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Observing >> Deep Sky Observing

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Dave MitskyModerator
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Re: Have you seen globular cluster NGC5053? new [Re: KidOrion]
      #5859150 - 05/14/13 04:53 AM

NGC 5053 can be rather difficult from under less-than-pristine skies. I had a fairly good view of it, relatively speaking, most recently at the Texas Star Party last week through my 15" f/4.5 TT/Classic Dob.

NGC 5053 is on the Herschel II list.

Dave Mitsky


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aatt
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Re: Have you seen globular cluster NGC5053? new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #5859946 - 05/14/13 01:36 PM

I am still trying for this-I posted earlier this year hoping for some tips.I feel your pain. It just won't show itself. I need a dark site! Clearly my orange zone is not working in spite of having a 15".

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GlennLeDrew
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Re: Have you seen globular cluster NGC5053? new [Re: aatt]
      #5861085 - 05/14/13 10:18 PM

If the aperture is insufficient to resolve its brighter members, then the sky must be pretty dark. NGC 5053 is not difficult in my 20.8X60 binos, and it is of lower surface brightness than open cluster NGC 6791 (the latter of which I've glimpsed in 7X35 binos on one awesome night.)

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Feidb
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Re: Have you seen globular cluster NGC5053? new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5861135 - 05/14/13 10:36 PM

I saw it on July 10, 2004 from the Lee Canyon Weather Station on the back road to Mt. Charleston near Las Vegas at an altitude of 6,500 feet. There was a light breeze but no clouds with a haze in the valley below that led to Indian Springs.

The cluster was extremely faint but I saw it as almost as large as M-53. I used my home-built 16-inch f/6.4 at 70X. As for individual stars, I described a faint milky glow which usually means I didn't notice any.


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David Knisely
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Re: Have you seen globular cluster NGC5053? new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5861398 - 05/15/13 02:24 AM

Quote:

Quote:

is a Herschel 2 list object




Really? I thought I recalled it being a H400 object. It's surely not THAT more difficult than so many H400 objects. Actually, there are several H400 objects that I've found to be considerably harder. Then again, the H400 was never meant to be a list of the 400 easiest Herschel objects.

Anyway, NGC 5053 is on my personal list of interesting objects that I visit every now and then, just to see if I can see them (mostly with the Zeiss Telemator).


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark




Nope, it is indeed a Herschel II object. In my 10 inch under fairly dark skies, it starts to resolve, showing perhaps 20 to 25 very faint stars in a faint hazy glow (141x). In my 14 inch, that number goes up to around 40 faint stars, but the cluster still isn't all that well resolved. Clear skies to you.


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Sarkikos
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Re: Have you seen globular cluster NGC5053? new [Re: hokkaido53]
      #5861557 - 05/15/13 07:11 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.

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


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hokkaido53
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Re: Have you seen globular cluster NGC5053? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5862035 - 05/15/13 12:14 PM

Quote:

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.

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.


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Achernar
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Re: Have you seen globular cluster NGC5053? new [Re: KidOrion]
      #5862126 - 05/15/13 12:57 PM

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


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Sarkikos
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Re: Have you seen globular cluster NGC5053? new [Re: hokkaido53]
      #5862207 - 05/15/13 01:23 PM

Quote:

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.




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


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Sarkikos
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Re: Have you seen globular cluster NGC5053? new [Re: Achernar]
      #5862214 - 05/15/13 01:25 PM

Quote:

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


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Greatshot
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Re: Have you seen globular cluster NGC5053? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5862980 - 05/15/13 07:35 PM

Quote:

Quote:

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.

Quote:

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.


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GlennLeDrew
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Re: Have you seen globular cluster NGC5053? new [Re: Greatshot]
      #5864716 - 05/16/13 02:20 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.


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Bernie Poskus
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Re: Have you seen globular cluster NGC5053? new [Re: KidOrion]
      #5868556 - 05/18/13 12:30 AM

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.


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youngamateur42
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Re: Have you seen globular cluster NGC5053? [Re: SteelStar]
      #5876515 - 05/21/13 05:57 PM

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

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Darren Drake
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Re: Have you seen globular cluster NGC5053? new [Re: youngamateur42]
      #5901901 - 06/04/13 02:14 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.

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kfiscus
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Re: Have you seen globular cluster NGC5053? *DELETED* new [Re: Darren Drake]
      #5902170 - 06/04/13 04:47 PM

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nytecam
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Re: Have you seen globular cluster NGC5053? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5902316 - 06/04/13 06:01 PM

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

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GlennLeDrew
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Re: Have you seen globular cluster NGC5053? new [Re: nytecam]
      #5902351 - 06/04/13 06:23 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.


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Astrojensen
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Re: Have you seen globular cluster NGC5053? new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5903197 - 06/05/13 03:39 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


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Darren Drake
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Re: Have you seen globular cluster NGC5053? new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5903517 - 06/05/13 09:59 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...

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