Please submit any scheduled Messier Marathon 2017 Events!
Messier Marathoners: Send me your results! (2017 or earlier)
  • 2017 Messier Marathon Results

    Messier Marathon 2017

    In the year 2017, New Moon will occur on March 28, thus providing a good opportunity for a Messier Marathon on both the weekends of March 25/26, 2017 (primary) as well as April 1/2, 2017 (secondary option). On the primary date (March 25/26), there will be a good opportunity to attempt to hunt down all Messier Objects in one night from suitable mid-northern latitude locations, while the second date will be a tough challenge for the 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 12 deg and 37 deg Northern Latitude with most difficult object M30 in the morning, and southern limit from M110, while on the secondary date in April, the limits will be 20 deg to 41 deg North. M74 and M110 will limit to the south, M30 to the north; it will just be around these days of the year that M74 will become invisible for its annual conjunction with the Sun.

    Messier Marathon Events 2017

    Again, we plan to announce all scheduled 2017 Messier Marathon Events here. Please submit any scheduled events for announce here.

    If you have undertaken, or participated in, a Messier Marathon, 2017 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., Seiichi Yoshida's Visual Comet lists for the northern and southern hemisphere [currently our principal sources], 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 26, 2017             April  2, 2017
    41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak 11:50:34 +59:52.6   7.0    13:44:50 +64:51.9   6.7
    71P/Clark                   16:12:19 -14:42.4  13.9    16:20:22 -15:32.4  13.6
    C/2015 V2 (Johnson)         16:32:10 +47:27.8   8.6    16:30:56 +47:36.1   8.4
    C/2015 ER61 (PanSTARRS)     19:59:40 -18:41.3  11.3    20:34:38 -16:06.8  11.2
    29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1  21:16:06 -16:24.0  15.7    21:20:28 -15:59.8  15.7  Outbursts! c. 11m
    C/2017 E1 (Borisov)         21:23:33 -06:54.4  14.4    22:01:29 -05:22.8  14.3
    73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3  21:48:57 -17:21.7  12.2    22:19:49 -15:35.2  12.4
    2P/Encke                    22:35:18 -17:03.6   6.9    22:32:31 -18:03.9   8.6
    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 faint (3) Juno (morning) and (4) Vesta (evening) will be in favorable oserving situation. (2) Pallas will be close to the Sun and thus impossible, (1) Ceres in difficult position at only 35-40deg elongation in the evening sky 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 26, 2017             April  2, 2017
    (1) Ceres    02:58:12 +13:46.5  9.0    03:08:28 +14:45.7  9.0
    (2) Pallas   23:56:09 -02:04.9  9.8    00:06:03 -01:35.1  9.9
    (3) Juno     18:52:03 -09:49.0 11.2    18:57:06 -09:17.9 11.1
    (4) Vesta    07:34:24 +26:12.0  7.5    07:39:02 +26:03.7  7.6

    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 < 2018 | 2016 >

    Hartmut Frommert
    Christine Kronberg

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    Last Modification: March 25, 2017