Taken April 17th 2011. Messier 3 (also known as M3 or NGC 5272) is a globular cluster in the constellation Canes Venatici. It was discovered by Charles Messier in 1764, and resolved into stars by William Herschel around 1784. This cluster is one of the largest and brightest, and is made up of around 500,000 stars. It is located at a distance of about 33,900 light-years away from Earth. M3 has an apparent magnitude of 6.2, making it a difficult naked eye target even with dark conditions. It is estimated to be 8 billion years old.