|M13 - Globular Cluster in Hercules - 300 Second Exposure|
I find it absolutely amazing that when there is nearly a full moon in the night sky, observers are still able to take images of deep-sky objects with no interference from the moonlight. As I referred to the "All-Sky Camera" at New Mexico Skies to check the sky conditions before imaging, I could barely make out only a few of the brightest stars accompanied by an overexposed view of the moon. Also, because of todays technology with advanced CCD Cameras and precision mounts that track the sky so accurately, it only takes about 5 minutes to get an image like the one above.The image to the right is of M13 as well taken back in May 1988. My friend Harry Hammond of Mashpee, MA captured this nice shot of M13 using his Celestron 8" telescope with an Olympus OM-1 camera body attached to the telescope. This method of astrophotography is known as "Prime Focus" astrophotography. The image of M13 was published in Sky and Telescope magazine later that year. Before CCD technology became readily available to amateur astronomers, this was the contemporary method for photographing deep-sky objects. This image took 30 minutes on ISO 1600 print film with manual guiding to make sure the object did not drift due to periodic errors in the telescope's clock drive. Although the image I took this morning was faster to create and has more detail, the equipment and technology is far more expensive and not a as readily available for most amateur astronomers.
|M13 - Globular Cluster in Hercules - 30 Minute Exposure|
|M13 is in "armpit" of Hercules constellation|