Messier 5 or M5 is a globular cluster in the constellation Serpens. It was discovered by Gottfried Kirch in 1702. M5 is faintly visible to the naked eye. Using a small telescope it will reveal itself as a dense globular cluster of stars. It is estimated that there are over 100,000 stars in the cluster.

The centre of the M5 Globular Cluster is in our Milky Way galaxy, about 24,500 light-years away. Clearly, there is a gravitational influence in M5, and it extends about 200 light years.


M5 is visible in the evening during the summer. By mid summer, look towards the west, high in the early evening, and lower in the late evening. Late in the evening, it is almost midway between Arcturus in the west and Antares rising in the south-west.

With a telescope, look for the looping lines of stars, reminding one of a loosely wound ball of yarn, and suggesting a very complex gravitational influence.