My Planning for the 2012 Messier Marathon

Planning is underway for the 2012 KAS Messier Marathon.  This is a great opportunity to view all the objects catalogued by Charles Messier 1771 – 1773 that took him 24 years to observe.  Messier catalogued objects that he originally thought were comets, but could not confirm them as such.  Basically these objects appeared to him as “faint fuzzies” but unlike comets, they never moved.  Basically, his list of 110 objects were considered a hinderance by him.

Messier Object Chart

Today, this list of objects are the most accessible and easiest to view objects in and around our galaxy.  About 10 of them can be spotted with the naked eye, and the rest are al findable with even a fairly modest telescope.  Every year during the new moon dark window in March, all but a few of these great objects is observable in just one night.  The window this year runs roughly between March 19th and March 28th.  It takes the entire night to see them all, and we here in the upstate NY area can see all but 1-2 objects that rest on the extreme southern skyline.

I have never sat through on a Messier Marathon before, so I’m getting pretty excited about this event.  Just keeping my fingers crossed for some good weather, clear skies, and good timing with respect to my other obligations.

Here is a list of references for preparing, planning and executing a Messier Marathon:

NOTE: If you are interested in joining the KAS please email us kas’AT’kopernikastro.org

Here is a great list of all the objects that can be viewed in the marathon night, in rough order of observing.  Observation session literally runs from dusk to dawn.

No. M# NGC# Con Type
1 M77 1068 Cet G S
2 M74 628 Psc G S
3 M33 598 Tri G S
4 M31 224 And G S
5 M32 221 And G E
6 M110 205 And G E
7 M52 7654 Cas OCl
8 M103 581 Cas OCl
9 M76 650 Per Pl
10 M34 1039 Per OCl
11 M45 Tau OCl
12 M79 1904 Lep Gl
13 M42 1976 ori DN
14 M43 1982 Ori DN
15 M78 2068 Ori DN
16 M1 1952 Tau SNR
17 M35 2168 Gem OCl
18 M37 2099 Aur OCl
19 M36 1960 Aur OCl
20 M38 1922 Aur OCl
21 M41 2287 CMa OCl
22 M93 2447 Pup OCl
23 M47 2422 Pup OCl
24 M46 2437 Pup OCl
25 M50 2323 Mon OCl
26 M48 2548 Hya OCl
27 M44 2632 Cnc OCl
28 M67 2628 Cnc OCl
29 M95 3351 Leo G S
30 M96 3368 Leo G S
31 M105 3379 Leo G E
32 M65 3623 Leo G S
33 M66 3627 Leo G S
34 M81 3031 UMa G S
35 M82 3034 UMa GIr
36 M97 3587 UMa Pl
37 M108 3556 UMa G S
38 M109 3992 UMa G S
39 M40 UMa 2St
40 M106 4258 CVn G S
41 M94 4736 CVn G S
42 M63 5055 CVn G S
43 M51 5194 CVn G S
44 M101 5457 UMa G S
45 M102? 5866 Dra GS0
46 M53 5024 Com Gl
47 M64 4826 Com G S
48 M3 5272 CVn Gl
49 M98 4192 Com G S
50 M99 4254 Com G S
51 M100 4321 Com G S
52 M85 4382 Com GS0
53 M84 4374 Vir GS0
54 M86 4406 Vir GS0
55 M87 4486 Vir G E
56 M89 4552 Vir G E
57 M90 4569 Vir G S
58 M88 4501 Com G S
59 M91 4548 Com G S
60 M58 4579 Vir G S
61 M59 4621 Vir G E
62 M60 4649 Vir G E
63 M49 4472 Vir G E
64 M61 4303 Vir G S
65 M104 4594 Vir G S
66 M68 4590 Hya Gl
67 M83 5236 Hya G S
68 M5 5904 Ser Gl
69 M13 6205 Her Gl
70 M92 6341 Her Gl
71 M57 6720 Lyr Pl
72 M56 6779 Lyr Gl
73 M29 6913 Cyg OCl
74 M39 7092 Cyg OCl
75 M27 6853 Vul Pl
76 M71 6838 Sge Gl
77 M107 6171 Oph Gl
78 M12 6218 Oph Gl
79 M10 6254 Oph Gl
80 M14 6402 Oph Gl
81 M9 6333 Oph Gl
82 M4 6121 Sco Gl
83 M80 6093 Sco Gl
84 M19 6273 Oph Gl
85 M62 6266 Oph Gl
86 M6 6405 Sco OCl
87 M7 6475 Sco OCl
88 M11 6705 Sct OCl
89 M26 6694 Sct OCl
90 M16 6611 Ser OCl
91 M17 6618 Sgr DN
92 M18 6613 Sgr OCl
93 M24 >6603 Sgr OCl
94 M25 I4725 Sgr OCl
95 M23 6494 Sgr OCl
96 M21 6531 Sgr OCl
97 M20 6514 Sgr DN
98 M8 6523 Sgr DN
99 M28 6626 Sgr Gl
100 M22 6656 Sgr Gl
101 M69 6637 Sgr Gl
102 M70 6681 Sgr Gl
103 M54 6715 Sgr Gl
104 M55 6809 Sgr Gl
105 M75 6864 Sgr Gl
106 M15 7078 Peg Gl
107 M2 7089 Aqr Gl
108 M72 6981 Aqr Gl
109 M73 6994 Aqr 4St
110 M30 7099 Cap Gl
Type Key:

OCl=Open Cluster
Gl=Globular Cluster
Pl=Planetary Nebula
DN=Diffuse Nebula
G S=Spiral Galaxy
G E=Elliptical Galaxy
GIr= Irregular Galaxy
GS0=Lenticular Galaxy
SNR=Super Nova Remnant
2St=Binary Star
4St=4 Star System

 

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