I have being trying to find Globular Clusters for a while, but the easy to find are not in my balcony view. And when I am outside always have something to interfere. But not today. I saw that it would be a nice warm weather at night. And prepare to a long night of shots. Took a nap to be able to stay up late and still go to work next day.
When I look to the sky, I was amazed. Since I started my photos, I have never seeing so clear sky and so many stars about. It was just amazing. So I decided to not do it from the balcony. There is a sport center nearby my place, that at night is closed, and dark, and it gives a lot of space and no trees around. So I went there, set up everything, and got my prize. Easily spotted M13 in the Hercules Constellation.
Hercules Globular Cluster (M13)
Focal Length: 300 mm
Shutter: 10s / 30s / 90s
Stacking: 15 / 18 / 5
Total exposure: 1140s
Taken Aug 02th, 2013 around 00:05 CEST
Oh My God! That was my reaction on that picture. Such a beautiful cluster, such a nice picture. So many stars! I got to research and just in this blob of stars there are around 100~300 thousand stars packed “together”.
Since the stacking of those pictures takes hours, and I wanted to see a bit of the result, before the end result, i got just one sub and post-processed it to check what I’ve got:
Very interesting to see that one only sub has so much less information about the stars than all the stacking together. But still quite impressive nevertheless.
I got very interested about this star formation and did some extensive study about it. I found very interesting information about it. First of all, those stars are among the oldest known stars, making the globular clusters the oldest known structures in the sky. It seems like all started as globular clusters, and then it dissipate forming galaxies.
Those structures are very unstable so it can happen that stars are thrown away from it. I got a nice representation of how the stars in there would move. Also, some very interesting fact is that those structures are not IN the galaxy, but AROUND it. Globular Clusters are outside the plane of the galaxy and just goes around it as a “satellite”.
And another interesting thing is to know that those stars, even if it looks awfully close to each other, they are not. Of course they are closer than normal stars, but there are quite a lot of distance between them.
Anyway, this night seems that would be a long and profitable shotting night, and it turns out that some people decided to practice motorcycling ride just beside me in the same sport center. Some 4 or 5 guys with one scooter, sharing it each couple of turns around the soccer field they would change the driver. And they where with the lights on, so every 10~15 seconds the light would be directly in my direction, therefore in the direction of the camera. So I had to stop after M13 and go home. The sky was so good. I was a bit sad.