Please submit any scheduled
Messier Marathon 2004 Events!
Messier Marathoners: Send me your
results! (2004 or earlier)
2004 Messier Marathon Results
Messier Marathon 2004
The year 2004 will offer a good opportunity to run the Messier Marathon on
the weekend of March 20-21, 2004, with a reasonable chance to observe
all 110 Messier objects; new moon
happens to occur during this night, March 21.0.
On this occasion, it will be possible to combine an all-planet marathon
with the Messier event, although Neptune will be difficult, and Uranus not
This is one of the last years for a long time that we can get all 110
Messier Objects AND all 9 planets in one night. Uranus will disappear
in coming years for about 15 years, then Neptune will be behind the sun
during Messier Marathon time until about 2045. By then Pluto will be in
the twilight until about 2105, when it will be visible near M77.
Some comets brighter than about mag 14.0 may be visible; we list them below,
based on the JPL
List of Currently Visible Comets
IAU's Observable Comets page,
Gary Kronk's list of current comets and the
Fachgruppe Kometen list):
Comet RA (2000.0) Dec mag
March 21, 2004
Note that all these comets are very close to the Sun and not well observable
at Messier Marathon time this year, unless you are on the southern hemisphere
where C/2001 Q4 (NEAT) can be observed both in the evening and the morning.
29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 23:30.42 +02:28.9 15.7 (has outbursts)
C/2003 T3 (Tabur) 23:42.34 +05:44.2 9.0
C/2002 T7 (LINEAR) 00:00.61 +10:17.0 5.1
C/2001 Q4 (NEAT) 00:18.82 -65:30.6 5.5
C/2001 HT50 (LINEAR-NEAT) 00:44.47 +11:00.9 13.7
The list is RA ordered and thus in the sequence the comets might be observed
from evening through midnight to morning.
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.
meteors from various showers may occur, and depending on your
location, you may be able to observe the
International Space Station, ISS.
Messier Marathon Events 2004
Again, we plan to announce all scheduled 2004 Messier Marathon Events
here. The following events have been announced:
Winston-Salem Astronomical League has scheduled its Second
Annual Messier Marathon for the weekend of 19-21 March 2004 at the
Wake Forest University Lodge, a private facility on the Blue Ridge
Parkway near Fancy Gap, Virginia at 3,000 feet elevation.
For more information, visit
http://www.wsal.org/ or contact
Robert Bruce Thompson (thompson at wsal dot org).
- R.B. Thompson
The Sirius Lookers, Sedona Astronomy Club are planning a
Messier Marathon again this year at our Two Trees public site. It's
between Sedona and Cottonwood Arizona just off Highway 89A in
Coconino National Forest.
See their website for
maps and directions to Two Trees.
- Tom Walczak
- The 2004 All Arizona Messier Marathon,
sponsored for the 11th time by the
Saguaro Astronomy Club, will be held on March 20/21, 2004 at the
site south of Arizona City.
Also see their
- A.J. Crayon
- The San Jose Astronomical
Association (SJAA) Messier Marathon 2004 will be at Henry Coe
State Park. It will be held in the night of March 20/21. Henry Coe is
about 45 minutes south of San Jose, CA.
See this webpage for
- Bob Havner
- Jyotirvidya Parisanstha, Pune
(India's Oldest Amature Astronomers'
Association; also known as JVP by the amateur astronomers in India)
has scheduled its Annual Messier Marathon for the weekend of 20/21 March
2004 at the Tamhini, 65 km from Pune city. For more information contact
Sagar Gokhale (gosagar at yahoo.com)
- The Astronomical Society of Las
Cruces (New Mexico) will be conducting a Messier Marathon on
March 20-21 at its 'Upham' dark sky site (approximately 30 miles north
of Las Cruces).
- Rich Richins
- The Bear Valley Astronomical Society is pleased to offer a
Messier Marathon 2004. This will be held tentatively at Camp Oakes near
Big Bear, Calif. An orientation presentation will be held at the March
meeting. Our meetings are always held on the second Tuesday of the
month. Call toll free: 1 866 482 7827 or locally 909 878 4496 ask for
Doreen, e-mail: info at stargazersinn.com
- The TUVA Astronomy Club
announces that the 2004 Messier Marathon will take place on March 20 at
the club site in Council Hill, Oklahoma, owned by Ron and Maura Woods.
More info can be found on their
- David Stine
- The Oklahoma City Astronomy
Club will be venturing out to the
Selman Living Laboratory
in northwest Oklahoma on the afternoon of March 20th.
The remote location promises a truly dark sky and a nice flat horizon line.
Male and female bunkhouses/warm up facilities will be available. The club
plans to work until Sun rise and sleep in the bunkhouses until noon before
we head home. This promises to be a truly memorable night!
They will also be having their regular club meeting on Friday March 12th
at the Omni-Plex at 7PM where the
main presentation will be 'Best Practices for doing a Messier Marathon'.
- Jeff Tibb <JeffTibb at yahoo.com>
- The San Francisco Amateur
Astronomers are planning a Messier Marathon the night of March 20/21
at Lake Sonoma Recreation Area, about 90 minutes north of San Francisco.
this webpage for details.
- Michael Portuesi
- Sorin Hotea and
Mihai Sarb will try a Messier Marathon from a site in northern
Romania with their two 150-mm self-made Dobson telescopes, on March 20-21.
Interested parties are invited to join. More info on
or by email.
- Sorin Hotea (djsoso at go.ro, or sorin at astroclubul.org)
Please contact me any scheduled events
for announce here.
- The Ozarks Amateur Astronomers Club is going to be hosting a Messier
Marathon event near Springfield Missouri on March 20th. The club is
composed mainly of students at Southwest Missouri State University with a
few members from the community. The event will take place at the school's
Baker Observatory. To help us in the marathon we will be using roughly 8
8" Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes along with an 8" Dobsonian, 10" Dobsonian,
14" Schmidt-Cassegrain, and a 16" Cassegrain reflecting telescope (with CCD
attached camera) on loan to SMSU from Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory
- Jon Voisey (Secretary/Tresurer for the OAAC)
- The Astronomy Club, Ahmedabad will
be carrying out the annual Messier Marathon as usual this year. It is
scheduled for the nights of 20th and 21st March on the Ahmedabad Gandhinagar
Highway near the Science City, Ahmedabad.
- Manoj Pai (Astronomy Club, T-15 Sunrise Park Tenements, PO Bodakdev,
Ahmedabad 380 054, INDIA)
- The Lipan Astronomy and Space
Society (LASS) will be hosting a Messier Marathon at the clubs
observing site at 1180 Addison Rd. Lipan, Tx on Mar 19th. This is the first
ever Messier Marathon for this newly formed astro club. Events begin at
6 PM and last until the most hardy decides to go home. Certificates will be
awarded for various levels of participation and achievement.
Oceanside Photo and Telescope Astronomy Society will be holding a
Messier Marathon at Little Blair Valley, in the Anza-Borrego Desert State
Park (in San Diego County, California) on March 20-21.
- T. Wesley Erickson
- For the first time, members of the Hilo Astronomy Club (Hawaii) will
attempt the Messier Marathon from the 9,400 ft level of Mauna Kea. The picnic
area above the Hale Pohaku mid-level facility will be used because of its
excellent western and eastern horizons. The Hilo Astronomy Club and the
University of Hawaii at Hilo Astronomy Club will combine efforts the weekend
of March 19-21.
- Dave Brennen, President
- Don Machholz, Colfax, CA will be doing the Messier Marathon, weather
permitting, from southern California, driving down on Wednesday, March 24 and
coming back two days later. I plan to set up off of Red Cloud Mine Rd, off
the south side of Hwy 10, 1.2 miles from the Hwy. Others are welcome to join
If you have undertaken, or participated in, a Messier Marathon, 2004 or
earlier, if not already done so, please
contact me your or your group's results, or the link to your results page,
for inclusion in our Messier Marathon Results page!
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Last Modification: December 19, 2004