M72 was first
observed by Peirre Mechain and Charles Messier in 1780. Being such
a small object (approximately 6 arcminutes apparent diameter), both
described it as "a faint nebula." Three years later, William
Hershel identified the object as "a cluster of stars of a round
Globular clusters reside
in the halo around most galaxies. They contain some of the oldest
known stars. M72 lies about 53,000 light years away.