Messier object 13 is a large globular cluster in the constellation, Hercules. It is one of the most prominent globular clusters in the Northern celestial hemisphere. Discovered by Edmond Halley in 1714 who observed that the cluster can be seen with the unaided eye in dark enough conditions (back then, that meant without a large moon washing out the sky, not so much city lights). Charles Messier cataloged M13 on June 1, 1764. It lies approximately 25,100 light years away from Earth with a diameter of 20′ (20 arcminutes) or 145 light years visually. There are several hundreds of thousands of stars in the cluster where most of them are highly concentrated in the core of the cluster.
With the unaided eye in a clear dark location you can easily spot the faint fuzzy look of M13 in Hercules. With binoculars or a small telescope the core becomes quite prominent, and with a larger scope still you can begin to focus some of the stars away from the dense core. Excellent object for any beginner to look at and is relatively easily to find.
This image is 13 images at 5 minutes and 24 images at 2 minutes for a total of 2.8 hours, all images taken at ISO 800. 33 flat frames, and 44 dark frames. Stacked in deep sky stacker and post processing in photoshop. I did the two exposures as separate stacks and combined them in Photoshop. I was attempting to bring out some detail in the core with the shorter exposures while trying to get the dimmer outer stars of the cluster using the longer exposures. Didn’t quite work the way as planned, but I’m still pleased with the final restuls.
Omni XLT 150
CG-5 Advanced Series Go-To
Orion Starshoot autoguider
Modified Canon 350D