back in the same conditions.


NGC 2419 is not especially challenging. I recorded it as "an obvious fuzzy patch with averted vision" through my 7-inch Dob at my astronomy club's suburban observing field, roughly magnitude 20.0 per square arcsecond. I have several times tried and failed to find NGC 5053 through the same instrument at the same site.

But it shouldn't be hard at magnitude 21.0 per square arcsecond. That's nowhere near truly dark, but it's pretty different from any normal suburb.


That makes sense. I still have a hard time making sense of surface brightnesses and all of that - partly because the math/terminology is a little confusing to me and partially because I just don't see a consistent "metric" for it (some 13 SB objects seem brighter than others, for example, at least in my settings). I had figured where globs are more or less stellar objects that magnitude would be accurate for them, and a 9 seemed doable especially since the Wanderer is so much further away and really wasn't that hard to see once I found the spot to look in. Ah well, lesson learned. :)

#32 GlennLeDrew

GlennLeDrew

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 10996
  • Joined: 17 Jun 2008
  • Loc: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Posted 16 May 2013 - 01:20 PM

NGC 5053's *central* surface brightness is 22 magnitudes per square arcsecond (MPSAS), fading radially from there. The darkest skies are at 22 MPSAS, which when added to the glob's core brightness would have said core appearing twice as bright as the sky, or 21.25 MPSAS. This is reasonably good contrast, actually.

This is why under a reasonably dark sky a small instrument can paradoxically render better visibility than a moderately large one does. If the scope cannot resolve member stars in any number, the spread out glow which fills a not tiny pirtion of the FOV can be more difficult to discern than when seen as more compact in a smaller instrument. And if the exit pupil is not on the large side, the overall dimming results in more visual system noise to overcome.

In short, this relatively sizeable object does not require very high magnification to detect as a glow. Under dark skies it's not difficult in small scopes. But above some level of sky glow (about 20-20.5 MPSAS?), it requires an aperture sufficient to resolve at least some dozen or more stars to realize this cluster is there.
  • Asbytec likes this

#33 Bernie Poskus

Bernie Poskus

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 55
  • Joined: 22 May 2010
  • Loc: Broomfield, Colorado

Posted 17 May 2013 - 11:30 PM

I first got interested in NGC 5053 after reading about it in Walter Scott Houston's book "Deep Sky Wonders" (he was a predecessor to Sue French, and wrote the deep sky observing column in "Sky & Telescope" Magazine) on page 136. I was at my very first star party and read his description of it as "... a little gem of woven fairy fire." We tried to find it after I pointed it out to the folks I was with, and to our frustration, we were unable to find it. That made it one of my "Moby Dick" objects, i.e., something I was always trying to find and observe.

Since then, I've observed it on a number of occasions in my 16" dob. Not on every occasion, but sometimes I can see what Houston was talking about. In good conditions, and with a scope of reasonable aperture (Houston's description applies to when you are using "... large instruments ..."), I have observed an extremely faint haze, with a few stars here and there resolvable, which gives it almost a tiara like ambiance. It will not grab you like eye candy does, but it has a subtle beauty.

It is worth searching out and observing, but don't get frustrated if you can't see it. Try again some other night, which is what I did.

#34 youngamateur42

youngamateur42

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1855
  • Joined: 21 Nov 2012
  • Loc: La Verne, CA

Posted 21 May 2013 - 04:57 PM

found in a 6 inch f-4.7 from mag 4.5 or less skies in my backyard with great difficulty. Got eyes :bigshock:

#35 Darren Drake

Darren Drake

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2816
  • Joined: 09 Oct 2002
  • Loc: Chicagoland

Posted 04 June 2013 - 01:14 PM

I bagged this one for the first time last night. It was so much more difficult than I thought it would be in my 18 inch. It seems to be one of the loosest globs I've seen somewhat like M71. Wanna try again under better seeing conditions.

#36 kfiscus

kfiscus

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2297
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2012
  • Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA

Posted 04 June 2013 - 03:47 PM

Post deleted by kfiscus

#37 nytecam

nytecam

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11542
  • Joined: 20 Aug 2005
  • Loc: London UK

Posted 04 June 2013 - 05:01 PM

My shot of NGC 5053 from last April showed a sparce object for a globular but worthy challenge ;)

#38 GlennLeDrew

GlennLeDrew

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 10996
  • Joined: 17 Jun 2008
  • Loc: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Posted 04 June 2013 - 05:23 PM

Darren,
Somewhat like M71? The latter has *very* much higher surface brightness, being more concentrated. A more similar globular is NGC 5897 in Libra, but that one's still easier than NGC 5053.

#39 Astrojensen

Astrojensen

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5458
  • Joined: 05 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Bornholm, Denmark

Posted 05 June 2013 - 02:39 AM

NGC 5053 is much more like the Palomar globulars than most other globulars in the NGC. Almost a transition case.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#40 Darren Drake

Darren Drake

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2816
  • Joined: 09 Oct 2002
  • Loc: Chicagoland

Posted 05 June 2013 - 08:59 AM

I was thinking more along the way of how loose the 2 clusters appear and could somewhat be confused as open clusters instead of globulars...

#41 SebJ

SebJ

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 104
  • Joined: 13 Mar 2011
  • Loc: Bedfordshire, England, UK

Posted 05 June 2013 - 03:14 PM

Spotted NGC5053 a couple of years back. Immensely difficult to define in my 16". As already mentioned, visually it's not what you'd call a classic glob. I actually found it easier to pull out a sparse pocket of individual stars than much of a background glow. Much more difficult to see than I thought it would be.

#42 Fuzzyguy

Fuzzyguy

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 605
  • Joined: 21 Dec 2011
  • Loc: Colorado/Kansas

Posted 06 June 2013 - 02:24 AM

I bagged this one tonight in my C8 from a darker green zone. It took over an hour to confirm it and I pulled out the hood, eye patch and a lot of time just sitting with my eyes closed, taking deep breaths. After about an hour, I could definitely see a very slight brightening in the background between a couple of 10th-11th mag stars using the ES6820 and averted vision. I put in the ES6816 and the cluster was very hard to see, but 3 or 4 very faint stars popped in and out. I don't know if they were field stars or associated with the cluster, but they were sort of blinking in the same spot each time.

This was definitely one of the most difficult objects I've actually succeeded in finding. No "wow" factor, but a nice feeling of accomplishment. I wish the OP patience and good luck finding this one. It's worth it! I wouldn't have had a snow ball's chance to find this one a year ago.

#43 KidOrion

KidOrion

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 832
  • Joined: 07 Jul 2007
  • Loc: Carbondale, IL

Posted 09 June 2013 - 12:44 AM

Went out with five targets in mind (4147, 5053, 5466, Hickson 61 [The Box], and 5897) this evening. Get the scope set up and collimated well; as soon as stars start becoming visible, it clouds over for two hours. Pack the scope up to return home, and the southern horizon clears. Grumble, grumble. (Of course, by the time I get home, it's completely clouded over again.)

The way things are going here, NGC 5053 is going to have to wait for next year.

#44 Astrojensen

Astrojensen

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5458
  • Joined: 05 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Bornholm, Denmark

Posted 09 June 2013 - 02:53 AM

I used to be an amateur astronomer, until I took a Nagler to the knee.



:rofl5: You are my hero.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#45 Starman1

Starman1

    Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 23428
  • Joined: 23 Jun 2003
  • Loc: Los Angeles

Posted 13 June 2013 - 06:07 PM

This 9th-magnitude globular cluster is located about a degree from another glob, M53 in Coma Berenices. I tried twice this month to see it, using an 18" Obsession reflector, but the object remained elusive. This was strange since I was able to see galaxies at 12th, 13th and 14th magnitude. From what I've read this object is always difficult to see , and my local skies are rather hazy this time of year.

I would like to hear from some of observers who have had successful viewings of this object.

Thanks,

Roy in Maryland


First saw this in 1984 with a 4" SCT. No notes other than "seen".
Spotted again in '86 with a 6" newt, then in an 8" SCT in 1995:
lrg, no condensation, v.faint stars, only few *'s resolved,mostly diffuse glow,core lrg % of vis.cl.,round, lots of faint *'s
Since then I view it every time I'm near it. With the 12.5":
Large, loose, faint stars, fully resolved but with some background glow, no obvious concentration, appears to be 2 quanta of magnitudes.

The horizontal branch of this cluster is at magnitude 16.65 with the brightest stars around 13.8, so it should be easy for a 6" to see a few stars and for a 12" or larger to resolve the fainter ones in dark skies.
M14 is fainter, with a horizontal branch of magnitude 17.1 and brightest stars of 14.0 yet I hear of that being found with a 60mm scope.

If you can't see it in an 18", then chances are either that your sky is too bright, or you're looking for something smaller. NGC5053 is 10' across, about 1/3 the width of the full moon, and similar to M13 in size.

#46 hokkaido53

hokkaido53

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 276
  • Joined: 07 May 2012
  • Loc: New Mexico

Posted 29 March 2014 - 01:21 AM

OK! I finally saw this globular tonight, from Taos, NM. The sky was a little hazy, but I viewed it around 10:30pm with my 18" Obsession , at a magnification of 170x. It first appeared as a fuzzy mass, but then the brighter stars began to stand out, with the help of averted vision.

Roy

#47 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 17482
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Per sylvam ad astra

Posted 02 April 2014 - 12:51 PM

Roy in Maryland (or should that be Roy in Taos?),

I've managed to see 5053 through my 10" f/4.8 Dob in a yellow/green zone site on the Eastern Shore. At least its nearness to M53 makes it easier to locate.

NGC 5053 is in the H400 II list. It's also in Don Pensack's Best 500 or so List, and in Mullaney's Herschel Showpieces. I don't recall it being especially difficult compared to some of the faint galaxies in the H400 II or Herschel 3.

:grin:
Mike in Maryland

I see that you finally bagged 5053 in Taos, NM. Skies much darker there than at home?

#48 hokkaido53

hokkaido53

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 276
  • Joined: 07 May 2012
  • Loc: New Mexico

Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:15 AM

Roy in Maryland (or should that be Roy in Taos?),

I've managed to see 5053 through my 10" f/4.8 Dob in a yellow/green zone site on the Eastern Shore. At least its nearness to M53 makes it easier to locate.

NGC 5053 is in the H400 II list. It's also in Don Pensack's Best 500 or so List, and in Mullaney's Herschel Showpieces. I don't recall it being especially difficult compared to some of the faint galaxies in the H400 II or Herschel 3.

:grin:
Mike in Maryland

I see that you finally bagged 5053 in Taos, NM. Skies much darker there than at home?


Hi, Mike,

Yes, we moved to Taos, NM, last summer, where the skies are so clear, they're gray at night, not black. They're gray because I am seeing the collective light of stars and objects which individually are below 6th magnitude. (This really surprised me, but it does make sense.)

I spotted 5053 when it was about 10 or 15 degrees above the horizon. I was able to finish the Herschel list also. (I used Steve O'Meara's book, not the AL's.) I've found some of Alvin Huey's books helpful as well.

Roy in Taos

#49 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 17482
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Per sylvam ad astra

Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:27 AM

Congratulations - on completing the H400 AND moving to a much darker area! Maybe I should look into NM for my retirement? :thinking:

One of the best tools I've found for helping in locating and verifying objects in the H400, H400 II and Herschel 3 lists is SkySafari Pro on a tablet. I don't have goto or DSCs. I just use SSP, Telrad and a 70mm finder.

Mike

#50 hokkaido53

hokkaido53

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 276
  • Joined: 07 May 2012
  • Loc: New Mexico

Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:54 AM

Congratulations - on completing the H400 AND moving to a much darker area! Maybe I should look into NM for my retirement? :thinking:

One of the best tools I've found for helping in locating and verifying objects in the H400, H400 II and Herschel 3 lists is SkySafari Pro on a tablet. I don't have goto or DSCs. I just use SSP, Telrad and a 70mm finder.

Mike


Yeah, it's great out here, very astro-friendly.

I just turned 70, so I've decided to take it easy from now on. Consequently, I've invested in the ArgoNavis and ServoCAT. If your eyes (and back) are still young and fresh, you might not need these aids.

Clear skies,

Roy






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics