This Week's Night Sky: Gaze Up at a Stellar Snow Globe

Grab a telescope to turn a fuzzy dot in the night into a cluster of thousands of stars.

As we finish off one season and begin another, it’s time to hunt down a spectacular ball of stars and watch as the moon plays with planets.

Messier 13, also known as the Great Hercules Cluster, is a favorite deep-sky object for those with binoculars and backyard telescopes. Located nearly 24,000 light-years from Earth, the globular cluster is composed of nearly a half million stars held together tightly by gravity.

To find this stellar snowball, look for the constellation Hercules in the southeastern sky. While this ancient superhero's stars are not the brightest, four make a distinctive wedge-shaped trapezoid that marks his torso. The great cluster lies along an imaginary line drawn between the two stars on the right side of the

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