Daily Space: The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules

A regular series about objects in outer space is unlikely to progress very far without including Charles Messier. 

Because Messier accomplished something between 1771 and 1784 that continues to preserve his name in the minds of amateur and professional astronomers alike.

Messier was born in 1730 in northern France, where his father held the incredibly important position of "court usher."

Which is similar to being a bailiff today, except that the entire work consisted of standing outside

The courtroom with defendants and escorting them into the presence of the judge when they were called. Then depart.

That's the end. Court ushers likely lacked a torch and did not verify tickets, but you can sure they sported a sharp attire.

Messier's father passed away when he was eleven years old. Half of his twelve siblings and sisters had passed away by that time.

Uncertain are the circumstances left for Charles, his mother, and his surviving siblings. Then, though, something truly extraordinary occurred.

This something was the 1744 Great Six-Tailed Comet.Great comets exist. The 1743-1744 firestorm was one of the latter.

The comet was apparently brilliant enough to be seen in daylight and outshone Venus in the evening sky. 

It also grew an unusually long and noticeable double-tail. At perihelion, the comet's tail separated into six rays.

In the morning, when the comet's head was still below the horizon, its six tails appeared as a "fan" coming from the Sun.

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