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M13: Globular Cluster in Hercules

RA = 16 hrs 41 min; Dec = 36 deg 27 min

Date & Site:

Imaged on 3/29/14; Little Blair Valley, Anza Borrego Desert, CA

Clear; average seeing; poor transparency

Temperatures in mid 40s


Telescope: AT8RC (1625mm fl f/8)

Mount: Losmandy G-11 with Gemini
Camera: ST-10XME; CFW10 with Astrodon LRGB filters;

Prime focus autoguided using SBIG ST-10 guidechip


Exposures and filters: 60 min of luminance and 30 minutes each of RGB (5 minute subs) for a total of 150 minutes.

FOV =32 x 21 arc minutes

M13 is a globular cluster of about 300,000 stars. The Arecibo Message of 1974, containing encoded information about the human race, DNA, atomic numbers, Earth's position, and other information, was beamed towards M13 to allow it to be picked up by potential extraterrestrial civilizations in the cluster. The message will reach the cluster in 25,000 years.

Globular star clusters are tightly held together by gravity which remain intact after billions of years. The stars in M13 or other globulars are thought to be 12 to 13 billion years old.

Located 22.2 thousand light years away

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