As of late 2010, the Arizona Marathon Observing Site had to be changed,
because of problems with the old site. The new land owner does not want
us crossing his property to gain access to the site. There are also
problems with things that go bump in the night and they are armed.
So you "MUST" stay away from the old site!
DO NOT GO THERE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!
See here for the new site (Hovatter Airstrip).
[Image removed for reasons of physical security]
The [OLD] Arizona Marathon Observing Site
The Saguaro Astronomy Club (SAC)
gives the following hints for the Arizona Messier Marathon:
SAC Arizona Marathon Observing Site webpage
- This is a REMOTE site. Please plan accordingly. The nearest
restaurant's are in Arizona City, about 30 miles and 30 minutes drive.
Bring you own food & beverages (no alcohol please) and any other
supplies you may need to get you through the night.
- There will be a Port-O-John set up in the middle of the field for your
- The site is open desert; Keep in mind dust can be a problem. Protect
your equipment when not in use.
- Bring proper dress. Although this is Arizona, the desert gets cold at
night. Expect temperatures to drop into the low 40's by midnight.
Remember, it is best to dress in layers, adding as the temperature
- The marathon is not Friday night, the site will be available for those
who wish to get in an extra night's observing.
- For those of you with computerized telescopes or who are just curious
about these things the site's coordinates are:
[Coordinates removed for reasons of physical security]
Getting to the site:
SAC's Getting to the Arizona Marathon Site page
- The site is about between Tucson and Phoenix, 80 miles from Phoenix
Sky Harbor Airport, 86 Miles from Tucson Intl Airport.
- The nearest town of any size is Casa Grande.
- Allow at least 2 hours to get to the site from either airport. The
road leading to the site is dirt, although it is well maintained, you
really don't want to go faster than 30 mph.
- If you think you'll need help getting to the site, contact one of
the coordinators prior to your arrival in Arizona. They will be happy to
help you. You may be able to set up a convoy to help you get to the
- If you're planning to leave during the Marathon, please set up near
the entrance to the site. Observe star party etiquette and alert people
to your imminent departure.
- If you plan on taking astro-photo's set up at the rear of the site
past the main observing area. This will help insure any stray lights
don't disturb you.
- Please remember this is private property. We are here at the
invitation of the landowner. Please respect his property. If you bring
it in, bring it out.
SAC's 2010 All Arizona Messier Marathon page
Messier Marathon Home
Last Modification: March 3, 2011