University Lowbrow Astronomers

Messier Marathon.

by Mark S Deprest
Printed in Reflections: February, 2010.

Yes, its that time again... for some its an annual rite of spring, for others it’s a test of star-hopping skills and for the rest of us it’s a chance to lose a night’s sleep freezing our hoo-ha’s off while frenetically searching for faint fuzzies. So what is a Messier Marathon? Its an attempt to observe all 110 Messier deep-sky objects in 1 night. Theoretically it is possible to accomplish this feat, however from our latitude, under the absolute best conditions you should be able to log better than 100 of these deep-sky beauties during a 1 night (dusk to dawn) observing session in mid-March. Now, there is bit of a catch to this whole Marathon thing... you need to observe the Messier objects in a particular order and there are a few variations to the “Correct Order” but from the most part they all get the same results. Below is a list I made using a Freeware program that I will demonstrate at next month’s meeting. There are many website that contain lots of info on Messier Marathon and one of my favorites is Richard Bell’s at: http://www.richardbell.net/marathon.html

OrderObjectTypeOrderObjectTypeOrderObjectTypeOrderObjectType
1M74GALAXY30M96GALAXY59M89GALAXY88M19GLOB CLUSTER
2M77GALAXY31M103OPEN CLUSTER60M58GALAXY89M17NEBULA
3M79GALAXY32M81GALAXY61M59GALAXY90M18OPEN CLUSTER
4M32GALAXY33M82GALAXY62M3GLOB CLUSTER91M24STAR CLOUD
5M31GALAXY34M105GALAXY63M49GALAXY92M21OPEN CLUSTER
6M110GALAXY35M108GALAXY64M60GALAXY93M20NEBULA
7M33GALAXY36M97PL NEBULA65M61GALAXY94M25OPEN CLUSTER
8M41OPEN CLUSTER37M65GALAXY66M53GLOB CLUSTER95M8NEBULA
9M42NEBULA38M66GALAXY67M104GALAXY96M62GLOB CLUSTER
10M43NEBULA39M109GALAXY68M13GLOB CLUSTER97M28GLOB CLUSTER
11M45OPEN CLUSTER40M98GALAXY69M92GLOB CLUSTER98M22GLOB CLUSTER
12M76PL NEBULA41M99GALAXY70M5GLOB CLUSTER99M15GLOB CLUSTER
13M34OPEN CLUSTER42M106GALAXY71M57PL NEBULA100M75GLOB CLUSTER
14M93OPEN CLUSTER43M40DBL STAR72M12GLOB CLUSTER101M73ASTERISM
15M78NEBULA44M100GALAXY73M10GLOB CLUSTER102M72GLOB CLUSTER
16M50OPEN CLUSTER45M84GALAXY74M56GLOB CLUSTER103M70GLOB CLUSTER
17M47OPEN CLUSTER46M85GALAXY75M107GLOB CLUSTER104M69GLOB CLUSTER
18M46OPEN CLUSTER47M86GALAXY76M14GLOB CLUSTER105M55GLOB CLUSTER
19M1SN REMNANT48M88GALAXY77M29OPEN CLUSTER106M54GLOB CLUSTER
20M35OPEN CLUSTER49M94GALAXY78M39OPEN CLUSTER107M30GLOB CLUSTER
21M36OPEN CLUSTER50M64GALAXY79M80GLOB CLUSTER108M7OPEN CLUSTER
22M38OPEN CLUSTER51M63GALAXY80M27PL NEBULA109M6OPEN CLUSTER
23M48OPEN CLUSTER52M51GALAXY81M71GLOB CLUSTER110M2GLOB CLUSTER
24M37OPEN CLUSTER53M101GALAXY82M9GLOB CLUSTER
25M67OPEN CLUSTER54M102GALAXY83M4GLOB CLUSTER
26M44OPEN CLUSTER55M52OPEN CLUSTER84M11OPEN CLUSTER
27M68GLOB CLUSTER56M91GALAXY85M16NEBULA
28M83GALAXY57M87GALAXY86M26OPEN CLUSTER
29M95GALAXY58M90GALAXY87M23OPEN CLUSTER

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This page originally appeared in Reflections of the University Lowbrow Astronomers (the club newsletter).
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