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Messier Marathon in Turkey

  • johnflannery
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Messier Marathon in Turkey was created by johnflannery

hi all,

as people have probably seen in Terry's emails, I am planning to attempt a Messier Marathon in Turkey when we are there for the total solar eclipse at the end of the month. About the only variable in the equation is the weather but we'll see! My plan is to use the 22x100mm binoculars.

basically, a Messier Marathon entails seeing all 109 objects in the Messier catalog in a single night (I tend to count M102 as a duplicate observation of M101). The event started in the early 1970s when various groups of amateur astronomers independently found that there was a window of opportunity around the Spring Equinox when all the Messier objects could be seen in one night. It's due to where the Sun sits on the ecliptic at this time of year.

the Marathon isn't a competition but a personal challenge for observers to see how well they know the sky and to introduce people to basic techniques such as starhopping, etc. That said, some observers do the Marathon using GoTo scopes or even attempt to image each object in the one night . . . lots of variations. You don't have to be a skilled observer to do it as a Marathon night may be the opportunity to discover some new deep sky objects you've never seen before. So, if you catch all 109 or see a fraction of the total, it's the camaraderie of sharing the thrill of the chase with other keen skywatchers that make it a special night too.

if you are seriously interested in attempting the Messier Marathon in Turkey then I'd like you to PM me with your name, private email address, instrument you will use, and level of experience. The main reason for collating a list of names beforehand is to see what transport arrangements we need to make. We can then set up a small discussion group on email to swap ideas, etc.

an ideal observing log is that produced by Michael O'Connell that can be downloaded from this site (Messier Objects Challenge Handbook). A general list of books are;

"The Year-Round Messier Marathon Field Guide" by Harvard Pennington

"The Observing Guide to the Messier Marathon" by Don Machholz

"The Messier Album" by Mallas and Kreimer

"Messier's Nebulae and Star Clusters" by Kenneth Glynn-Jones (expensive)

"Deep Sky Handbook: The Messier Objects" by Stephen James O'Meara

"The Observer's Sky Atlas" by Erich Karkoschka

atb,

John (Flannery)
John Flannery ( aurorawatcher - at * gmail - dot * com ... remove hyphens/asterisks/spaces for email)
The chicken's motive for crossing the road would not be questioned in an ideal world
16 years 10 months ago #25020

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Replied by albertw on topic Re: Messier Marathon in Turkey

Michaels Messier handbook
IFASMessierHandbook.pdf (3.8 MB)
Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/
16 years 10 months ago #25022

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Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: Messier Marathon in Turkey

Has a night been put in mind, or will we be going with the flow (weather etc).

Just wondering, as there are some nice sights in Terry's most recent circular that would be worth planning for - ut would be no good if up the previous night... alllll night!

Seanie.
Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.
16 years 10 months ago #25103

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  • johnflannery
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Replied by johnflannery on topic Re: Messier Marathon in Turkey

it would be no good if up the previous night... alllll night!


. . . and that's why it won't be the night before the eclipse :) :) :)

fairly flexible as to what night though if we could do a recce on Sunday it would then mean that Monday night is a possibility. The other alternative is Thursday night (or Wednesday AFTER the eclipse!)

John
John Flannery ( aurorawatcher - at * gmail - dot * com ... remove hyphens/asterisks/spaces for email)
The chicken's motive for crossing the road would not be questioned in an ideal world
16 years 10 months ago #25107

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Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: Messier Marathon in Turkey

Perhaps add a Poll in a new thread about it John, suss out what folks think could be the better night.

Seanie.
Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.
16 years 10 months ago #25112

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