Pictures of the Hercules Globular Cluster

M13, the Hercules Globular Cluster, is perhaps the most famous of all globulars.

M13 Great Hercules Cluster by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Teleskop service 12

Globular clusters are thought to be among the oldest objects in the Universe, and perhaps the most famous of all is M13, known as the Hercules Globular Cluster or the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules.

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These spherical collections of gravitationally-bound stars are thought to have formed during the early Universe, making them fascinating objects for astronomers and cosmologists to study.

Globular clusters contain hundreds of thousands of stars, and make for wonderful objects to observe through a telescope or to photograph.

M13, the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules. Credit: Manfred Wasshuber. / CCDGuide.com
M13, the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules. Credit: Manfred Wasshuber. / CCDGuide.com

The Hercules Globular Cluster contains over 100,000 stars and is one of the brightest star clusters that can be seen in the northern hemisphere sky.

It is about 25,000 lightyears from Earth and was discovered by Edmond Halley in 1714.

French astronomer Charles Messier then added the Hercules Globular Cluster to his deep-sky Messier Catalogue in 1764, and it earned the designation M13. It is also known as NGC 6205.

The stars at the core of M13 are so densely packed together that the region is about 100 times more dense than the region around our Sun.

See if you can spot it yourself. It can be seen in the Hercules constellation through a pair of good binoculars under dark skies during springtime.

For more information on observing it and other fine globulars, read our guide to globular clusters.

And for help photographing the night sky, read our guide to astrophotography or discover our pick of the best astrophotography cameras.

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If you do manage to photograph a globular cluster or two, you can always send us your images or share them with us via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Pictures of the Hercules Globular Cluster

Great Globular Cluster in Hercules by Tom Howard, Crawley, West Sussex, UK. Equipment: Meade 127 refractor on an EQ6. Nikon D90 DSLR.
Great Globular Cluster in Hercules by Tom Howard, Crawley, West Sussex, UK. Equipment: Meade 127 refractor on an EQ6. Nikon D90 DSLR.
M13 - Great Globular Cluster in Hercules by Danny Lee, Kent, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher Explorer 150p, EQ5 pro GOTO mount, Nikon D40 DSLR (unmodified)
M13 – Great Globular Cluster in Hercules by Danny Lee, Kent, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher Explorer 150p, EQ5 pro GOTO mount, Nikon D40 DSLR (unmodified)
The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules (Messier 13) by Sam Boyer, Wakefield, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher 200P Newtonian Reflector and Atik Titan Colour CCD
The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules (Messier 13) by Sam Boyer, Wakefield, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher 200P Newtonian Reflector and Atik Titan Colour CCD
M13: The Great Hercules Cluster by Wayne Stallard, Essex, UK. Equipment: Astro-Physics Mach1 gto mount, Altair Astro 8
M13: The Great Hercules Cluster by Wayne Stallard, Essex, UK. Equipment: Astro-Physics Mach1 gto mount, Altair Astro 8″ RC, SBIG ST-10XME
M13 by Ray Majrowski, Rugby, UK. Equipment: Canon 7D at the prime focus of my Orion Optics 300mm f5.3 Reflecter and Sky Watcher EQ6 mount.
M13 by Ray Majrowski, Rugby, UK. Equipment: Canon 7D at the prime focus of my Orion Optics 300mm f5.3 Reflecter and Sky Watcher EQ6 mount.
M13 - the great globular cluster in Hercules by David Burr, Wimborne, Dorset, UK. Equipment: Canon 500D with Williams Optics 120 Refractor on Skywatcher EQ6 mount.
M13 – the great globular cluster in Hercules by David Burr, Wimborne, Dorset, UK. Equipment: Canon 500D with Williams Optics 120 Refractor on Skywatcher EQ6 mount.
M13 by Andy Jensen, Suffolk, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher 120mm ED Refractor, Atik 383l Mono CCD.
M13 by Andy Jensen, Suffolk, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher 120mm ED Refractor, Atik 383l Mono CCD.
M13 in Hercules by Tom Howard, Crawley, Sussex, UK. Equipment: Nikon D7000 DSLR through a Meade 5000 5
M13 in Hercules by Tom Howard, Crawley, Sussex, UK. Equipment: Nikon D7000 DSLR through a Meade 5000 5″ refractor, mounted on an EQ6.
Messier 13 by Michael Justice, Oxfordshire, UK. Equipment: Filter BVR Schmidt-Cassegrain Celestron C14 optical tube. 3910mm focal length, 355mm aperture at f/11. A Celestron focal reducer gives an effective focal length of 1877mm at f/5.3
Messier 13 by Michael Justice, Oxfordshire, UK. Equipment: Filter BVR Schmidt-Cassegrain Celestron C14 optical tube. 3910mm focal length, 355mm aperture at f/11. A Celestron focal reducer gives an effective focal length of 1877mm at f/5.3
M13 - Great Globular Cluster in Hercules by Francesco Di Cencio, Belluno, Italy, Dolomites. Equipment: RC GSO 8
M13 – Great Globular Cluster in Hercules by Francesco Di Cencio, Belluno, Italy, Dolomites. Equipment: RC GSO 8″ reduced with an AP CCDT67 @ 1214 mm, QHY9 bin2, Celestron CGE + Telescope Drive Master, Guided with an Atik 16ic on a SW 80/400 achromatic refractor.
M13 by Lee Manley, South Cheshire, UK. Equipment: SkyWatcher 200PDS, HEQ5Pro SynScan, Canon 550d
M13 by Lee Manley, South Cheshire, UK. Equipment: SkyWatcher 200PDS, HEQ5Pro SynScan, Canon 550d
M13 by Andrew Steele, Southend-On-Sea, UK. Equipment: Celestron C8 OTA and HEQ5 SynScan goto mount, Canon EOS 1100d DSLR camera.
M13 by Andrew Steele, Southend-On-Sea, UK. Equipment: Celestron C8 OTA and HEQ5 SynScan goto mount, Canon EOS 1100d DSLR camera.
M13 Globular Cluster by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Celestron c11 sct, skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount, Canon Eos 1100d self-modified and Astronomik CLS CCD clip filter.
M13 Globular Cluster by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Celestron c11 sct, skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount, Canon Eos 1100d self-modified and Astronomik CLS CCD clip filter.
M13 Globular Cluster by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Celestron c11 sct, skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount, Atik 383L+ camera, motorised filter wheel and Astronomik LRGB filter set.
M13 Globular Cluster by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Celestron c11 sct, skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount, Atik 383L+ camera, motorised filter wheel and Astronomik LRGB filter set.
M13 - Great Globular Cluster in Hercules by Bill McSorley, Leeds, UK. Equipment: SW 150P Newtonian on an EQ5 GoTo Mount, QHY8L cooled ccd camera.
M13 – Great Globular Cluster in Hercules by Bill McSorley, Leeds, UK. Equipment: SW 150P Newtonian on an EQ5 GoTo Mount, QHY8L cooled ccd camera.
M13 RGB by Andy Jensen, Suffolk, UK. Equipment: Neq6 Pro Mount, Altair Astro 8
M13 RGB by Andy Jensen, Suffolk, UK. Equipment: Neq6 Pro Mount, Altair Astro 8″ RC, Atik 383l
M13, NGC 6205 the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules by Matt Foyle, Derbyshire, UK. Equipment: FSQ 106ED, NEQ6 Pro, QHY9M, Badder 2
M13, NGC 6205 the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules by Matt Foyle, Derbyshire, UK. Equipment: FSQ 106ED, NEQ6 Pro, QHY9M, Badder 2″ filters, guided with Orion mini guider and QHY5M
M13 Great Globular Cluster by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Celestron C11 Sct, Skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount,Atik 383L+ camera, motorised filter wheel and Astronomik filters.
M13 Great Globular Cluster by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Celestron C11 Sct, Skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount,Atik 383L+ camera, motorised filter wheel and Astronomik filters.
M13 and Propeller by Alastair Woodward, Derby, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher 150p, EQ3-2 mount with ra and dec motors, Unmodded Canon 350d.
M13 and Propeller by Alastair Woodward, Derby, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher 150p, EQ3-2 mount with ra and dec motors, Unmodded Canon 350d.
Messier 13 by Roger Brooker, Seasalter, Kent, UK. Equipment: 8
Messier 13 by Roger Brooker, Seasalter, Kent, UK. Equipment: 8″ f4 Newt, EQ6 PRO via EQMod, SXVh9, Baader LRGB filters.
M13 The Great Cluster by David Pickles, Ilchester, Somerset, UK. Equipment: Sky-Watcher Explorer 190MN Pro mounted on a NEQ6, Tele Vue 2x2
M13 The Great Cluster by David Pickles, Ilchester, Somerset, UK. Equipment: Sky-Watcher Explorer 190MN Pro mounted on a NEQ6, Tele Vue 2×2″ Powermate, QHY8L CCD and guided using a Starlight XPress Lodestar.
M13 by Stephen Gill, Yorkshire Dales, UK. Equipment: C11 on a NEQ6 Pro mount. Taken using a Canon 1100D.
M13 by Stephen Gill, Yorkshire Dales, UK. Equipment: C11 on a NEQ6 Pro mount. Taken using a Canon 1100D.
M13 Great Hercules Globular Cluster by Chris Heapy, Macclesfield, UK. Equipment: TeleVue NP127is, Atik490EX, Losmandy G11, TV Pronto, Lodestar
M13 Great Hercules Globular Cluster by Chris Heapy, Macclesfield, UK. Equipment: TeleVue NP127is, Atik490EX, Losmandy G11, TV Pronto, Lodestar
M13 Cluster by Jaspal Chadha, London, UK. Equipment: Altair Astro RC 250 TT, Ioptron CEM60, QSI 690 CCD
M13 Cluster by Jaspal Chadha, London, UK. Equipment: Altair Astro RC 250 TT, Ioptron CEM60, QSI 690 CCD
M13 Great Globular Cluster by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Teleskop service 12
M13 Great Globular Cluster by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Teleskop service 12″ Richey-Chretien telescope, Skywatcher EQ8 mount,Atik 383L+ camera, Astronomik LRGB filters, Hutech IDAS light pollution filter, Astro physics 0.67 reducer.
M13 + Bonus - NGC6207 by Mariusz, Petersfield, UK. Equipment: SW150/750, EQ3-2 motorised, unguided, Pentax K-5 with coma corrector
M13 + Bonus – NGC6207 by Mariusz, Petersfield, UK. Equipment: SW150/750, EQ3-2 motorised, unguided, Pentax K-5 with coma corrector
M13, Great Globular Cluster in Hercules by Álvaro Ibáñez Pérez by Daganzo de Arriba, Madrid, Spain. Equipment: TS115 Triplet APO refractor, CCD Atik 460ex Mono, NEQ6 Pro II tuning belt, EQMOD, Lunático EZG-60 + SXLodestar, RoboFocus, FocusMax
M13, Great Globular Cluster in Hercules by Álvaro Ibáñez Pérez by Daganzo de Arriba, Madrid, Spain. Equipment: TS115 Triplet APO refractor, CCD Atik 460ex Mono, NEQ6 Pro II tuning belt, EQMOD, Lunático EZG-60 + SXLodestar, RoboFocus, FocusMax
M13 by Mark Large, Colchester, UK. Equipment: Altair Astro 10 inch RCT and a modified Canon EOS 1000D
M13 by Mark Large, Colchester, UK. Equipment: Altair Astro 10 inch RCT and a modified Canon EOS 1000D
M13 - Hercules Global Cluster by Houssem Ksontini, Tunisia. Equipment: Skywatcher 150/750, Neq3-2 mount motorised AD, Nikon D3000.
M13 – Hercules Global Cluster by Houssem Ksontini, Tunisia. Equipment: Skywatcher 150/750, Neq3-2 mount motorised AD, Nikon D3000.
M13 Cluster by Jaspal Chadha, London, UK. Equipment: Altair Astro RC 250TT, Ioptron CEM 60 Mount, QHY9S Mono CCD, Baader Filters.
M13 Cluster by Jaspal Chadha, London, UK. Equipment: Altair Astro RC 250TT, Ioptron CEM 60 Mount, QHY9S Mono CCD, Baader Filters.
M13, the Hercules Cluster by Ron Brecher, NA, USA. Equipment: SBIG STL-11000M camera, Baader LRGB filters, 10
M13, the Hercules Cluster by Ron Brecher, NA, USA. Equipment: SBIG STL-11000M camera, Baader LRGB filters, 10″ f/6.8 ASA astrograph, MI-250 mount. Guided with external SBIG guider and 500mm f.l. guide scope. Acquisition and using Maxim-DL. Focused with FocusMax.
M13 Great Globular Cluster by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Teleskop service 12
M13 Great Globular Cluster by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Teleskop service 12″ Richey-Chretien telescope, Skywatcher EQ8 mount,Atik 383L+ camera, Astronomik LRGB filters.
The Hercules Globular Cluster M13 by Houssem Ksontini, Tunis, Tunisia. Equipment: Skywatcher 150/750, Neq3-2 mount, Nikon D3000
The Hercules Globular Cluster M13 by Houssem Ksontini, Tunis, Tunisia. Equipment: Skywatcher 150/750, Neq3-2 mount, Nikon D3000
Hercules Cluster by Sebastien Grech, London, UK. Equipment: Canon EOS 60D, Sky Watcher 150PDS, EQ3 pro mount
Hercules Cluster by Sebastien Grech, London, UK. Equipment: Canon EOS 60D, Sky Watcher 150PDS, EQ3 pro mount
M13 Great Hercules Cluster by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Teleskop service 12
M13 Great Hercules Cluster by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Teleskop service 12″ Richey-Chretien telescope, Skywatcher EQ8 mount,Atik 383L+ camera, Astronomik LRGB filters, Hutech IDAS light pollution filter.
The Hercules Cluster by Stephen Dean, Isle of Wight, England, UK. Equipment: Altair 6
The Hercules Cluster by Stephen Dean, Isle of Wight, England, UK. Equipment: Altair 6″ RC, Atik 414EX, Xagyl filter wheel and Altair RGB filters, NEQ6 Mount.
M13 Cluster by Jaspal, London, UK. Equipment: Tak 130 Telescope, Ioptron CEM60 Mount, QSI 690 CCD
M13 Cluster by Jaspal, London, UK. Equipment: Tak 130 Telescope, Ioptron CEM60 Mount, QSI 690 CCD
M13 by Vandewattyne, Belgium. Equipment: CFF Newton 200 F5, Avalon Linear, EOS 450D.
M13 by Vandewattyne, Belgium. Equipment: CFF Newton 200 F5, Avalon Linear, EOS 450D.
Hercules Globular Cluster by Stacey Downton, Birmingham, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher Evostar 80ED DS pro on a Skywatcher EQ5 pro mount. Camera used was a Canon 200D unmodified with Skytech CLS filter.
Hercules Globular Cluster by Stacey Downton, Birmingham, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher Evostar 80ED DS pro on a Skywatcher EQ5 pro mount. Camera used was a Canon 200D unmodified with Skytech CLS filter.
M13 Great Hercules Cluster by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Teleskop service 12
M13 Great Hercules Cluster by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Teleskop service 12″ Richey-Chretien telescope, Skywatcher EQ8 mount,Atik 383L+ camera, Astronomik LRGB filters, Hutech IDAS light pollution filter, Astro physics 0.67 reducer.
M13 - The Great Globular Cluster by Álvaro Ibáñez Pérez, Pioz, Guadalajara, Spain. Equipment: Takahashi FSQ106EDX, TS115, Takahashi EM400 Temma2, CCD Atik 460EX mono
M13 – The Great Globular Cluster by Álvaro Ibáñez Pérez, Pioz, Guadalajara, Spain. Equipment: Takahashi FSQ106EDX, TS115, Takahashi EM400 Temma2, CCD Atik 460EX mono