Please submit any scheduled Messier Marathon 2015 Events!
Messier Marathoners: Send me your results! (2015 or earlier)
  • 2015 Messier Marathon Results

    Messier Marathon 2015

    In the year 2015, New Moon will occur on March 20, and thus provide best opportunity for a Messier Marathon on the weekend of March 21/22, 2015. At this date, there will be a considerably good opportunity to hunt down all 110 Messier Objects in one night from suitable mid-northern locations. According to Tom Polakis' investigation, this should be possible from places between Northern Latitude 6 deg and 34 deg, with the most difficult objects being M110 in the evening and M30 in the morning. The second-best weekend, already under influence of a Moon 6 days from New, is the one before, on March 14/15 - at that time, most will miss M30.

    Messier Marathon Events 2015

    Again, we plan to announce all scheduled 2015 Messier Marathon Events here. Please submit any scheduled events for announce here.

    If you have undertaken, or participated in, a Messier Marathon, 2015 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, Neptune, and Mars impossible on the primary weekend of this year.

    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
                                    March 22, 2015
    C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)         01:23:55 +62:13.5  11.3
    22P/Kopff                   13:03:13 +01:01.8  14.4
    C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring)   17:32:49 +38:55.3  11.6
    29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1  17:54:33 -31:06.5  15.7    Outbursts! c. 11m
    C/2012 F3 (PANSTARRS)       18:48:49 -11:56.0  14.6
    88P/Howell                  21:05:40 -19:01.6  14.4
    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, none will be at prominent favorable viewing conditions: (4) Vesta will be particularly difficult at only 34 deg elongaiton from the Sun in the morning sky, and the other three faint at only 9th to 10th magnitude. For those who want to try these objects, data for the two weekends in question are as follows:

    Planet       RA  (2000.0)  Dec  mag
                     March 22, 2015
    (1) Ceres    19:55:10 -23:48.4  9.1
    (2) Pallas   17:51:18 +12:55.0  9.8
    (3) Juno     08:14:34 +11:32.0  9.3
    (4) Vesta    21:58:30 -15:03.3  8.0

    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 < 2016 | 2014 >

    Hartmut Frommert
    Christine Kronberg

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    Last Modification: March 13, 2015