Enchanted Skies

Star Clusters

M13 - The Great Hercules Cluster (imaged at 'Upham' N.M.)

M13 Map of Region near the Lagoon and Trifid Nebulae


Object Information                                            Imaging Details

For most of the Northern Hemisphere, M13 is the finest globular cluster in the night sky. Only Omega Centaurus (visible only South of about the 40th parallel) is brighter. The cluster is roughly 25,000 light-years distant, and has the luminosity of nearly a quarter million suns.

The cluster is located between Eta and Zeta Herculis (on the Western side of Hercules' trapazoid), and covers an area about 1/3 the size of the full moon. At magnitude 7, it is barely visible to individuals with keen eyesight from a truly dark sky. It is clearly visible in binoculars or a small telescope. Larger aperture telescopes really bring out the magnificence of this cluster.

This image was taken in June, 2007 at the ASLC's 'Upham' dark sky site. Skies were completely transparent; seeing was moderate.

Clicking on the map gives a more detailed map of the region.


Celestron NexStar GPS 11"

Canon 300D (type 1 modified)
Misc. Optics:
Giant Easy Guider (f/5)
4 @ 15 seconds, 8 @ 30 minutes and 4 @ 60 seconds. All @ ISO 800
Through ED80 (f/30) piggybacked atop Celestron NexStar GPS 11. Guiding was with GuideDog using a ToUCam.
Raws converted to tifs using Photoshop CS. Images aligned and stacked using Nebulosity. Curves/levels adjustments also performed with Photoshop CS.

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Enchanted Skies - Astrophotography by Rich Richins (all images copyright, Rich Richins