Please submit any scheduled Messier Marathon 2018 Events!
Messier Marathoners: Send me your results! (2018 or earlier)
  • 2018 Messier Marathon Results

    Messier Marathon 2018

    In the year 2018, New Moon will occur on March 17, a Saturday, thus providing the best opportunity for a Messier Marathon on he weekend of March 17/18, 2018. On that date, there will be an opportunity to attempt to hunt down all Messier Objects in one night from suitable mid-northern latitude locations. According to Tom Polakis' investigation, on this occasion, a full score of 110 Messier Objects should be possible from locations between 7 deg and 32 deg Northern Latitude with most difficult object M30 in the morning, and southern limit from M52.

    Messier Marathon Events 2018

    Again, we plan to announce all scheduled 2018 Messier Marathon Events here. Please submit any scheduled events for announce here.

    If you have undertaken, or participated in, a Messier Marathon, 2018 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 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
                                    March 18, 2018
    C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS)       04:14:25 +34:15.8  13.5
    C/2016 N6 (PANSTARRS)       10:36:32 +79:58.1  13.8
    62P/Tsuchinshan             14:27:35 +04:01.8  15.0
    C/2015 O1 (PANSTARRS)       16:03:42 +45:50.4  14.6
    C/2016 M1 (PANSTARRS)       19:26:32 -00:46.9  11.8
    C/2017 T1 (Heinze)          21:42:26 -01:36.0  14.2
    29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1  22:32:15 -05:57.0  15.8    Outbursts! c. 11m
    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 observing 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. This year, another asteroid will have an interesting show: Asteroid (1981) Midas will come close to Earth just at this time, see e.g. It will become brightest (12.4m) on March 19 and approach Earth closest March 21 (13.46 million km, 0.090 AU). 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 18, 2018
    (1) Ceres    08:41:51 +31:51.3  7.7
    (2) Pallas   03:53:27 -10:42.9  9.1
    (3) Juno     22:42:23 -05:15.1 10.3
    (4) Vesta    17:40:43 -17:28.1  7.2
    (1981) Midas 09:56    +50      12.5  moving fast, coming close

    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 < 2019 | 2017 >

    Hartmut Frommert
    Christine Kronberg

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

    Last Modification: March 18, 2018