Updated: Jun 8
Messier 92 is a bright and large globular cluster in the constellation Hercules. It is a great target for beginner astrophotographers and stays high in the sky for several months.
We imaged this target from a Bortle 4 zone using a refractor telescope. We only spent 2 hours on this target before switching to a different object for the night.
Object Designation: M92
Object Type: Globular Cluster
Distance: 26,700 light-years away
Discovered in: 1777
Messier 92 is believed to be 14.2 billion years old, meaning it is almost as old as the universe itself!
M92 is one of the oldest globular clusters in our galaxy and has been studied extensively over the years.
The image on the left was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. NASA calls this picture "All That Glitters" and they're not wrong! M92 is home to more than 330 000 stars, how many can you count on this image?
Messier 92 is the perfect cluster for beginner astrophotographers because it is both large and very bright. It can easily be photographed with any size telescope, as well as any type of camera. The object will look great whether you capture it with an entry-level DSLR camera and small refractor, or with an astronomy-dedicated camera and a large reflector!
Below is our full image of M92! We are happy with the results, the image looks clean, the colors are natural, and several small galaxies can be seen around the frame!
Our image of Messier 92
Telescope: Stellarvue SVX130
Mount: Astro-Physics Mach1
Guiding: ZWO ASI 290MM Mini
Power: Jackery Lithium Battery
Total Exposure Time: 2 hours
Exposure Time per frame: 1 minute
Filters: ZWO IR Cut Filter
How to Locate Messier 92?
Messier 92 can be found in the constellation Hercules. You should not have any issue finding Hercules as it is a bright and large constellation that rises high in the sky. You can first look for the bright star Vega (in Lyra) to quickly find Hercules as the two are very close to one another.
The globular cluster is located in the northern area of the constellation, just under Hercules' arm. Make sure to not get confused with the similar-looking M13, which lies by the "head" of Hercules.
Both clusters share almost the same size, brightness, and location. They both can be spotted with the naked eye if observing from a dark site.
How to Process Messier 92
Messier 92, like most globular clusters, is very simple to process! First, make sure to crop your image according to your liking, but also try to include some of the tiny faint galaxies around the object. You can process this object using a basic workflow, and easily get a beautiful result in less than an hour.
Below is what a single 1-minute frame looks like. If you compare it to our finished image, you will see that we slightly cropped the image to have a slightly closer view of the cluster, but made sure to not crop out any of the galaxies nearby.
If you need guidance on processing or want to find out how we process images, consider getting our advanced workflow guide HERE.
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Messier 92 isn't photographed that often, but it definitely deserves as much love as his neighbor M13! M92 is large, bright, and so easy to capture for beginner astrophotographers. It also is a great target for any size telescope!
Have you captured M92? Attach your image in the comments and let us know your acquisition details!