OVERVIEW : A Messier Marathon (MM) is an attempt, usually organized by amateur astronomers, to find as many Messier objects as possible during one night. The Messier catalogue was compiled by French astronomer Charles Messier during the late 18th century and consists of 110 relatively bright deep sky objects (galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters).
Typically an observer attempting a Messier marathon begins observing at sundown and will observe through the night until sunrise in order to see all 110 objects. An observer starts with objects low in the western sky at sunset, hoping to view them before they dip out of view, then works eastward across the sky. By sunrise, the successful observer will be observing the last few objects low on the eastern horizon, hoping to see them before the sky becomes too bright due to the rising sun.
OUR PLANS : BAS plans to conduct it's second Messier Marathon (after 2007), giving a chance to the novice observer to particpate in this overnight race. You do not need to possess extra knowledge of the sky, however should know, and have seen some of the Messiers.
The proposed date for 2009 by the astronomy community is the Saturday of 28th March, near the New Moon on 26th March.
It is obvious that BAS would not be having additional telescopes and binoculars for all members willing to participate in this. Please arrange for your own binoculars, or a telescope, from 4-inch onwards, to be eligible to take part in Messier Marathon 2009. Entry is not restricted to any number, unless it really exceeds.
The location would be Hosahalli, our regular observing site. For more details of this, please see the 'Venue' section. Please note that the experienced observers of BAS would be doing it either on 26th or 30th March privately. There will be volunteers who will help you with any issues regarding Messier objects, or locating them.
Please leave a reply with the following details.
EQUIPMENT TO BE USED :
OBSERVING EXPERIENCE (Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced) :
FIRST TIME MARATHON (Y/N) :
IF NOT, THEN THE RESULT OF LAST TIME(s):
More details to be uploaded shortly.
Amar A Sharma