The Great Hercules Cluster by Scott Champion

Photo of the Week for May 25, 2018

The Great Hercules Cluster by Scott ChampionNear the top of every observer’s must-see list for late spring is M13, otherwise known as the Great Hercules Cluster. At magnitude 5.8, it can be perceived with the naked eye and is an easy binocular find. However, like all globular star clusters, M13 really comes into its own in a telescope. The object is impressive in small apertures, but the increased resolution of bigger instruments show the cluster to even greater effect. In a large backyard scope, M13 is a spectacular swarm of luminous pinpoints.

Haneytown, New Brunswick, astrophotographer Scott Champion captured this beautifully detailed image of M13 with a MallinCam VRC-8 Ritchey-Chrétien astrograph fitted with an Astro-Physics CCDT67 focal reducer for a working f-ratio of f/5.4. Scott used a Atik 383L + monochromatic CCD camera shooting through Baader Planetarium filters to acquire a total of 82 minutes exposure data.

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