2009 Messier Marathon Results
Messier Marathon 2009
In the year 2009, New Moon occurs on March 26.7 UT, thus providing a primary
opportunity weekend for the Messier Marathon on March 28/29, 2009, and a
secondary one the week before, on March 21/22. Both the primary and the
secondary date offer a good chance to achieve a full score of 110 objects from
suitable latitudes and locations.
For the 2009 Messier Marathon, the years for a simultaneous all-planet marathon
will be definitely over, with Uranus in conjunction with the Sun (i.e., behind
the Sun) on March 13. It will not become available during Messier Marathon time
during the next few years, and is supposed to be possible again earliest in
about 2018. By then, Neptune will have become impossible, and continue to stay
so for the years until the 2040s; it has already becoming difficult in 2009
(conjunction was on February 12) but may perhaps be spotted deep near horizon
in the morning. Also, this year Mercury will be impossible at it will be in
superior conjunction on March 31. Venus will come into inferior conjunction on
March 27, but as it will be about 8deg North of the Sun and due to its
brightness, it may perhaps even be spotted twice for Northern hemisphere
observers, both shortly after sunset in the West, and shortly before sunrise
in the East.
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 and the
Fachgruppe Kometen list):
Comet RA (2000.0) Dec mag RA (2000.0) Dec mag
March 25, 2009 March 30, 2009
In addition, southern hemisphere observers may capture the following, at high
southern declination, low in the evening:
67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko 03:08.70 +20:40.4 13.3 03:28.04 +22:11.3 13.4
C/2008 T2 (Cardinal) 04:37.57 +46:44.2 9.5 04:50.26 +44:11.4 9.4
85P/Boethin 05:19.10 +26:24.4 12.5 05:34.40 +26:25.0 12.8
C/2007 Q3 (Siding Spring) 05:33.76 -30:44.3 11.9 05:38.52 -28:58.9 11.9
C/2006 OF2 (Broughton) 06:31.66 +37:02.9 12.9 06:37.09 +36:09.5 13.0
144P/Kushida 06:49.01 +17:14.2 12.7 07:03.40 +17:00.5 12.9
C/2007 N3 (Lulin) 06:56.90 +22:03.6 7.5 06:48.09 +22:13.6 7.9
29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 07:40.05 +23:23.3 15.7 07:40.36 +23:17.7 15.7 Outbursts! c. 11m
116P/Wild 09:18.97 +19:47.7 12.6 09:18.85 +19:35.2 12.6
65P/Gunn 12:18.41 +13:20.8 14.1 12:14.52 +13:38.4 14.1
C/2006 Q1 (McNaught) 16:49.98 +24:00.1 13.5 16:50.42 +25:23.8 13.5
22P/Kopff 18:56.04 -18:36.3 9.9 19:10.10 -18:17.6 9.7
C/2008 A1 (McNaught) 21:43.68 +58:15.5 13.4 21:55.25 +60:12.1 13.5
C/2006 W3 (Christensen) 22:42.89 +34:01.8 13.2 22:44.99 +33:58.2 13.1 Very tough morning
C/2007 G1 (LINEAR) 02:44.33 -64:46.5 12.7 03:01.69 -62:49.4 12.8
For the record: Southerners with large instruments may still try to spot
now-faint (mag 19.7) old friend C/1995 O1 Hale-Bopp at
RA 02:01.63, Dec -83:14.4!
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.
meteors from various showers may occur, and depending on your
location, you may be able to observe the
International Space Station, ISS.
A rare event just in time for the Messier marathon occurs this year, as a
supernova flashed up in a Messier galaxy:
Supernova 2008in in the galaxy
M61. Found at mag 14.9 in December 2008
and having passed a maximum of about 14.3 mag, it was at mag 15.5 in
mid-February 2009, and could still be just fine for larger amateur telescopes
at the time of Messier Marathon in late March.
Messier Marathon Events 2009
Again, we plan to announce all scheduled 2009 Messier Marathon Events
Please submit any scheduled events
for announce here.
- The 2009 All Arizona Messier Marathon
is scheduled for March 28/29, 2009.
This event is sponsored again by the
Saguaro Astronomy Club (SAC) (for the 17th time), and will be
held again at the site south of Arizona City.
- A.J. Crayon & Jack Jones
SAC's 2009 All Messier Marathon announce.
- Professor Sorin Hotea
through his website
AstroInfo, organizes once
again in 2009 a new national Messier marathon in Romania. Any Romanian
amateur astronomer can join this call and subscribe to AstroInfo website
to participate to Messier Marathon 2009 in Romania. The main weekend when
Romanian astronomers are called for marathon is March 28-29. Let's hope
the skies will be clear!
- The Bangalore Astronomical
Society (BAS), India, are planning to conduct the Messier Marathon
for their astronomical society, on 28th March. They represent the astronomers
from the city of Bangalore, Karnataka, South India (+13deg latitude) and
participating for the second time. Some newcomers with experienced observers
will be attempting with binoculars and telescopes of varying sizes.
The location is our regular observing site - Hosahalli, 70 km North of city.
For more info see their Group
Messier Marathon - 2009 webpage.
- Amar A. Sharma, MM-2009 Coordinator
- The San Francisco Amateur
Astronomers (SFAA) are making their trek up for the Messier Marathon
2009 on Mount Tamalpias to engender those faint fuzzies of the night sky.
The event is envisaged for the night of Saturday/Sunday March 28/29, 2009.
Notably, as already a tradition on their Messier events, French astronomer
Charles Messier, shall make a surprise appearance to initiate the Marathon
(actually represented by Kenneth Frank).
- Kenneth Frank, Night Sky Network Administrator
- The All Gujarat
are organising a Grand Messier Marathon on March 27/28, 2009 at Madhavpur
(Ghed) 021:15 N 069:57 E in Gujarat India, where they are inviting all
amateurs astronomers from Gujarat State with their instruments. This will
be the first grand Messier Marathon in the history of Gujarat. They are
expecting about 10+ Telescopes and 50+ Binoculars with 100+ Amateurs
- Narendra Gor, Kutch Amateur Astronomers Club
- SPACE (Science Popularisation
Association of Communicators and Educators), India is organising a
Messier Marathon on the night of March 28th/29th from the pristine and dark
skies of Sariska National Park (27.39 N, 76.46 E and Alt of 485 mts).
The event is open to all interested people and SPACE will provide for
telescopes, star maps and finder charts for the participants. There will
be many seasoned amateur astronomers to guide the beginners. Transport
from New Delhi to the observing location and back is provided as well as
accomodation at the Tiger Den Tourist Resort for the two days.
Interested persons can contact
Ms Pooja Chaudhary, MM09 Coordinator- pooja (at) space-india.org .
- Nikhil Pawar
- Astronomica, the amateur wing of
SPACE (Science Popularisation
Association of Communicators and Educators) will be conducting its
first Messier Marathon, from the dark skies of Jewar, Haryana, India
(about 60 KM SE of New Delhi) (28.10 N, 77.54 E) on
Saturday, 28th March 2009. Our arsenal will of equipment includes India's
largest amateur telescope (20" Aperture Telescope). Astronomicans have
been conducting practise sessions under in the sky theater at the
Nehru Planetarium, New Delhi to learns the sequence, star hopping routes,
tips and techniques of the Messier Marathon.
- Vikrant Narang
- Professor Gerardo Rizo through his
website of the
Sociedad Astronómica Guadalajara, A.C., organizes again
in 2009 a Messier Marathon in predio "la Loma", Atemajac de Brizuela,
Jalisco, Mexico. Any amateur astronomer can join this call and subscribe
to website to participate to Messier Marathon 2009, on March 28-29.
- The Amateur Astronomers Association
of Vadodara in association with Gujarat Nature Conservation
Society organized a Messier Marathon 2009 on 28th March 2009 at
Village Vasant Pura, Taluka Rajpipla dist, Narmada, Gujarat. The place is
80 km from Vadodara City and having good dark and clear sky.
18 Observers Will participate in marathon with 5 telescope, 10 binocular
and 1 spoting scope.
- Bhargav Joshi
- The Old Town Sidewalk
Astronomers will once again hold their
Messier, planet and comet Marathon at
March 28-29. It's a great spot with awesome horizons:
See 2006 MM report.
The last 2 miles are a washboard dirt road not suitable for trucks and RVs,
which are guaranteed to get stuck in the soft sand, if not on the road,
then certainly at the pulloff areas. They set up 2 miles from the 1-10
freeway, and there is room for perhaps half a dozen cars (aka not many) at
their location, but nearby open spots aloang the road. In addition to the
Messiers Jane will be observing and sketching the "Galileo" objects using
a 70mm Televue Ranger at 19x, a similar magnification but a larger aperture
telescope than Galileo used. The Galileo's are objects Galileo observed and
sketched 400 years ago.
- Jane Houston Jones and Morris Jones ( sidewalk at otastro.org )
If you have undertaken, or participated in, a Messier Marathon, 2009 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!
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Last Modification: April 1, 2009