IOM May 2009: M13 the great globular cluster in Hercules

The Great Globular Cluster M13 in the constellation Hercules is pretty well known to all who scan the Northern Hemisphere skies.  It is probably the most beautiful globular cluster in the Northern Hemisphere both visually, and for imaging.  This is a great object to capture as it can stand its own both as a widefield object or as a much closer up (magnified) image.  The only thing you must be careful not to do is oversaturate the core of M13 (which is quite easy to do) otherwise your subsequent processing will not be able to pull out individual stars right into the core.  M13 is a colourful globular, and if your processing is up to maintaining good star colour, you will see many red giants dotted around the cluster.  The trick to getting a good M13 image is to take very many well-focused, but short sub-exposures.  I typically do not go beyond 2-minute subs for M13 images with either the Hyperstar or the Sky 90.  An evening’s worth of 100 sub-exposures should provide you with good smooth data to work with.  There is also the added benefit of course that it is possible to get good images of M13 even with the Moon up and causing mischief 🙂  M13 was dicovered by Edmond Halley (yes the comet man) in 1714, and on a good clear night [and in the right position] it is just naked-eye from the New Forest Observatory.

Make the most of imaging this one, it usually marks the end of imaging season for at least the next month 🙁

This entry was posted in IOM. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *