Thursday, 24 October 2013

Great Globular Cluster in Hercules

Messier 13 (M13), also known as NGC 6205 and sometimes called the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules, is a globular cluster of about 300,000 stars in the constellation of Hercules. M13 is located at 22,200 ly with a size of 84 ly, this means that this picture is actually a shot from the past, what we are seeing now is how M13 was 22,000 years ago when the light from its stars started its travel towards our small planet, this is simply amazing.

Its diameter in the sky is about 23 arc minutes and its easy to view from a small telescope or binoculars. This image was taken with my small ETX-70 with no tracking composed of 40 shots of 2 seconds stacked with DSS, 10 darks and 10 bias.

Nearby is NGC 6207, a 12th magnitude edge-on galaxy located at 28 arc minutes in the north east which is also visible at the top of this image. If M13 being at 22,000 ly from us and being visible is awesome, knowing that this galaxy is at 30 million ly just blew my mind. Somewhere between M13 and NGC 6207 one can imagine a small galaxy IC 4617. Again, I'm fully satisfied with what it's possible with such a small telescope but not being able to track is starting to be a serious problem...

Enjoy!


And again, the image annotated by astrometry.net: