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
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
Please submit any scheduled events
for announce here.
- The Thames Amateur Astronomical
Society is planning to hold their 2015 Messier Marathon on
March 21/22, 2015 from 5:30 pm to dawn, at the
Pine Point School in Stonington, CT.
Websites: http://www.taasct.net/ and
- Jay Drew
- Keith Turnecliff
is planning to do a Messier Marathon from Brittany, Northern France on the
weekend of March 21/22, 2015. Invited to observe at a dark sky location,
he will bring his equipment and try to photograph as many objects as
possible, using a Canon 60 DA with Meade LX55 on HEQ6 mount.
View his plans (and later results) at his
- Skywatcher Telescopes is sponsoring the
2015 Skywatcher Telescopes/3RF Messier Marathon and
Spring Break Star Party for the
Three Rivers Foundation, 3RF ,
at Comanche Springs Astronomy Campus near Crowell, Texas, from Sunday,
March 15 through Saturday, March 22, inclusive.
The location is a wonderful astro-ranch in the heart of Cattle Country,
Texas. The equipment, staff, and amenities are second-to-none. For more
information, contact the organizers directly (via
- Matthew Sample (this will be his first Messier Marathon)
- The Brazos Valley
Astronomy Club of Texas will be holding their 9th Annual Messier
Marathon at Mark Spearman's Regina Caelorum observatory in Wheelock, Texas
on March 21/22, 2015. Info/Contact: spearman at factoryphysics.com.
- Mark Spearman
- The 2015 All Arizona Messier Marathon
is scheduled for March 21/22, 2015.
This event is sponsored again by the
Saguaro Astronomy Club (SAC) (for the 23rd 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, A.J. Crayon, & Jack Jones
SAC's 2015 All Arizona Messier Marathon announce, and their
All Arizona Messier Marathon facebook page.
- The amateur astronomers club, Akashmitra from Pune, India is going
to conduct 2 Messier Marathons this year, from Velhe, India, a medium-sized
village near Pune. Dates will be March 20/21, and March 21/22, 2015.
Members are practicing for that event since January, and will have final
opportunities to do so from March 16-19.
- Dhruv Paranjpye
They had a lecture by their member and long-term Messier Marathoner
Harshad Abhyankar on March 7, 2015
Also see their
- Guadalajara Astronomical Society
was found 34 years ago in Guadalajara, Mexico. This year on March 21 they
will have the 2015 Messier Marathon at La Loma, Atemajac de Brizuela,
80 km south of Guadalajara, members and amateur astronomer will be
- Maria Luisa Montaño,
Vocal of Sociedad Astronómica Guadalajara
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!
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
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
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!
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Last Modification: March 13, 2015