"A Cosmic City of a Million Stars and How To Find It"

Scheduled air date: 2002 Jul 15-21

The Great Hercules Globular Cluster—one of the most famous objects in the night sky—can be seen overhead in late evening for the next few weeks.  From a dark site, follow an imaginary line through the handle of the "Big Dipper" asterism to the bright star Arcturus.  Next, make an imaginary line between Arcturus and the bright star Vega (one of the three "Summer Triangle" stars) toward the east...
(Shown around 10:00 PM in late July for mid-Northern latitudes.)

...The cluster appears as a faint fuzzy patch in the constellation Hercules, lying about 60% of the distance from Arcturus to Vega.  It is also known as "M13" because it is the 13th object in a famous catalog compiled by the 18th-century comet hunter Charles Messier.
(North is up, East to the left in this closer view.)

If you wish to view illustrations for other episodes, please see our Star Gazer Illustrated directory.

Illustrations on this page were created using TheSky Astronomy Software, an advanced desktop planetarium program designed for Windows.

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