2017 Messier Marathon Results
Messier Marathon 2017
In the year 2017, New Moon will occur on March 28, thus providing a good
opportunity for a Messier Marathon on both the weekends of March 25/26, 2017
(primary) as well as April 1/2, 2017 (secondary option). On the primary date
(March 25/26), there will be a good opportunity to attempt to hunt down all
Messier Objects in one night from suitable mid-northern latitude locations,
while the second date will be a tough challenge for the evening objects,
M74 and M77.
According to Tom Polakis' investigation, on the
first primary occasion, a full score of 110 Messier Objects should be
possible from locations between 12 deg and 37 deg Northern Latitude with most
difficult object M30 in the morning, and southern limit from M110, while
on the secondary date in April, the limits will be 20 deg to 41 deg North.
M74 and M110 will limit to the south, M30 to the north; it will just be
around these days of the year that M74 will become invisible for its annual
conjunction with the Sun.
Messier Marathon Events 2017
Again, we plan to announce all scheduled 2017 Messier Marathon Events
Please submit any scheduled events
for announce here.
- The 2017 All Arizona Messier Marathon
is scheduled for the weekend of March 25/26, 2017.
This event is sponsored again by the
Saguaro Astronomy Club (SAC) (for the 25th time).
It will be held at the same site as last years,
the Salome Emergency Airfield (a.k.a. "Hovatter Airstrip"), an abandoned
airport, about 100 miles west of Phoenix.
- Rick Tejera
SAC's 2017 All Arizona Messier Marathon announce, and their
All Arizona Messier Marathon facebook page.
Kerry Dark Sky Tourism Limited are planning to host a Messier
Marathon in the
Kerry International Dark Sky Reserve
in Ireland on March 24/25th 2017. Location is 51:51 North, 10:17 West.
See their facebook page:
- Steve Lynott
- The Azerbaijani Young Amateur Astronomers Club is pleased to
announce their first Messier Marathon this year, sponsored by the
Baku, Azerbaijan. This event is scheduled for April 2-3, 2017.
See their announce on facebook:
- Famil Mustafa, Manager, Tusi-Bohm Planetarium
Astrofarm, based in
Confolens, Southwest France, are planning a Messier Marathon
on March 29/30, 2017, 6 pm to 6 am. Participants will have to bring
their own telescope; advance booking required:
See their Event Calendar.
Visitors from France and Britain are expected.
During the last week of March, there will be an opportunity every clear night
to run a Messier Marathon on their sites; instruments will include an 80mm
Tak refractor, 25x100 binoculars and a C9.25 goto telescope.
Last year (2016) they had achieved a maximum of 92 objects in a night.
- Andrew Davies, Residential astronomer, Astrofarm
- Ashirwad Tillu from Mumbai, India is planning for his first Messier
Marathon on March 25/26, 2017 from his village about 160km east of Mumbai,
with his 18 inch (F 4.5) Dob.
- Brandon Finnigan, amateur astronomer in Southern California, is
organizing a Messier event at Amboy Crater, California. The event is to be
held on Saturday March 25th from 6pm to 6am.
The site boasts wonderful facilities and Bortle 2 skies.
As its an inaugural event, they are just aiming to get the notice out there
that this site will be welcome to anyone - it's the parking lot at Amboy
Crater National Natural Landmark in Amboy, CA.
BLM info packet for location is here:
Parking is free, approx 30 spaces, facility has pit toilets, and gas,
water, and snacks are available off Route 66 in the tiny town of Amboy
proper (population 4...thats right...4) about 2 mi away.
Email Brandon at: brandon at decisiondeskhq.com.
The Birmingham Astronomical Society (BAS) of Alabama will host a
Messier Marathon at their Chandler Mountain Observatory on Saturday night,
March 25th, 2017. The site is located approximately 50 miles Northeast of
Birmingham off of I59, exit 166.
More details on the location are found on their website at
The weather in the Southeastern USA is very iffy during the springtime so
please check before leaving.
Their back-up date is the next weekend on Saturday, April 1st, 2017.
- Fred Rains, Outreach Coordinator, Birmingham Astronomical Society
- The Asociacixón Nicaragiüense de Astrónomos
Aficionados "Carl Sagan", ANASA will hold a Messier Marathon on
March 25/26, 2017 at the Tisma Star Park, in Masaya, Nicaragua.
(12.0453,-86.0382). They expect a dozen telescopes and some 45 participants.
They plan to start at 18:00 UTC-6 and end at 03:00 UTC-6.
- Julio Vannini (Blog)
If you have undertaken, or participated in, a Messier Marathon, 2017 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!
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
and the Fachgruppe Kometen list):
Comet RA (2000.0) Dec mag RA (2000.0) Dec mag
March 26, 2017 April 2, 2017
41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak 11:50:34 +59:52.6 7.0 13:44:50 +64:51.9 6.7
71P/Clark 16:12:19 -14:42.4 13.9 16:20:22 -15:32.4 13.6
C/2015 V2 (Johnson) 16:32:10 +47:27.8 8.6 16:30:56 +47:36.1 8.4
C/2015 ER61 (PanSTARRS) 19:59:40 -18:41.3 11.3 20:34:38 -16:06.8 11.2
29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 21:16:06 -16:24.0 15.7 21:20:28 -15:59.8 15.7 Outbursts! c. 11m
C/2017 E1 (Borisov) 21:23:33 -06:54.4 14.4 22:01:29 -05:22.8 14.3
73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 21:48:57 -17:21.7 12.2 22:19:49 -15:35.2 12.4
2P/Encke 22:35:18 -17:03.6 6.9 22:32:31 -18:03.9 8.6
Note that occasionally comets become bright shortly (like Hyakutake in 1996,
Hale-Bopp in 1997, 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,
SN 2012aw in M95, and SN 2014J in M82 in their years of appearance).
This year, of the "first" four minor planets, only faint (3) Juno (morning)
and (4) Vesta (evening) will be in favorable oserving situation.
(2) Pallas will be close to the Sun and thus impossible, (1) Ceres in
difficult position at only 35-40deg elongation in the evening sky
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 26, 2017 April 2, 2017
(1) Ceres 02:58:12 +13:46.5 9.0 03:08:28 +14:45.7 9.0
(2) Pallas 23:56:09 -02:04.9 9.8 00:06:03 -01:35.1 9.9
(3) Juno 18:52:03 -09:49.0 11.2 18:57:06 -09:17.9 11.1
(4) Vesta 07:34:24 +26:12.0 7.5 07:39:02 +26:03.7 7.6
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
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Last Modification: March 20, 2017