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 100,000 stars looks something like "spilled salt" 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.
Click on image for larger version.


20in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/5.5
Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount
SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

L R G B color production was used to create this image.

Luminance = synthetic binned 1x1
Red = 10 minutes binned 1x1
Green = 10 minutes binned 1x1
Blue = 10 minutes binned 1x1

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


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

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    Updated: 04/13/2004