Please submit any scheduled Messier Marathon 2013 Events!
Messier Marathoners: Send me your results! (2013 or earlier)
  • 2013 Messier Marathon Results

    Messier Marathon 2013

    In the year 2013, New Moon will occur on March 11, and thus provide a good primary opportunity for a Messier Marathon on the weekend of March 09/10, and a secondary option the weekend after, on March 16/17, 2013. On this considerably early date, it will by impossible or at least extremely challenging from most locations to hunt down all Messier Objects in one night. According to Tom Polakis' investigation, a full score of 110 Messier Objects should be possible only for locations between 9 and 24 deg Northern latitude on March 9/10, and between 8 and 31 deg Northern latitude on March 16/17. Most difficult object will be M30 in the morning. The southern limit comes from difficulty to see M52 above horizon from these latitudes.

    Messier Marathon Events 2013

    Again, we plan to announce all scheduled 2013 Messier Marathon Events here. Please submit any scheduled events for announce here.

    If you have undertaken, or participated in, a Messier Marathon, 2013 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, Neptune, Mars, and Venus impossible 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 southern hemisphere, and the Fachgruppe Kometen list):

    Comet                       RA  (2000.0)  Dec  mag     RA  (2000.0)  Dec  mag
                                    March 10, 2013             March 17, 2013
    C/2011 L4 PANSTARRS         00:21:57 -05:32.9   0.5    00:34:42 +11:41.5   1.5  !! Observe after sunset
    C/2012 L2 LINEAR            03:06:15 +31:20.0  13.8    03;22;05 +28:09.0  13.7
    C/2009 P1 Garradd           08:24:40 -09:46.6  14.5    08:19:59 -09:24.1  14.6
    29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1  14:09:48 -24:05.9  15.7    14:07:59 -24:07.6  15.6  Outbursts! c. 11m
    C/2006 S3 LONEOS            15:12:18 -16:58.9  13.1    15:06:05 -16:44.3  13.1
    C/2011 R1 McNaught          15:56:33 -15:35.4  12.4    15:47:52 -12:31.4  12.4
    273P/Pons-Gambart           17:25:49 +33:39.1  14.0    16:56:03 +40:36.7  14.2 
    C/2012 T5 Bressi            21:22:51 +01:11.4  10.1    21:30:08 +13:01.9  11.4
    C/2012 F6 Lemmon            00:05:41 -39:45.6   9.5    00:07:12 -32:06.8   9.4
    C/2011 F1 LINEAR            21:50:29 -41:50.3  10.0    22:15:30 -42:24.2  10.1
    For the record: Southerners with very large instruments may still try to spot now-faint (mag 21.0) old friend C/1995 O1 Hale-Bopp at RA 00:34:06, Dec -84:05.0!

    This year 2013, comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) is expected to deliver a gorgeous show just in time for the Messier Marathon, i.e. March 2013, at expected brightness of 1st magnitude or brighter, peeking at March 10! However, it will be close to the Sun at only about 15 deg elongation, so visible just after sunset - what a start for a Messier Marathon!

    Note that occasionally comets become bright shortly (like Hyakutake in 1996, 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, and SN 2012aw in M95, in their years of appearance).

    This year, of the "first" four minor planets, (2) Pallas will be close to the Sun and probably impossible to observe, (3) Juno will be a late-rising morning object, while (1) Ceres and (4) Vesta can be easily seen in the evening. 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, 2013             March 17, 2013
    (1) Ceres    05:29:07 +28:18.8  8.4    05:36:00 +28:29.5  8.5
    (2) Pallas   01:44:24 -09:10.4  9.6    01:55:36 -08:21.4  9.5
    (3) Juno     19:55:04 -10:28.2 11.2    20:03:53 -09:53.8 11.1
    (4) Vesta    04:56:32 +21:53.0  8.0    05:04:09 +22:17.9  8.1

    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 < 2014 | 2012 >

    Hartmut Frommert
    Christine Kronberg

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    Last Modification: November 28, 2013