Discovered 1681 by Gottfried Kirch.
[Mem. Acad. for 1771, p. 439 (first Messier catalog)]
In the night of May 30 to 31, 1764, I have discovered, near the star Kappa of Antinous, a cluster of a large number of small stars which one perceives with good instruments; I have employed for this a Gregorian telescope which magnifies 104 times. When one examines it with an ordinary [non-chromatic] refractor of 3 & a half feet [FL], this star cluster resembles a comet; the center is brilliant, there is among the small stars one star of eighth magnitude; two other, one of the nineth & one of the tenth: this cluster is intermixed with a faint light, & its diameter is about 4 minutes of arc. I have determined its position in right ascension as 279d 35' 43", & its declination of 6d 31' 1" south.
Mr. Halley reports in the Philosophical Transactions, no. 347, page 390,, that Mr. Kirch did the discovery of that nebula in 1681, that it precedes the right foot of Antinous, that it isn't itself anything but a small obscure patch, & that it contains a star which rather shines when traversing it, what gives it more light, its [ecliptical] longitude was in the [sign] Capricorn at 9 degrees [279 deg]; with 17d 1/2 northern latitude. That nebula was consequently observed by Derham, (Philosophical Transactions, no. 428, page 70) he reports, it follows a translation of his Memoir [here actually a transcript]: "Five of these six I have carefully viewed with my excellent eight Foot Reflecting Telescope, and find them to be Phaenomena much alike ; all except that preceding the right Foot of Antinous, which is not a Nebulose, but a Cluster of Stars, somewhat like that which is the Milky-Way." Mr. le Gentil also mentioned it in the Memoirs of the Academy of 1759, page 469. M. de Chéseaux has employed a Gregorian telescope of two feet, & a refractor of 25 feet [focal] length for examining that nebula in Antinous, which he had recognized to be a prodigious cluster of small stars; M. le Gentil made use of a [reflecting] telescope of 3 feet & an ordinary [non-achromatic] refractor of 20 feet [focal] length, making at least the same effect as the [reflecting] telescope & the refractor of M. de Chéseaux; he recognized that theat nebula was very bad terminated at its preceding border, the sort which imitates rather well at this side, the coma of a Comet; he didn't perceive in the middle that a single bright star which one doesn't perceive, he said, but with a refractor of 8 feet. M. le Gentil thinks M. de Chéseaux has indeed confused that nebula with a neighboring cloud which contains a prodigious number of small stars.
[p. 455] 1764.May.30. RA: 279.35.43, Dec: 6.31. 1.A, Diam: 0. 4. Cluster of a large number of small stars, near the star k [should be "Kappa" according to above text] of Antinoüs.
Sweep 85 (July 29, 1827)
RA 18h 42m 1.1s, NPD 96d 28' 27" (1830.0)
A glorious object. The bright * 9 m out of the centre taken.
A glorious object. The bright star of 9th magnitude out of the centre taken.
In no part of the cluster was any trace of bright lines detected. (*)
Last Modification: February 9, 2005