Please submit any scheduled Messier Marathon 2014 Events!
Messier Marathoners: Send me your results! (2014 or earlier)
  • 2014 Messier Marathon Results

    Messier Marathon 2014

    In the year 2014, New Moon will occur on March 1 and March 30, and thus provide a good primary opportunity for a Messier Marathon on the last March weekend, on March 29/30, and a secondary option on the first March weekend, on March 01/02, 2013. While on the primary, later date, there will be a good opportunity to hunt down all Messier Objects in one night from suitable mid-northern locations, on the secondary early date, this will by impossible or at least extremely challenging from most locations: According to Tom Polakis' investigation, the full score should be possible for Northern latitudes between 16 and 40 deg on the primary, later date (March 29/30) with most difficult objects M110 in the evening and M30 in the morning. A second opportunity occurs for observers of low northern latitudesbetween 5 and 9 deg N on the March 1/2 occasion, with M52 and M30 limiting this opportunity.

    Messier Marathon Events 2014

    Again, we plan to announce all scheduled 2014 Messier Marathon Events here. Please submit any scheduled events for announce here.

    If you have undertaken, or participated in, a Messier Marathon, 2014 or earlier, if not already done so, please send me your or your group's results, or the link to your results page, for inclusion in our Messier Marathon Results page!

    Extracurricular Activities

    While it is the goal of the Messier Marathon to observe as many Messier Objects in a night as possible, it is sometimes convenient and enjoyable to combine the Messier Marathon with some other observational activities, in case some time is left during the night session. In the following, we propose some options to select from:

    Deepsky enthusiasts can look for additional clusters, nebulae, and galaxies. While you can certainly pick and observe whatever you like, we also provide a list of additional deepsky objects to select from (also available with data).

    It is always delightful to add to the Messier Marathon the observation of as many of the planets as possible, with Uranus impossible this year and Neptune at least extremely difficult on the primary weekend.

    Some comets brighter than about mag 14.0 will be visible; we will list them below from various sources (e.g., IAU's Observable Comets page, Skyhound's Comet Chasing page, Gary Kronk's list of current comets, Seiichi Yoshida's Visual Comet lists for the northern and southern hemisphere, and the Fachgruppe Kometen list):

    Comet                       RA  (2000.0)  Dec  mag     RA  (2000.0)  Dec  mag
                                    March 30, 2014             March  2, 2014
    C/2011 J2 (LINEAR)          00:36:59 +53:31.4  14.6    00:05:43 +57:34.4  14.3
    C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring)   02:39:07 -26:44.5  13.8    02:37:53 -30:37.5  14.2
    C/2013 V1 (Boattini)        03:12:02 +42:47.4  14.4    02:44:19 +30:56.4  14.4
    154P/Brewington             04:01:40 +35 22.4  13.3    02:36:34 +32:36.8  11.8
    P/1998 U3 (Jager)           06:53:17 +20:14.0  11.2    06:19:52 +25:16.2  10.8
    C/2014 E2 (Jacques)         10:15:49 -32:04.0  13.6
    124P/Mrkos                  11:01:48 +09:24.2  14.3    12:01:43 +23:51.7  14.5
    P/2008 J2 (Beshore)         12:29:39 +15:08.7  14.0    12:46:25 +12:07.9  14.3
    C/2006 S3 (LONEOS)          12:37:18 -11:46.6  14.7    13:00:38 -13:32.5  14.6
    29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1  15:57:51 -30:51.0  15.6    15:57:30 -30:10.2  15.8  Outbursts! c. 11m
    C/2012 K1 (PANSTARRS)       16:03:35 +33:08.3   9.8    16:35:00 +20:40.4  11.0
    C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy)         18:28:40 -06:10.8  13.6    18:31:33 +00:17.7  12.7
    C/2012 X1 (LINEAR)          20:29:03 -04:18.8  11.6    19:21:41 +00:13.3  11.6
    Probably for the last time, we include this year, for the record: Southerners with very large instruments may still try to spot now-faint (mag 21.3) old friend C/1995 O1 Hale-Bopp at RA 00:37:35, Dec -84:01.0!

    Note that occasionally comets become bright shortly (like Hyakutake in 1996, Ikeya-Zhang and Utsunomiya in 2002), so check back for possible updates shortly before Marathon date. Also occasionally, a supernova of brightness available to amateur telesopes may have flashed up be spottable in time (like SN 1998S in NGC 3877, SN 2002ap in M74, SN 2006X in M100, and SN 2012aw in M95, in their years of appearance). For the current Messier Marathon season, two supernova have flashed up a bit early, in January, 2014, which will still be observable at marathon time: SN 2014J in M82 (Type Ia-HV, peaked at 10.1 mag in early February, mag 11.7 in late February), and SN 2014L in M99 (Type Ic, peaked at 14.4 mag early February, mag 15.4 in late February).

    This year, of the "first" four minor planets, (3) Juno will be very close to the Sun and impossible to observe, the others will be easy: (2) Pallas in evening (constellation Hydra), and (1) Ceres and (4) Vesta whole-night (in Virgo). For those who want to try these objects, data for the two weekends in question are as follows:

    Planet       RA  (2000.0)  Dec  mag    RA  (2000.0)  Dec  mag
                     March 30, 2014             March  2, 2014
    (1) Ceres    14:06:12 +02:30.6  7.2    14:16:36 +00:41.4  7.7
    (2) Pallas   09:35:38 +03:07.2  7.6    09:42:26 -08:39.0  7.0
    (3) Juno     00:58:45 +01:53.8  9.6    00:00:55 -02:54.2  9.9
    (4) Vesta    13:57:06 +01:24.8  6.0    14:06:05 -01:12.2  6.6

    Also, meteors from various showers may occur, and depending on your location, you may be able to observe the International Space Station, ISS.

    Please send me any results of your Messier Marathon for inclusion in our Messier Marathon Results page!

    Messier Marathon Home < 2015 | 2013 >

    Hartmut Frommert
    Christine Kronberg

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    Last Modification: March 25, 2014