(IAAC) Object: M53, Instrument: 16" Dob; LM: 5

Observer:  Todd Gross
Your skill:  Intermediate +
Date and UT of observation: 2/7/97 0900 GMT
Location & latitude: 22 miles west of Boston, Ma. 42.3N
Site classification: Suburban
Limiting magnitude (visual): 5 (estimated),  5 (est)  in vicinity of object
Seeing (1 to 5 - best to worst):  3
Moon up (phase?): No
Instrument: f/4.59 16" Dob, f.l. 1839mm, excellent optics, 
96% QSP coating, 3.1" dialectric 99 % secondary 
Magnifications:  175x, 97x
Filters used: none
Object:  M53
Object data: Globular Cluster
Description: I have been having so much luck splitting globulars
with the new 16" scope lately, that I wanted to re-visit M53 which 
I was not able to resolve well under moonlit skies. As expected,
I was able to bring out more individual members, but even in darker
skies, could not entirely crack the core. The view was far improved
M53 is a relatively small, very condensed and compact globular. 
I could resolve stars easily on the edges, and one particularly bright
star in the foreground of the center. Only 10-20 stars were completely
resolved, with chunky granularity otherwise noted. This is in contrast
to M3/M5/M13 which each show literally many dozens or even hundreds
of individual stars through the eyepiece.
- Todd
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Email: toddg@weatherman.com    Work Phone# (617)725-0777