Hercules, Milky Way, and Bats! Oh, My!

We all have prejudices in one form or another.  One of mine happens to be my preference of open clusters over globular clusters.  While this may be true, tonight I take a slightly different position.  For I have viewed the king of the globs and it’s elegance made me question my own beliefs and gave me hope that I could move beyond my mindset concerning the faint balls of fuzz known as globular clusters.

The Hercules Star Cluster
M13, otherwise known as the globular cluster Hercules, is quiet a sight to be seen.  One of the reasons I have always preferred open clusters to globular clusters is that the individual beacons of light in an open cluster makes them look as though someone spilled a bag of fine jewels onto a black table.  Hercules seemed to give the best of both worlds as its soft fuzzy core revealed pinpoint stars moving out from its center.  Looking at it in different ways and focusing it slightly different appeared to reveal different details in various areas.  Moving from 48 to 120X magnification helped to bring some finer detail to the core of it, all be it at the expense of brightness.  I would have to rate this globular cluster as one the most impressive I have viewed to date, even exceeding M3.

The Rise of the Milky Way
As the night progressed, the Milky Way parked itself right overhead and its brightness and dense patches of stars proved why ancient people thought of it as a milky and dense mess.  I have read where people have viewed it rising from the horizon and wondered if clouds were coming in to spoil the views of the night.  Knowing that when we look into the Milky Way, in the summer night sky, we are taking a rare peak into the center of our own galaxy is one of the things that puts me in awe of our small little home on the outer bands of the Milky Way Galaxy.

The night ended with Lauren and I lying on the trampoline and talking.  As we looked for shooting stars, I noticed a couple of satellites passing over, sailing smoothly through the nighttime sky.  It was a very peaceful end to a good day until a bat began swooping down near us.  It startled us at first (well, mainly just me) and as it came down for another pass, I jumped up yelling and ran off the trampoline falling off of the chair that helps us to get down and staggered off towards the house.  All the while Lauren remained laying on the Trampoline (this really helps to explain the dynamics of our relationship)!

Star Log: June 5, 2010

2 thoughts on “Hercules, Milky Way, and Bats! Oh, My!

  1. Nothing like a good bat attack to end a romantic night of star gazing from a trampoline. I definitely think our different reactions are a good explanation of our relationship!!

  2. Pingback: A Late Night Out – Late Night Astronomy

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