M13 – The Great Cluster in Hercules – 4th May 2013

M13 - Hercules Cluster - Click to Enlarge

M13 – Hercules Cluster – Click to Enlarge

This is M13, the great cluster in Hercules.  It’s globular cluster with around 300,000 stars in total.  This is a single 5 Minute sub, with no darks, flats etc.  It was taken initially as a way to test my new guiding setup.  It’s a single shot at ISO 800, guided via a 9×50 finderscope, with a QHY5v mono camera attached, and PHD guiding.  It was processed only in Photoshop and Lightroom.  It was taken with my Canon EOS 5D (unmodded) through the Skywatcher 200P Newtonian.

As an object, I think it’s stunning.  It’s one of those that looks gorgeous visually, especially from a dark sky site.  Also, it’s really one of those that improves as your aperture grows.

Image Plate Solved

Image Plate Solved

If you look carefully on the full size shot, you can see a small galaxy in the top of the image, to the right of centre.  This is NGC6207.  For reference, here’s a plate-solved version of the image from Astrobin, which labels the objects in view.  Plate solving is an automated process that identifies the objects within an astronomical image.  It’s great for spotting small things that you didn’t even notice were there.  Astrobin (www.astrobin.com), does it automatically on upload.

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