M5 is yet another globular cluster that I imaged a couple months ago.Actually,I took the shot on the same night that I shot M13 and the skies haven’t been the same since but,I am hoping all of that will change in the coming week.The local forecast is calling for T-storms in the next couple days then clearing by Wednesday.
Under very good viewing conditions, M5 can just be glimpsed with the naked eye. The globular cluster is easily visible as small fuzzy patch in good binoculars, and a fine round “nebula” in 3-inch telescopes, brighter toward the center. Starting with 4-inch, its brightest stars, of mag 12.2, can just be resolved; they form curved patterns extending from the central part which John Mallas found suggesting a spider; one of the “legs” extending far southward, the halo extending to a diameter of over 10′. Larger telescopes or photographs reveal a spectacular sight with thousands of stars, a few less populated gaps, and the halo extending to over 15′ diameter.
Since M5 doesn’t have a designated name,I think I will take the opportunity and give it one.By looking at the image below, I have decided to call it “The Hilarion Globular Cluster”.I chose the name Hilarion (which means “chearful” in ancient Greek) because, the image I took sort of looks like the joker on a playing card.