Deep Space Photography

Hercules
is a constellation. It is named after Hercules, the Roman mythological hero adapted from the Greek hero Heracles. Hercules was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy, and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations today. It is the fifth largest of the modern constellations.


Stars & Planetary Systems
Mu Herculis is 27.4 light years from Earth. The solar apex, i.e., the point on the sky which marks the direction that the Sun is moving in its orbit around the center of the Milky Way, is located within Hercules, close to Vega in neighboring Lyra.

Eleven stars in Hercules are known to be orbited by extrasolar planets. These planets were discovered one in 1996, two in 2005, two in 2006, four in 2007, one in 2009, and one in 2010.

  1. 14 Herculis has one confirmed and one unconfirmed planet. The planet 14 Herculis b had the longest period (4.9 years) and widest orbit (2.8 AU) at the time of discovery.
  2. HD 149026 has a transiting hot Jupiter planet and is one of the most prominent and studied.
  3. HD 147506 has the most massive transiting planet HAT-P-2b at the time of discovery. The mass is 8.65 MJ.
  4. Gliese 649 has a saturnian planet around the red dwarf star.
  5. HD 156668 has a 4.15 Earth mass planet, which is the second lightest planet detected by radial velocity.


Deep sky objects
Hercules contains two of the most conspicuous globular clusters: M13, the brightest globular cluster in the northern hemisphere (containing 300,000 stars), and M92. It also contains the nearly spherical planetary nebula Abell 39. M13 lies between the stars Heta Hercules and Zeta Hercules it is dim, but may be detected by the non-aided eye on a very clear night.

Objects Imaged




Indian Trail, NC

Rochester, NY

Taxahauw, SC

Rodeo, NM