Monthly Archives July 2012

M13 The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules

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M13 is also known as the Great Globular Cluster within the Hercules constellation, which is 25,100 Light Years away.  To put this into perspective, this is what 25,100 Light Years looks like in miles: 147,553,496,866,908,580.  Another way to think about the vast distance is that we are viewing this cluster as it was over 25,000 years ago as it has taken the light that amount of time to reach Earth.   It is a mind-boggling concept and like most of the deep sky objects in the universe, the shear distances and the scales of measurement involved leave me speechless.

M13 was one of the first Deep Sky Objects (DOS) I viewed through my telescope.  I have a “Go To” mount for my telescope, meaning that I can plug in what I want to view and the mount automatically slews and rotates to the object I want to view.   After I plugged in M13, I patiently waited for the mount to stop and I peered into the 20mm eyepiece and I saw what looked to be a smudge of stars in my viewfinder.  I looked up at the sky and the tiny point of light I aimed my telescope at turned out to be a cluster of over 300,000 stars.  It was the most awe inspiring objects I had laid my eyes upon.  I then attached my DSLR to my telescope and captured the images you see above!

 

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