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NGC 5024

Proper NameNone
Messier NumberM53
NGC/IC NumberNGC 5024
ConstellationComa Berenices
Right Ascension13h 12m 55s
Declination+18° 10' 5"
Distancec.58,700 light years
c.18,000 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +7.61
Absolute: -8.65
DiameterApparent: 13'
Actual: 220 light years
Optimum VisibilityApril / May
NotesA globular cluster in Coma Berenices, lying near the star Diadem (Alpha Comae Berenices) in the sky. M53 shows unusual patterns of material associated with the cluster, including a trail along the path of its orbit around the Milky Way, and an apparent 'bridge' stretching between this cluster and the fainter and more diffuse NGC 5053.

A distant globular cluster in Coma Berenices, M53 consists of a roughly spherical group of old stars more than two hundred light years across. Ths cluster lies nearly 60,000 light years from the Solar System, some considerable way outside the main disc of the Milky Way Galaxy. The stars making up the cluster are mainly old reddish first-generation stars, and a significant number of these are of the pulsating RR Lyrae variable type common in globular clusters.

Imagery provided by Aladin sky atlas

Some six thousand light years from M53 lies another globular cluster, the relatively sparse and diffuse NGC 5053. M53 and NGC 5053 are near neighbours in galactic terms, and the two interact with one another gravitationally, so that the gulf of space between the two clusters is crossed by a tenuous bridge of streaming matter.


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