This is a close-up of M13 (Hercules Globular Cluster). Globular clusters are collections of stars very tightly bound by gravity and contain some of the oldest stars in the galaxy. There are an estimated 150-160 such clusters in the Milky Way. Their origin and role in galactic evolution are still poorly understood.

Technical Information       
Date:                        May, 2014
Location:                 Green Valley, Arizona
Telescope:              Takahashi FSQ-106EDX
Camera:                  SBIG STT-8300M
Filters:                     Astrodon Gen 2
Mount:                     AstroPhysics 1200
Exposure:               LRGB = 860:120:120:120 minutes, all unbinned
Software:                Acquisition: Maxim DL 5, TheSkyX, Pinpoint, CCD Commander
                                 Processing: CCDStack, PhotoShop CS6 with various plugins

M13 close-up