Final Fall 2020 Image – Hercules Cluster

In the final image from the Fall 2020 “Observational Astrophysics” class, we see another version of processing Hercules globular cluster data, from Shoaib Shamsi ’21.

The Hercules Cluster, by Shoaib Shamsi’21

Shoaib explains “Messier 13, or the Hercules cluster is a globular cluster of hundreds of thousands of stars in the Hercules constellation. A globular cluster is a tight collection of stars with an approximately spherical arrangement, bound to each other by gravity. These clusters are usually located orthogonally to a galaxy’s disk and often feature old stars. M13 is estimated to be about 11.7 billion years old – among the oldest objects in our galaxy. Often regarded as the finest globular cluster in the northern sky, M13 is located a mere 6.6 Kpc away with an apparent magnitude of 5.8.
We can find the Hercules cluster about one third of the way from Vega to Arcturus. Images were taken in the g, r, and i filters with 3 40s exposures for each filter. The images were taken with our Meade 16” SCT along with the FLI ProLine 16803 CCD. The cluster’s angular diameter is around 16.6’, and with our CCD we can view our images at around 0.46″ / pixels.”

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