Messier Marathon

Messier Marathon

Postby gordon-houston » Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:16 pm

I mentioned this at the class, about the Messier Marathon. It looks like the weekend of March 24/25 is the best weekend
to attempt. Are there any other takers out there.
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Re: Messier Marathon

Postby rene-gedaly » Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:09 pm

Count me and my new PushTo 10" Dobsonian in.
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Re: Messier Marathon

Postby gordon-houston » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:14 pm

OK, you are in. See you at the finish line M110. LOL
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Re: Messier Marathon

Postby rene-gedaly » Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:03 pm

Any ideas on prep for Marathon? I've been using The Year-Round Messier Marathon Field Guide off and on since I got a copy last December, but am wondering if you or others have ideas how to approach this. Getting excited about this, but intimidated, too. :shock:
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Re: Messier Marathon

Postby gordon-houston » Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:27 pm

Hi Rene and all,
Well, I think a spread sheet organized by RA starting with the western most object would be
good. Of course, I have a book called the Messier Marathon field guide, which has large star
charts for all, but I suspect that experience (and I am a little rusty) but I probably can find
80% or better without chart aids. So, start practicing now.

OK, so what my thinking is on this is to have teams enter, with say the requirement of having
at least one novice on each team of say 4 observers. I was thinking about having categories,
like star-hop, go-to, etc. What do you think or anyone else viewing this thread.
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Re: Messier Marathon

Postby rene-gedaly » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:42 am

Great idea, Gordon! Personally, I'd like to be in a star hop group. :D

Depending on the group, I consider myself as having 'some experience,' but not at the intermediate level and not a true novice. Maybe this will make it clearer: Last night was the first night I could find Corvus (Arc to Arcturus, Speed to Spica, Curve to Corvus) and to immediately recognize the head of Hydra (still can't pick out Cancer easily) and follow it a little past Spica.
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Re: Messier Marathon

Postby chris-ober » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:35 pm

I'm in but will be "cheating" with a goto mount.

I used this 'approved' list last year for my first marathon attempt. It's the same order as the others I've seen.
http://www.astro-tom.com/messier/marath ... _order.htm
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Re: Messier Marathon

Postby gordon-houston » Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:14 pm

Chris,
Thanks for the link. This is exactly what I mentioned to Rene to have as preparation.
I think we are going to have three categories. Individual (1) starhop and (2) goto are two and
a (3)team category. In the team category, an experienced observer and up to three additional
team members, preferably novice, make up the team. Look forward to the evening.
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Re: Messier Marathon

Postby rene-gedaly » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:21 am

Gordon, I think you're right about doing star hopping individually. Kinda defeats the purpose otherwise. Chris, thanks for the list. I'm going to import the images into SkyTools and look for some graphics, probably sketches, of objects, too. I may decide to do my first marathon using binoculars. I have a pair of 10x50 Vixens with an 8.5°(!) fov. This approach may limit the number I can get, but I think it'll add speed. Will bring my dob too in case I'm doing well enough.
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Re: Messier Marathon

Postby edward-fraini » Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:17 pm

I note that you are targeting March 24/25 which I believe will be a full moon weekend. It will be fun to work together to see what we can but many objects may be tough in the moon light. Curious why the prior weekend does not look better over all, still an all night moon but less than 30% illumination.

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