Astrophotography by David Gares

Hercules Globular Cluster M13
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M13, the Hercules cluster, is the most impressive globular cluster readily visible throughout the U.S.  It is believed to contain hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of stars bound together by their own gravitational pull.  This photograph captures the cluster better than an eyepiece view at home, but the view through the 10" telescope under a dark sky is simply breathtaking.  This object is a stunning transition after chasing faint galaxies in spring/summer.

Hercules Globular Cluster M13
(Click image to enlarge)


 Object Details:  
 Type:  Globular star cluster
 Constellation:  Hercules
 Distance:  25,100 light-years
 Diameter:  145 light-years

 Image Details:
 Date:  April 23, 2009
 Site:  Harahan, LA
 Conditions:  Soggy, unsteady
 Exposure:  17x4m
 Filters:  IDAS LPS-P48
 Processing:  MSB Astroart 3.0
 Telescope:  9.25" Celestron XLT
 Reducer:  Meade, f/6.3
 Image CCD:  SX SXV-H9C
 Guide CCD:  SX  MX7C
 Guide Scope:  Vixen ED80Sf

 Image Details:
 Date:  April 10, 2004
 Site:  Harahan, LA
 Exposure:  CCD, 10 x 2 min.
 Filters:  Orion SkyGlow LPR
 Processing:  MSB Astroart 3.0
 Telescope:  10" Meade LX200
 Reducer:  Meade, f/4.3
 CCD:  Starlight Express MX7C
 Autoguider:  S.T.A.R. 2000

More on globular clusters:  Globular clusters typically swarm above and below the plane of their host galaxies like moths.  Though M13 is a member of our own Milky Way galaxy, extragalactic globulars have also been photographed.  The stars in globular clusters are low in metallicity, indicating that they are relatively old.  Generations of death and rebirth tend to produce metals as the fusion reaction progresses from burning hydrogen, then helium, then carbon, then more complicated reactions which produce iron and other metals.  Thus globular clusters play an important role in understanding stellar evolution.