Messier Monday: A Miniature Marvel, M70 (Synopsis)

“I told my father that someday when I grow up and become an astronomer ‘I’m going to discover something.’” -Thomas Bopp

But who ever would have imagined that a kid with an armchair interest in astronomy, one who as an adult didn't even own a telescope, would stare into a friend's one fateful night at a run-of-the-mill Messier object and find what would grow into the comet of the century?

Image credit: Jim Mazur’s Astrophotography, via Skyledge at http://www.skyledge.net/Messier70.htm. Image credit: Jim Mazur’s Astrophotography, via Skyledge at http://www.skyledge.net/Messier70.htm.

That man was Thomas Bopp, that comet was Hale-Bopp, and that Messier object that started it all was today's wonder of the night sky, Messier 70!

Image credit: © 2005–2009 by Rainer Sparenberg, image editing by Stefan Binnewies, via http://www.airglow.de/html/starclusters/m70.html. Image credit: © 2005–2009 by Rainer Sparenberg, image editing by Stefan Binnewies, via http://www.airglow.de/html/starclusters/m70.html.

Come learn all about it, and the chance viewing that gave rise to the discovery of the greatest comet of our lifetimes, here!

Tags

More like this

“A hungry man can’t see right or wrong. He just sees food.” -Pearl S. Buck But what of a hungry galaxy? As it turns out, pretty much anywhere in space, it's the biggest galaxies that are the hungriest, seeing all their smaller, neighboring galaxies as food. This was the case for the Sagittarius…
“Ancients knew that you need guidance, patronage and protection as you move from one place or state to another, whenever you cross a bridge.” -Richard Rohr When you think about the stars in the sky, it takes some study to realize that the bluest, brightest stars are also the shortest lived. So when…
"The image is more than an idea. It is a vortex or cluster of fused ideas and is endowed with energy." -Ezra Pound It's time for another Messier Monday, where we profile one of the 110 deep-sky objects that make up the Messier catalogue! This was the first large, accurate catalogue of fixed, non-…
“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…