“The only thing I have learnt over the years is that if you enjoy your work and put in the best efforts, it will show. If you follow this process, things work out. But if you go chasing a formula, success will elude you.” -Mahesh Babu

When you know something is there but you can’t find it for yourself, it makes the search all the more maddening. Yet this exactly was the case for Charles Messier, hunting a catalogued object by a colleague of his for fourteen years before he finally found it!

Image credit: Jim Mazur’s Astrophotography, via Skyledge at http://www.skyledge.net/Messier55.htm.

Image credit: Jim Mazur’s Astrophotography, via Skyledge at http://www.skyledge.net/Messier55.htm.

With the combination of a low declination, an intrinsically faint, diffuse object and the bane of having no prominent stars in that region of sky to guide him, it’s perhaps a wonder that he found the object at all. But as the decades have gone by, we’ve discovered a most unusual relic from the Universe when it was at most 10% of its current age!

Image credit: Hillary Mathis, REU Program / NOAO / AURA / NSF, via http://www.noao.edu/image_gallery/html/im0724.html.

Image credit: Hillary Mathis, REU Program / NOAO / AURA / NSF, via http://www.noao.edu/image_gallery/html/im0724.html.

Have a look for yourself at Messier 55, the most elusive of all the globular clusters!