Best of AOP - Star Clusters


M13 is certainly the most famous globular cluster in the sky of the northern hemisphere. The visual appeal of a cluster like this is unmatched for most deep sky objects. This sphere of over 300,000 stars looks something like scattered diamonds in even relatively small telescopes. The stars in a cluster like this orbit one another wildly as they are crammed into a ball 100 light years across. In addition to the number of stars, the ages of the suns in this cluster are some of the oldest in the universe- perhaps 12-14 billion of years old! M13 is easily found in the constellation of Hercules and can even be glimpsed with an unaided eye under dark skies. Also check out the background galaxy NGC 6207 in the same direction as M13. Globular clusters orbit the center of the galaxy. M13 is currently about 22,000 light years away from us.

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Last Updated: 25-Jun-2014

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About This Image

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20in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/5.5

Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount

SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

LRGB color production was used to create this image.

Digital Development (DDP) via Maxim/DL was also used in order to display the very dim and very bright details of

the image simultaneously.

Luminance = RGB (synthetic) binned 1x1

Red = 10 minutes binned 1x1

Green = 10 minutes binned 1x1

Blue = 10 minutes binned 1x1

Minimum credit line: Tom Bash and John Fox/ Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF