Please submit any scheduled Messier Marathon 2016 Events!
Messier Marathoners: Send me your results! (2016 or earlier)
  • 2016 Messier Marathon Results

    Messier Marathon 2016

    In the year 2016, New Moon will occur on March 9 and April 7, so the best Marathon time in mid-March will be prevented by the Moon. There will be two opportunities for Messier Marathon, the first and primary on March 12/13, 2016 where M30 will be extremely difficult to impossible from most locations, and April 2/3, 2016 where it will be extremely improbable to succeed in finding the first evening objects, M74 and M77. According to Tom Polakis' investigation, on the first primary occasion, a full score of 110 Messier Objects should be possible from locations between 9 deg and 27 deg Northern Latitude with most difficult object M30 in the morning, and southern limit from M52, while on the secondary date in April, the probable invisibility of M74 will make it so unlikely.

    Messier Marathon Events 2016

    Again, we plan to announce all scheduled 2016 Messier Marathon Events here. Please submit any scheduled events for announce here.

    If you have undertaken, or participated in, a Messier Marathon, 2016 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 impossible this year and Neptune at least extremely difficult on the primary weekend.

    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     RA  (2000.0)  Dec  mag
                                    March 13, 2016             April  3, 2016
    10P/Tempel 2                00:59:41 -02:25.6  13.9    01:49:48 +02:39.7  14.8
    C/2013 US10 Catalina        04:11:30 +53:54.0   9.2    04:25:13 +49:37.6  10.3
    81P/WIld 2                  05:24:41 +21:38.3  12.8    05:56:31 +22:30.8  12.6
    252P/LINEAR                 05:51:24 -51:08.8  11.5    17:34:12 -07:55.4  12.2
    9P/Tempel 1                 12:18:20 +19:14.2  13.4    11:58:25 +20:53.4  12.6
    116P/Wild 4                 15:51:21 -21:26.4  12.3    16:00:11 -22:42.4  12.2
    53P/Van Biesbroeck          19:19:55 -16:54.9  14.6    19:56:19 -15:23.0  14.3
    29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1  19:36:12 -25:58.4  15.8    19:47:15 -25:33.8  15.7  Outbursts! c. 11m
    C/2014 W2 PANSTARRS         20:34:31 +65:38.7  14.0    20:20:48 +68:16.1  14.0
    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, only (3) Juno will be in favorable oserving situation, but faint. (1) Ceres will be close to the Sun and thus impossible, while both (4) Vesta and (2) Pallas will be difficult objects in the evening and the morning sky, respectively. For those who want to try these objects, data for the two weekends in question are as follows:

    Planet       RA  (2000.0)  Dec  mag    RA  (2000.0)  Dec  mag
                     March 13, 2016             April  3, 2016
    (1) Ceres    23:25:10 -12:22.8  9.0    23:55:44 -09:15.3  9.2
    (2) Pallas   20:52:28 +05:27.7 10.6    21:15:03 +07:24.6 10.6
    (3) Juno     15:01:30 -05:46.5 10.5    14:53:57 -04:18.5 10.3
    (4) Vesta    02:05:18 +07:39.1  8.4    02:38:40 +10:58.8  8.4

    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 < 2017 | 2015 >

    Hartmut Frommert
    Christine Kronberg

    [SEDS] [MAA] [Home] [Indexes]

    Last Modification: April 4, 2016