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One star, many stars (M13)

Posted: May 4th, 2011

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I spent the nights from April 28 to May 1st at DARC, again :-)

Besides finishing my Little Dipper mosaic and a few other things, at some point late during the last session but still with some night time left, I decided to go for an unusual framing of M13. Unfortunately, after three wonderful nights, that night, the end of this night wasn't so good, and in fact I ended up throwing away all the shots.

Therefore, on May 3rd, I went up to Henry Coe State Park (one of the parks that is scheduled to close in September 2011, sadly) to at least get some color data.

And after that, the next day, on Wednesday (May 4th) I got some courage and went back to DARC, this time capturing about 20x10 minutes of luminance and a bit more RGB. In the end I only used the RGBs from DARC because the ones from Coe seemed a tad out of focus.

Now, about the image I am presenting here, the star in the lower left is Eta Herculis, and the globular cluster is, of course, M13.. The background variations are exaggerated, but they're not artifacts. Still, there's a round dark patch to the right of M13 that, although I haven't investigated it, it looks like it might be a badly deflated dust mote.

People who are familiar with this object and astrophotography would say that the FSQ is not the right telescope to use for this object, M13. Well, yes, they are right. However, I think I managed to capture an interesting image that isn't just centered on the famous globular cluster, and provide a unique view, if not of this object, at least of the area in the sky where it sits.


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