The Evolving Universe

Smithsonian Institution

M13 • Hercules Globular Cluster

M13 image

Credit: Harvard-Smithsonian CfA

Observers: Brian McLeod, CfA

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Globular star clusters are some of the oldest objects in our galaxy. These clumps of hundreds of thousands of ancient stars - up to 10 billion years old - are tightly held together by gravity. Similar clusters are found throughout the galactic halo surrounding the disk of the Milky Way.

  • Distance from Earth: 25,000 light years
  • Size: 145 light years
  • Telescope: MMT/Megacam
  • Light: Visible