Friday, July 23, 2010

Astrophoto Friday - M13

In the early 1950s astronomer Walter Baade's observations led to a "doubling" of the size of the universe (by recalibrating the distances to objects). Below is a scan (alas, with smudges)of one of the press photos put out for this story in 1953. The photo, taken with the 200-inch Hale Telescope, of globular star cluster M13 (aka NGC 6205).

Here is the caption from the photo:

Globular Star Cluster in the constellation of Hercules. (200-inch Photo)
This was one of the globular clusters studied in the research of Dr. Walter Baade aimed at checking the astronomical distance scale, which he found need an upward revision by a factor of about two. This cluster is known as Messier 13 and is a vast collection of stars. Dr. Baade is a staff member of the Mount Wilson and Palomar Observatories, which are jointly operated by the Carnegie Institution of Washington and the California Institute of Technology.

Mt. Wilson and Palomar Observatories are no longer "married" as they were back in the day. The divorce took place in 1979. M13 however is still there and is a fine object to view through any telescope (especially with skies that do not suffer light pollution) on summer evenings.

1 comment:

jg said...

There you go mentioning light pollution. I had reported a recent violation involving new construction: The Wildomar Elks lodge has white unshield facade lights and new white parking lot lights. I tried to exert leverage through the committee I'm on that helped fund their landscaping. Alas, the lights and landscaping being separate projects, the County EDA had no leverage and the builder claimed to have received approval through the city. I'm pursuing this part, but the good news is that just as I gave up in despair, another committee member, who is also a VFW member, and represending the VFW and neighbor to the Elks, complained about their lighting. One billiard ball hits another.