In 1716 English astronomer Edmond Halley noted, “This is but a little Patch, but it shews itself to the naked Eye, when the Sky is serene and the Moon absent.” Of course, now it is modestly recognized as the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules, one of the brightest globular star clusters in the northern sky.
Telescopic views reveal the spectacular cluster’s hundreds of thousands of stars. At a distance of 25,000 light-years, the cluster stars crowd into a region 150 light-years in diameter, but approaching the cluster core upwards of 100 stars could be contained in a cube just 3 light-years on a side.
For comparison, the closest star to the Sun is over 4 light-years away. Along with the cluster’s dense core, the outer reaches of this one are highlighted in this sharp color image. The cluster’s evolved red and blue giant stars show up in yellowish and blue tints.
I was born in the 1960’s and have lived all my life in the Coal Mining Town of Barnsley in South Yorkshire, Northern England. My parents were all from this area of Yorkshire and my father worked in the main Industry of the local Collieries as a face worker. I have been married to my wife Debbie for 35+ years and we have two children and two grandchildren.
I have been licensed for around 20 years after my interest was re-kindled when I retired from my role as a Police Officer within South Yorkshire Police Force. The latter few years were spent as Radio Operator in the Force Operations Control Room at Sheffield, before my career ended.
IOTA chasing is (and always has been) my real passion, as climbing the ladder to reach Honour Roll status was always my main aim. The 1000 Islands Trophy is still out of reach but I am heading in the right direction. I am currently a Board Member of IOTA Ltd and IREF.
In my free time I am a keen Photographer of Wildlife, Aviation, (anything really) but the QSL Manager role is my main passion within Ham Radio.