Image of the Month - March 2017

Thumbnail Title: 
Student @ Royal Astronomical Society

The image of the Month for March 2017 is of the globular cluster Messier 53, or M53. Globular clusters are collections of stars which are bound together by gravity and form a sphere, they are also some of the oldest objects in the Universe. M53 has stars within it which are thought to be over 12.5 billion years old! This is one of hundreds of globular clusters which orbit around our galaxy, the Milky Way. M53 is around 60,000 light years from Earth.

This observation is particularly good, as the observer has chosen not to use the same 'exposure time' on each of the frames, taken in different colour filters, these times can be tailored using our GCSE Astronomy option within Go Observing. Due to these clusters being very bright in the yellow (V-band)/green (g-band), the observer has chosen not to expose for quite as long in that filter - bringing out the red and blue features much more clearly. A wonderful observation!