Presentation on theme: "The Fall Messier Marathon Guide"— Presentation transcript:
1The Fall Messier Marathon Guide Please feel free to modify this presentation to your needs. -EdEd Ting, NHAS, CMP Oct 17th 2008
2Messier MarathonAn informal competition to locate the most Messier objects by a single observer during a dusk-to-dawn Marathon.
3How Many Can You Expect To See? March:June: 90-95October:From Harvard Pennington’s book
4From Southern NH Daylight lasts approx 11 hours and 30 minutes Everything is “shifted” by 6 hours compared to a conventional March MMStats are for 42 degrees north (NH)
5What Doesn’t Change You still have to stay up all night long The average time to find each object goes up – about 7 minutes, 25 seconds per objectThe busiest times are the beginning and the end, with a lull in the middle
6Your New Problem Objects Are… M4 and M80 are right on the western horizonM104, M68, and M83 are lost in the morning sun
7M3 M3 is also a problem (18 deg above horizon at 6 PM) M3 is bright enough that it may overcome this problem from your location.
8What Does Change M30, M72, and M73 are no longer difficult Scorpio is now the early problemMarch – The Sun is in CapricornOctober – The Sun is in Virgo
9One Big ChangeThe Virgo Cluster must be tackled while the sun is risingThus, the VC is now a Bonus ObjectM64, M53, M61, etc become problems alsoI am not sure you can get the Virgo Cluster. It will depend largely on when you hold your fall MM. The later the better. The clearer your eastern horizons, the better.
10For Experienced Observers You have to readjust your thinkingBeginners have the upper hand here!
11Your New Goal 91 Objects 5 Objects are not visible The Virgo Cluster galaxies (14 objects) become “Bonus Objects.”
12The Sky at 6:00 PMNote Scorpio setting in the west. The handle of the Big Dipper is going to start heading for the horizon too.
21The Virgo ClusterThe bad news – You have to find 14 dim objects (15% of the total MM)The VC is rising in the east, along with the sun!These are all Bonus ObjectsI am not sure you can get the VC objects from your location. The later you hold the MM, the better.
22The Virgo ClusterAll of the objects discussed ahead will fit in the rectangular box, above. It is about the size of your outstretched hand held at arm’s length.
23Work From Left To RightThis is a closeup of the rectangular box from the previous slide. Start from the left and work your way right. Thus, M60 is first, then M59, then M58, etc. End at M84/M86.
24From SkymapHere’s an actual plot from Skymap with more background stars. Can you still find all of the Messier objects? If so, move on to the next slide!
25This one is harder. Locate M60 and work your way right, as before.
26You’re Done! How did you do? Don’t forget to report your results to the club for the newsletter.If you followed the “Goals” you should have 91 objects (82%)
27Tips & Tricks (p. 1 of 2) Use a scope with a short focal length Consider using an alt-az scopeBring a pair of binocularsHave a method for dealing with dewEat light snacks throughout the eveningOnce in a particular area, stay there until you get all the objects thereI never wind up following all this advice, but I put it out there…
28Tips and Tricks (p. 2 of 2) Work West to East, South to North Work from a listBring a chairDon’t forget to have fun!