Messier Monday: M13 the Hercules Globular Cluster November 11

FM Astronomy Club • 11 November 2019

M13 Hercules ClusterToday's Messier Monday object is M13, the Hercules Globular Cluster. M13 is probably the most spectacular globular cluster in the northern hemisphere and is easily visible in binoculars and small telescopes. 

While M13 is known more as a summer object but is still visible in our fall skies, if you haven't observed it yet this year you should do so before it's gone. Under dark skies, it is possible to see this object with the naked eye.

About the Messier Objects

The Messier objects are a list of 110 deep-sky objects cataloged by the French astronomer Charles Messier. Messier was primarily interested in hunting comets but many deep-sky objects would look like a comet through his telescope. He cataloged these deep-sky "false" comets to assist himself and other astronomers from misidentifying an object as a comet. 

The Messier Catalog is a popular list of deep-sky objects for amateur astronomers to observe. These objects are relatively easy to find,  easy to view through smaller telescopes and provide a variety of objects including galaxies, globular and open clusters, planetary nebula, and nebula. The Messier objects often serve as a starter list for amateur astronomers. 

Astronomical LeagueAstronomical League Observing Programs 

The Astronomical League offers a number of observing programs that allow you to earn certificates and pins while learning the night sky. M13 is one of the objects you need to observe in a number of programs, including (but not limited to):

Keep a journal of when you observe and what objects you look at. Keep this as you work towards completing these observing programs.