|Recorded on August 2,
this telescopic composite
in the same field of view as
star cluster M15.
The celestial scene would have been a rewarding
one for influential 18th century comet hunter Charles Messier.
While Messier scanned French skies for comets,
he carefully cataloged positions of things which might be
fuzzy and comet-like
in appearance but did not move against the background stars and
so were definitely not comets.
M15 (lower right), the 15th entry in his famous
is now understood to be a cluster of over 100,000 stars some 35,000
discovered in August 2009 by astronomer G. J. Garradd
(Siding Spring Observatory, Australia)
the constellation Pegasus, some 13
light-minutes from Earth.
Shinning faintly around 9th magnitude,
comet Garradd will brighten
in the coming months,
predicted to be
just below naked eye visibility near its peak in February 2012.