Messier Monday: A Cinco de Mayo Special, M4 (Synopsis)

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” -John Lubbock

Each Messier Monday, we take a look at one of the 110 deep sky wonders that make up the Messier catalogue, each one providing a unique window into our nearby Universe and the history it holds. This week, however, rather than giving you a delight that's easily visible in the early part of the night from my (45° N) Latitude, let's celebrate cinco de Mayo by showing you one that isn't, but that is easily visible from Latitudes in Mexico!

Image credit: me, using the free software Stellarium, available at http://stellarium.org/. Image credit: me, using the free software Stellarium, available at http://stellarium.org/.

Messier 4 just happens to be the closest globular cluster to us in the entire Messier catalogue, and as such, the only one that Messier himself was ever able to resolve into individual stars. Still, what he saw could have in no way prepared him for our modern knowledge of what lies inside.

Image credit: Rolf Wahl Olsen 2011, via http://www.pbase.com/rolfolsen/image/123575176/original/. Image credit: Rolf Wahl Olsen 2011, via http://www.pbase.com/rolfolsen/image/123575176/original/.

Come read all about this amazing object -- and see some incomparable pictures -- on this week's Messier Monday!

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