Blue Straggler Stars

M53 (aka NGC 5024) is one of 250 or so globular clusters still surviving in our Galaxy. Most of the stars in M53 are older and redder than our Sun, but some to its stars appear to be bluer and younger. These apparently young stars seem to contradict the idea that all the stars in M53 should have formed around the same time, and these “blue stragglers” are unusually common in M53. They are now thought to be old stars rejuvenated by matter falling in from a binary star companion. M53 is visible with a binoculars when looking toward the constellation of Coma Berenices.

M53 is one of the furthest globular clusters from the center of our Galaxy. It contains over 250,000 stars. If our Solar System were part of M53, the night sky would glow like a jewel box of bright stars.

Image Credit: NASA

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