The Fall Messier Marathon Guide

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Transcript The Fall Messier Marathon Guide

The Fall Messier Marathon Guide Ed Ting, NHAS, CMP Oct 17 th 2008

Messier Marathon  An informal competition to locate the most Messier objects by a single observer during a dusk-to-dawn Marathon.

How Many Can You Expect To See?

 March: 108-110  June: 90-95  October: 100-102

From Southern NH  Daylight lasts approx 11 hours and 30 minutes  Everything is “shifted” by 6 hours compared to a conventional March MM

What Doesn’t Change  You still have to stay up all night long  The average time to find each object goes up – about 7 minutes, 25 seconds per object  The busiest times are the beginning and the end, with a lull in the middle

Your New Problem Objects Are…  M4 and M80 are right on the western horizon  M104, M68, and M83 are lost in the morning sun

M3  M3 is also a problem (18 deg above horizon at 6 PM)

What Does Change  M30, M72, and M73 are no longer difficult  Scorpio is now the early problem  March – The Sun is in Capricorn  October – The Sun is in Virgo

One Big Change  The Virgo Cluster must be tackled while the sun is rising  Thus, the VC is now a Bonus Object  M64, M53, M61, etc become problems also

For Experienced Observers  You have to readjust your thinking  Beginners have the upper hand here!

Your New Goal  91 Objects  5 Objects are not visible  The Virgo Cluster galaxies (14 objects) become “Bonus Objects.”

The Sky at 6:00 PM

The First 2 Hours  Goal – Get 20 Objects (22% of total)  M62, M19, M6, M7, M5, M97, M108, M109, M81, M82, M101, M102 (NGC 5866), M51, M3, M53, M63, M94, M107, M12, M10

The Sky at 10 PM

9 –11 PM Sagittarius  Sagittarius, Scutum, Ophiucus  M10, M23, M24, M25, M69, M70, M54, M9, M14, M8, M20, M21, M28, M22, M55, M16, M17, M11, M26  Goal: Get 19 Objects (20%, 42% of total)  Lots of showpiece objects

Sagittarius/ Scorpius Area

The Sky at Midnight

Midnight to 2 AM  Goal: Get 22 objects (25%, 67% total)  M40, M106, M75, M13, M92, M57, M56, M27, M71, M2, M72, M73, M30, M29, M39, M15, M74, M77, M31, M32, M110, M33

The Sky at 4 AM

4 AM – Winter Objects  Goal: Get 31 objects (33%, 100%)  M103, M52, M34, M76, M79, M1, M45, M37, M36, M38, M50, M47, M46, M93, M41, M35, M41, M42, M43, M78, M48, M44, M67, M105, M96, M95, M65, M66, M61, M64, M85

The Virgo Cluster  The bad news – You have to find 14 dim objects (15% of the total MM)  The VC is rising in the east, along with the sun!

 These are all Bonus Objects

The Virgo Cluster

Work From Left To Right

From Skymap

You’re Done!

   How did you do?

Don’t forget to report your results to the club for the newsletter.

If you followed the “Goals” you should have 91 objects (82%)

Tips & Tricks (p. 1 of 2)  Use a scope with a short focal length  Consider using an alt-az scope  Bring a pair of binoculars  Have a method for dealing with dew  Eat light snacks throughout the evening  Once in a particular area, stay there until you get all the objects there

Tips and Tricks (p. 2 of 2)  Work West to East, South to North  Work from a list  Bring a chair  Don’t forget to have fun!

Books For Further Reading

Good Luck!