BACKYARD SPACE in JOHNSTON:  M13, The Hercules Star Cluster


M13, otherwise know as the Hercules Globular Cluster, is a star cluster housing several hundreds of thousands of stars.

In 1714, the cluster was discovered by Edmund Halley and cataloged in 1764 by Charles Messier.

You would need a high-powered telescope with good light gathering abilities to fully see the cluster of stars in M13, but with a low powered telescope or binoculars you can see a fuzzy patch that looks like a comet in some cases.

M13 spans 145 light-years across and is about 23,500 light-years from Earth.

How did I create my Image of The Great Hercules Star Cluster?

This Image was composed using four different filters and a Mono astrophotography liquid cooled camera. Each filter was used to capture specific wavelengths of light and then stacked and edited to produce an RGB image.

The four filters used were Luminance (UV/IR, all visible light),red, green and blue.

The data in this image was taken over the course of two nights and stacked and edited in an astronomical editing software.

The images were taken in my backyard in Johnston.

Gear Used.

  • Imaging telescopes or lenses: William Optics Zenith 73 II
  • Imaging cameras: QHYCCD QHY183M
  • Mounts: SkyWatcher EQ6R-Pro
  • Guiding telescopes or lenses: William Optics 50mm Guidescope rotolock William Optics 50mm F/4 Guide
  • Scope
  • Guiding cameras: ZWO ASI120MM-Mini ASI120MM-Mini
  • Focal reducers: Williams Optics Flat73A
  • Software: Adobe Phosotshop CC   PixInsight  ·  NINA 10.1  ·  Sharpcap  ·  PHD2 Guiding 2.62 PHD2.62
  • Filters: Baader LRGB 1.25"
  • Dates:May 17, 2021
  • Frames: 135x90" (3h 22' 30")
  • Integration: 3h 22' 30"
  • Moon age: 5.17 days
  • Moon phase: 27.33%

EDITOR’S NOTE: Lucas “Luc” Maguire captured this image from his backyard in Johnston. He will be submitting his deep space images to the Sun Rise for publication each week. Maguire’s photography can also be found at his Instagram account @oceanstateastro and his Twitter feed @OceanStateAstro.


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