NGC 6564

Look at NGC 6564 and what do you see?

Not much

Maybe there is a double star - maybe not.

Here is the thing with 6564:  It was discovered by Albert Marth in 1864.  Marth was a 19th Century German astronomer who went to England in 1853 and worked for a fellow named George Bishop - Bishop was a wealth wine merchant who was a patron of astronomy and gave Marth funding so that the astronomer could be free to pursue his interests.  At that time it was rare that a person would be paid to be an astronomer.  He made extensive calculations of transits of various planets FROM other planets.  He predicted transits of Earth as seen from Mars.  Imagine - he was working as if we might be able to see Earth from Mars (smile)

Now about NGC 6564.  We are not quite sure what Marth saw.  One source says, "NGC 6564 is probably a triple star 1.5 seconds preceding and 1.5 arcmin south of Marth's position. There is no galaxy near that he might have seen, and the triple would probably match his view of it with Lassell's 48-inch. Marth found two other galaxies the same night (N6375 and N6379); the mean offset of their positions from Marth's is in the same direction and about the same size (1 second of time and 1 arcmin) as those for the triple. All in all, this amounts only to circumstantial evidence, but it is the best we can do at the moment. - Dr. Harold G. Corwin, Jr."

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