Please submit any scheduled Messier Marathon 2024 Events!
Messier Marathoners: Send me your results! (2024 or earlier)
  • 2024 Messier Marathon Results

    Messier Marathon 2024

    This year 2023, New Moon will occur on Sunday, March 10, 2024, early in the range of Messier Marathon dates, and the consequent one on Monday, April 8, late in this range of time. For the Messier Marathon, these date suggests a primary weekend on March 9/10, and a secondary one on the weekend of April 6/7. (see the Messier Marathon Dates). According to Tom Polakis' investigation, on the first occasion, attampting a full score of 110 could be possible between 9 deg and 24 deg Northern Latitude, while on the second occasion, it will be impossible. In the primary occasion, the northern limit comes from M30, the most difficult morning object, while the southern limit is due to M52.

    Messier Marathon Events 2024

    Again, we plan to announce all scheduled 2024 Messier Marathon Events here. Please submit any scheduled events for announce here.

    If you have undertaken. Or participated in, a Messier Marathon, 2023 or earlier, if not already done so, pleae 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. This year, many of them will be very close to their conjunctions and difficult or impossible: On primary date in March, Saturn and Neptune will be impossible and Mars difficult, on the secondaty April date, Mercury will be gone and Neptume still impossible, while bright Venus, Mars and Uranus will be difficult.

    Some comets brighter than about mag 14.0 will be visible; we will list them below from various sources (e.g., Skyhound's Comet Chasing page, 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 10, 2024             April 7, 2024
    12P/Pons-Brooks               00 24 18.4 +33 15 50   6.7  06 06 56.0 +24 40 53   4.8  El. 40/25
    13P/Olbers                    03 13 08.9 +07 22 30  11.3  03 50 38.3 +17 36 47  10.3
    C/2017 K2 (PanSTARRS)         05 06 22.9 +06 59 46  12.2  05 13 01.8 +10 04 58  12.7
    144P/Kushida                  06 01 55.3 +17 37 14  11.8  07 26 30.4 +16 39 51  13.1
    207P/NEAT 4                   07 00 05.5 -09 33 22  13.2  10 11 23.5 +03 08 32  15.5
    C/2022 E2 (ATLAS)             07 20 41.3 +27 29 04  13.8  06 56 07.2 +30 39 26  13.9
    C/2019 U5 (PanSTARRS)         07 56 00.0 -43 04 39  14.4  07 28 51.3 -38 34 51  14.7
    29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann      08 05 48.1 +21 28 27  15.6  08 04 25.6 +21 09 17  15.8  outbursts ~11m
    62P/Tsuchinshan               12 29 23.1 +10 23 43  11.5  12 07 38.1 +09 19 11  13.4
    C/2022 L2 (ATLAS)             14 22 55.2 -35 06 31  12.3  12 24 20.1 -38 49 51  12.1
    C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) 14 59 53.4 -06 52 45  12.6  14 21 22.5 -04 16 19  11.5
    C/2021 S3 (PanSTARRS)         18 35 17.2 +02 19 28   7.4  19 40 31.0 +26 41 54   8.0	
    
    This year, of particular interest is the expected apparition of periodic comet 12P/Pons-Brooks - this comet is of Halley type with an orbital period of about 71 years, and will pass its perihelion on April 21; it will be in Andromeda on primary date and in Aries on secondary occasion, and considerably bright. Also considerable will be 13P/Olbers of 69.5 years period, and 144P/Kushida, a short-period Jupiter family comet of about 7.5 years orbital period.

    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, (1) Ceres and (3) Juno will be well observable during the night. (2) Pallas will be an object of the morning, while (4) Vesta can be found 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 10, 2024             April 7, 2024
    (1) Ceres              12 38 21.3 +09 54 21  7.1   10 55 59.3 +19 32 12  7.6
    (2) Pallas             16 41 35.1 +11 11 37  9.3   16 49 48.3 +18 02 50  9.1
    (3) Juno               10 49 45.7 +05 24 12  8.8   10 33 58.9 +09 11 58  9.6
    (4) Vesta              05 36 04.4 +23 51 47  8.1   06 06 56.0 +24 40 53  8.4
    
    Moreover, 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: December 22, 2023