Messier 13

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Messier 13
Heart of M13 Hercules Globular Cluster.jpg
The heart of Hercules Globular Cluster
Credit: ESA/Hubble and NASA
Observation data (J2000 epoch)
ClassV[1]
ConstellationHercules
Right ascension16h 41m 41.24s[2]
Declination+36° 27′ 35.5″[2]
Distance22.2 kly (6.8 kpc)[3]
Apparent magnitude (V)+5.8[4]
Apparent dimensions (V)20 arcmins
Physical characteristics
Mass6×105[5] M
Radius84 ly[6]
Metallicity = –1.33[7] dex
Estimated age11.65 Gyr[7]
Notable featuresone of the best-known clusters of the northern hemisphere
Other designationsNGC 6205[4]
See also: Globular cluster, List of globular clusters
M13 from an 8" SCT in San Diego, CA

Messier 13 (M13), also designated NGC 6205 and sometimes called the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules or the Hercules Globular Cluster, is a globular cluster of several hundred thousand stars in the constellation of Hercules.

Discovery and visibility[edit]

M13 was discovered by Edmond Halley in 1714, and cataloged by Charles Messier on June 1, 1764 into his list of objects not to mistake for comets; Messier's list, including Messier 13, eventually became known as the Messier Catalog.[8]

About a third of the way from Vega to Arcturus, four bright stars in the constellation of Hercules form the Keystone asterism. M13 can be seen partway between Zeta Herculis and Eta Herculis. Although only telescopes with great light-gathering capability fully resolve the stars of the Cluster, M13 can be visible to the naked eye depending on circumstances. With a low-power telescope, Messier 13 looks like a comet or fuzzy patch. The cluster is visible throughout the year from latitudes greater than 36 degrees north, with the longest visibility during northern hemisphere spring and summer.[9]

It is located at right ascension 16h 41.7m, declination +36° 28'. With an apparent magnitude of 5.8, it is barely visible with the naked eye on clear nights. Its diameter is about 23 arc minutes and it is readily viewable in small telescopes.[10] Nearby is NGC 6207, a 12th magnitude edge-on galaxy that lies 28 arc minutes directly northeast. A small galaxy, IC 4617, lies halfway between NGC 6207 and M13, north-northeast of the large globular cluster's center.

Traditional binoculars make the Hercules Globular Cluster look similar to a round patch of light. At least four inches of telescope aperture will allow observing the stars that constitute M13 as small pinpoints of light. However, only larger telescopes allow resolving stars further into the center of the cluster.[11]

Wide field image of Messier 13.

Characteristics[edit]

M13 is about 145 light-years in diameter, and it is composed of several hundred thousand stars, the brightest of which is a red giant, the variable star V11, with an apparent visual magnitude of 11.95. M13 is about 22,200 light-years away from Earth.

It wasn't until 1779 that the single stars in this globular cluster were resolved. Compared to the stars in the neighborhood of the Sun, the stars in M13's stellar population are more than a hundred times denser. They are so densely packed together that they sometimes collide and produce new stars. The newly-formed, young stars, so-called "blue stragglers," are particularly interesting to astronomers.[12]

The Arecibo message of 1974, which contained encoded information about the human race, DNA, atomic numbers, Earth's position and other information, was beamed from the Arecibo Observatory radio telescope towards M13 as an experiment in contacting potential extraterrestrial civilizations in the cluster. The cluster will move through space during the transit time; opinions differ as to whether or not the cluster will be in a position to receive the message by the time it arrives.[13] [14]

Literary references[edit]

M13 is in "armpit" of Hercules constellation

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shapley, Harlow; Sawyer, Helen B. (August 1927), "A Classification of Globular Clusters", Harvard College Observatory Bulletin, 849 (849): 11–14, Bibcode:1927BHarO.849...11S.
  2. ^ a b Goldsbury, Ryan; et al. (December 2010), "The ACS Survey of Galactic Globular Clusters. X. New Determinations of Centers for 65 Clusters", The Astronomical Journal, 140 (6): 1830–1837, arXiv:1008.2755, Bibcode:2010AJ....140.1830G, doi:10.1088/0004-6256/140/6/1830.
  3. ^ Paust, Nathaniel E. Q.; et al. (February 2010), "The ACS Survey of Galactic Globular Clusters. VIII. Effects of Environment on Globular Cluster Global Mass Functions", The Astronomical Journal, 139 (2): 476–491, Bibcode:2010AJ....139..476P, doi:10.1088/0004-6256/139/2/476.
  4. ^ a b "M 13". SIMBAD. Centre de données astronomiques de Strasbourg. Retrieved 2006-11-15.
  5. ^ Leonard, Peter J. T.; Richer, Harvey B.; Fahlman, Gregory G. (1992), "The mass and stellar content of the globular cluster M13", Astronomical Journal, 104: 2104, Bibcode:1992AJ....104.2104L, doi:10.1086/116386.
  6. ^ distance × sin( diameter_angle / 2 ) = 84 ly radius
  7. ^ a b Forbes, Duncan A.; Bridges, Terry (May 2010), "Accreted versus in situ Milky Way globular clusters", Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 404 (3): 1203–1214, arXiv:1001.4289, Bibcode:2010MNRAS.404.1203F, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.16373.x.
  8. ^ "Messier 13 (M13) - The Great Hercules Cluster - Universe Today". Universe Today. 2016-05-09. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  9. ^ "M13: Great Cluster in Hercules | EarthSky.org". earthsky.org. Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  10. ^ "M 13". Messier Objects Mobile -- Charts, Maps & Photos. 2016-10-16. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  11. ^ "How to See the Great Hercules Cluster of Stars". Space.com. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  12. ^ Garner, Rob (2017-10-06). "Messier 13 (The Hercules Cluster)". NASA. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  13. ^ "It's the 25th anniversary of Earth's first attempt to phone E.T." 1999-11-12. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  14. ^ "Science 2.0". In regard to the email from. Retrieved 2015-04-15.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: Sky map 16h 41m 41.44s, 36° 27′ 36.9″