Using Where is M13?

You will find Where is M13? useful both while observing in the field and while exploring at home on your desktop.

In the field

Where is M13? can greatly enhance your observing experience if you use a laptop or other computer while at your telescope. It will help you break out of the 2-D perspective most of us instinctively have of the night sky.

To display the object you are currently viewing through your telescope, either scroll in the Object List and click the Show check box, or use the Find dialog to show it in the Galaxy View. Note where the object is in relation to the Sun and the galactic core. Switch to the Sky View to see where the object is in the sky relative to the Milky Way and its galactic coordinates. Then, as you look at the object through the telescope or binoculars, try to see it in your mind's eye in its 3-D position.

Consult the Object List and notice the object's size in light-years and luminosity in units of solar luminosity. Think about that size and luminosity as you view your chosen object and discover a whole new appreciation for that object.

If you don't use a computer while observing, you can still make use of Where is M13? in the field with a little advance planning. Before your observing session, you can use Where is M13? to display the set of objects you plan on viewing. Print the Galaxy View(s) and corresponding Sky View using the Print command. You may prefer to switch to the Black on White image option before printing. Refer to these printouts in the field as you observe the objects.

At home

Where is M13? can be used to explore the 3-D locations and physical natures of its set of 600+ objects on your home computer. In addition to the uses already mentioned above, you can answer such questions as "What is the farthest Open Cluster in the Messier catalog?" or "What is the largest Globular Cluster in our Galaxy?". You may do this by using the object filters and by clicking the pertinent column to sort the data in the Object List. These kinds of questions are almost impossible to answer with other available tools because they do not have Where is M13?'s unique approach which makes this information easily accessible.

It can also be instructive to sit with a star atlas and look up various plotted objects using Where is M13?. For example, choose a page showing the Sagittarius region. As you pick out the globular clusters on the chart, display them in Where is 13? in order to see where they really are in the Galaxy. This exercise will give you a new perspective on your favorite objects. This new insight can be carried with you into the field.