Hercules Globular Cluster: One of our night sky’s true marvels
Like a ball of bright sparkling stars, the Hercules Globular Cluster is one of our night sky’s marvels. It contains over 100,000 stars in it and is located about 25,000 light-years away from Earth. Even at that distance, the globular cluster shines in the sky with an apparent magnitude of 5.8, making it one of the brightest star clusters in the sky and is easily visible with a pair of binoculars.
Edmond Halley, the discoverer of Halley’s Comet, discovered this dense ball of stars in 1714. Charles Messier catalogued the Hercules Globular Cluster as Messier 13 and added it to his catalogue known as the Messier Catalogue in 1764. When he first saw the cluster, he thought that it was a nebulous object with no stars. Because the stars are so densely packed, individual stars in the cluster were not resolved until 1779.
At the heart of the cluster, the density of the stars is about a hundred times greater than the density in the neighbourhood of our Sun. Stars over here are so close to each other that, at times, collide with each other and form a new star.