Please submit any scheduled Messier Marathon 2021 Events!
Messier Marathoners: Send me your results! (2021 or earlier)
  • 2021 Messier Marathon Results

    Messier Marathon 2021

    In the year 2021. New Moon will occur on March 13, 2020, which is just a Saturday, and thus a weekend. So this will be the primary weekend March 13/14, with a secondary on the consequent one, March 20/21. For attempting a full score of 110, a considerably low northern latitude should be desired: According to Tom Polakis' investigation, on the first primary occasion (March 13/14), a full score of 110 Messier Objects should be possible between 9 deg and 28 deg Northern Latitude, with most difficult or mostly impossible M30 in the morning, and M52 causing the southern limit. On the secondary weekend (March 20/21), it should be possible between 6 deg and 34 deg N, again most difficult M30, and the southern limit now caused by M110.

    Messier Marathon Events 2021

    Please note that due to the ongoing Covid19 pandemic, we kindly ask and urge everybody to observe all necessary precautions, take care about your and everybody's health, and avoid mass gatherings, if ever undertaking a Messier Marathon session this spring. Stay safe and at health!

    Again, we plan to announce all scheduled 2019 Messier Marathon Events here.

    Note: With regret, many envisiged events for the 2021 Messier Marathon have not been scheduled or have been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

    Please submit any scheduled events for announce here.

    If you have undertaken, or participated in, a Messier Marathon, 2021 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. This year, a number of them will be very close to their conjunctions: Venus and Neptune are unobservable because of their conjunctions this month, Uranus is difficult in the evening, Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn may be shortly observable in the morning, so that only Mars and Pluto remain for comfortable observing.

    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 14, 2021              March 21, 2021
    
    C/2019 L3 (ATLAS)            01 48 20.0 +51 33 00 14.4  02 00 25.8 +51 21 41 14.4 
    29P/Schwassmann- Wachmann 1  02 41 28.2 +24 30 31 15.7  02 46 23.3 +24 44 00 15.7  outbursts ~11m
    C/2021 A2 (NEOWISE)          05 04 19.7 +43 19 08 16.1  05 00 09.1 +45 52 22 16.5  mag 14?
    C/2020 T2 (Palomar)          14 07 34.9 +32 42 49 16.9  14 07 08.8 +33 27 44 16.7  mag 13?
    C/2017 K2 (PanSTARRS)        18 26 22.7 +37 50 27 14.1  18 27 30.8 +38 25 46 14.0 
    C/2020 R4 (ATLAS)            20 26 22.1 -08 48 18 14.5  20 15 51.6 -06 38 09 14.3  mag 8?
    246P/NEAT                    18 39 02.7 -23 19 39 17.4  18 47 52.0 -23 37 29 17.4  mag 14?
    
    Observers in the southern hemispher may also turn to these two comets:
     
    C/2019 N1 (ATLAS)            03 05 49.9 -79 26 55 12.4  03 23 34.0 -75 04 49 12.6
    C/2019 F1 (ATLAS- Africano)  18 28 41.7 -62 09 25 14.0  18 43 25.9 -63 50 49 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 faint (3) Juno (morning) and (4) Vesta (evening) will be in favorable observing situation. (1) Ceres and (2) Pallas will be close to the Sun and thus impossible at elongations of only about 15 and 27 deg from the Sun, 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 14, 2021              March 21, 2021
     
    (1) Ceres              00 40 14.4 -03 43 07  9.2   00 50 08.4 -02 32 01  9.2  - El 16/12
    (2) Pallas             21 54 45.1 +02 26 59 10.5   22 03 17.6 +02 58 17 10.5  - El 26/29
    (3) Juno               17 26 39.0 -09 57 48 11.3   17 30 14.8 -09 30 20 11.2
    (4) Vesta              11 09 46.5 +17 15 5   6.3   11 03 29.1 +17 56 19  6.4
    
    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!

    Please send me any results of your Messier Marathon for inclusion in our Messier Marathon Results page!


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    Hartmut Frommert
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    Last Modification: March 21, 2021