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Messier Gallery

M73 (NGC 6994), a 9th-magnitude asterism in Aquarius.

Looking at this quartet of stars, it would seem difficult to imagine mistaking M73 for a comet. According to Messier's own notes, he observed a group of four stars with a little bit of nebulosity. Some speculate he may have recorded this object as an aid in locating M72, which he had just found at the same declination (1.5 degrees to the west).

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