Globular Cluster in Hercules

June 13, 2010


Photographer: Scott Hammonds; Scott's Website
Summary Author: Scott Hammonds

The image above featuring the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules (M13) was taken at the Deerlick Astronomy Village in Georgia. This amazing mass of stars, one of many that surround the Milky Way, was first discovered by Edmond Halley in 1714 and cataloged by Charles Messier in 1764. An estimated 500,000 stars are clustered here within an area about 100 light years in diameter. M13 is approximately 25,000 light years distant from us. On clear summer nights, in a very dark sky, it's possible to see it with the unaided eye. The oblong blob at lower left is a much more distant spiral galaxy, NGC 6207, some 30 million light years away.

Photo details:
Astro-Physics six inch refractor telescope; Apogee U16M CCD camera with filters. There's over nine hours of total data for this image; 22 red sub frames, 22 blue sub frames and 18 green sub frames, of 10 minutes each. They were combined using CCDStack and Photoshop CS3. Data were collected data over a three night period, beginning April 28, 2010.