Messier Monday: The Globular that Almost Didn’t Make it, M107 (Synopsis)

“But touch a solemn truth in collision with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your eyes and hand, and fly into your face and eyes.” -John Adams

Not every swarm is a danger, however, particularly if you're talking about the densest individual swarms of stars out there in the Universe: globular clusters!

Image credit: © 2006 — 2012 by Siegfried Kohlert, via Image credit: © 2006 — 2012 by Siegfried Kohlert, via

For today's Messier Monday, the Moon will be out and polluting your skies, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be looking up at the wonders of the night sky; it means you should be targeting star and globular clusters. And the one we've got on tap for today almost didn't make it into the Messier catalogue at all.

Image credit: Blue Mountain Vista Observatory, via Image credit: Blue Mountain Vista Observatory, via

Say hello to Messier 107. Go read (and enjoy) the whole story.

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So from your figures in the long article, a very rough estimate is that stars in M 107 get allotted less than 1.5 cubic light-years each, on average. How serious are the implications for solar systems in places like this, compared to our solar system? Stars in a globular cluster will have relatively little room for analogs to the Oort cloud, for example.

By uncleMonty (not verified) on 03 Jun 2014 #permalink

" Only, instead of maybe a few dozen that are that bright, there would be thousands. " this statement reminded me of Asimov's 'Nightfall'.