Messier Objects

M13 "Great Hercules Cluster": Globular Star Cluster (Hercules) RA: 16h 41.7m / DEC: +36° 27'.6
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder

M13 is one of the most magnificent objects which can be observed from mid-northern latitudes. It is a globular cluster in the constellation Hercules. M13, The Great Hercules Cluster, is a naked eye object positioned about two-thirds the way from Zeta to Eta Herculis, the stars forming the western long leg in the keystone asterism. At low power, my 10-inch Newtonian shows a very concentrated 20' diameter cluster with stars resolved across the core. The sketch at left was made at 190X and presents the core of this magnificent object. Stringy tendrils of stars reach out from this 5.8 magnitude beauty. At times, M13 reminds me of a celestial octopus. More than 40 stars are recorded in the drawing, many of which are among the million or so cluster members. M13 is flanked by a 6.9 magnitude star 15' to the east and a 7.3 magnitude star 18' to the southwest. If you look about 26' northeast of M13, you may see the 11.7 magnitude galaxy, NGC 6207.

M12 M14


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Revised: May 6, 2002 [WDF]