only a few pairings of globular clusters in the entire sky. This
unequal duet lies in what is normally a rich hunting ground for
numerous faint galaxies. But riding high on May evenings just
north of Virgo, it presents a photographic challenge. Although
I had photographed M53 before with the 12.5", I could never
fit the dim companion in the same field, until now. This contrasting
pair of objects shows the amazing diversity of the deep sky on
a moonless spring evening.
The brilliant globular
cluster on the lower left is M53. Blazing at 7.7th magnitude,
it spans 13 arc minutes in size. The brightest stars are around
13th magnitude, with stars ranging all the way to the 17th magnitude
limit of this image.
The dimmer globular
to the upper right is NGC5053. It is only 9th magnitude, and
a bit smaller at 10 arc minutes. Its brightest stars are 14th
A comparison of
the star colors in the larger images is in order. Note in both
globulars the faint background blue super giant stars are punctuated
by numerous brighter orange K super giants.