Messier Marathon 2000
In 2000, Full Moon will occur on March 20, 2000, and thus make the best
Messier Marathon time unavailable. On the other hand, this will provide
two nice opportunities to observe most of the
110 Messier objects, around New Moons on
March 6.2 and April 4.8, respectively, so that observers will have a
primary weekend on April 1 and a secondary on March 11; it is recommended
to try the timely first, secondary opportunity also.
This year, there will be a considerably good chance to combine the Messier
marathon with an all-planet marathon, i.e. you can observe all
solar-system planets during this night, on both dates.
As for the time of this writing, the only comets which will become brighter
than mag 14.0 at least for one of the two possible Messier Marathon weekends
are listed below, based on the JPL
List of Currently Visible Comets.
Famous Hale-Bopp will still be the brightest during the second opportunity,
but only be visible from considerably southern latitudes, of course. C/1999 S4
(LINEAR) will be an evening twilight challenge for the first date and invisible
at the second, while C/1999 T1 (McNaught-Hartley) will be an evening twilight
challenge at both dates but for southern observers only. So we are left with
only one mag 13.5 comet which is easy to find: C/1999 H3 (LINEAR), but stay
tuned for possible new discoveries.
Comet RA (2000.0) Dec mag RA (2000.0) Dec mag
March 12, 2000 April 1, 2000
meteors from various showers may occur, and depending on your
location, you may be able to observe the
International Space Station, ISS
or - perhaps a last time - the
Russian Space Station Mir.
C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp) 04:32.9 -73:06 13.4 04:40.3 -71:37 13.5
C/1999 H3 (LINEAR) 12:53.3 +42:19 13.5 12:04.6 +42:18 13.7
C/1999 S4 (LINEAR) 01:32.5 +25:45 13.2 -
C/1999 T1 (McNaught-Hartley) 01:44.2 -34:22 14.1 02:05.8 -32:49 13.8
Messier Marathon Events 2000
The following Messier Marathon Events have been announced:
Please email me any further scheduled
Messier Marathon 2000 events for announce here.
- The All Arizona Messier Marathon 2000
is scheduled for the night of April 1-2, 2000 at the Arizona City Site
Note the report on the Arizona Messier Marathons in the March issue of
The Atlantic Monthly
- The observers of observatorium Beisbroek in Brugge (Belgium) have a
Messier Marathon on the 11th of March 2000 in Oedelem a small village in
Belgium. - Emmanuel Fabel, TW Oostende, Belgium
- The Western Colorado Astronomy Club is holding 2 messier marathons, one
March 4 and one in early April [April 1] - Steve Renner, Grand Junction, CO
- East Coast Star Party/Messier Marathon March 3 & 4:
Anyone interested in attending March 3 and 4 please
email Kent Blackwell. The starparty will
be at Hampton Lodge Campground in Coinjock, NC near the NC/VA border, 1
hour south of Norfolk/Virginia Beach area. It's a small starparty, but we
already know we'll have at least one 25", a 20" Obsession and an
18" Obsession, some nice refractors, and some smaller apertures. If you
live near this area it's a fun starparty.
- The Shoreline Amateur Astronomical Association of Holland, Michigan is
holding a messier marathon, one on March 3/4 or one in early April [April
1] - depending on weather. Interested astronomers contact Robert Wade
- The Kalamazoo (Michigan) Astronomical Society will hold its 2000 Messier
Marathon Friday, March 31, at a private location. Email
if interested in attending. If cloudy, we will try again on April 1. Last
year was our most successful marathon in about eight attempts; we'll try to
better our record this year.
- The Astronomical Society of the Palm
Beaches, Inc. members are having their first ever out-of-town,
multi-club observing event. It will be on the weekend of 3/31/ through
4/2/2000 under some of the darkest skies in the state, northwest of Lake
Okeechobee, Florida, at 9 Mile Grade
Campground, Highlands County, FL. The weather in central Florida at
this time of year provides low temperature averages in the sixties and has
a pretty good chance of very transparent conditions, being in the "dry
season" at this time of year.
Contact Kye Ewing.
- Ivan Jaen-Perigault will attempt a Messier Marathon from the province of
Chiriqui in the west side of the Republic of Panama at about 9 deg North
latitude, in or near the weekend March 4-8, 2000. The sky during the first
quarter of the year is almost clear of clouds because of the "dry
season" here and temperature is 19 to 20 centigrade. He assumes that this
will be a sole effort as he doesn't have other candidates willingly to
travel 300 miles from Panama City, particularly during the local Carnival
season. I urge everybody who can to falsify this assumption, and contact
Ivan at firstname.lastname@example.org!
- The Austin,Tx Astronomical Society is sponsoring a Messier Marathon
within the Central Texas Star Party (CTSP) on the weekend of March 31 to
April 1, 2000. This event will take place at their new Eagle Eye
Observatory at the Canyon of the Eagles nature park close to
Look at their announce for more detail or
email Jack Estes.
- After a first successful Messier Marathon attempt on March 3/4,
amateurs at the Florida Institute of Technology Astronomy/Astrophysics
department plan a second Messier Marathon 2000 event on April 1 at the
Bull Creek observatory site in Central Florida. Contact
- S*T*A*R Astronomy (Monmouth County, New Jersey) is hosting a club Messier
Marathon on Saturday, March 11th. The marathon will be at Coyle Field in the
Pine Barrens. An escorted "newcomers caravan" will leave from the Colts
Neck Firehouse #2 at about 6:30 p.m. on March 11th. Please contact Steve
for more information, and visit
their club website.
- The Rose-City Astronomers
will be holding a Messier Marathon 7 miles away from the Kah-Nee-Ta resort,
on March 31st-April 2nd. (Thanks to Stephanie Cox for reporting)
- Emmanuel Thienpont and Koen Van Cauwenberghe will leave the
rainy Belgium for 14 days and go to the Sierra Nevada in the south of Spain.
They will go by car and take one telescope with us - a C11 on a Losmandy mount.
They will try the marathon for the first time.
- The North Alabama Astronomy Group (NAAG) plans to hold a marathon
April 1 at the house of Wayne White near Moulton, Alabama. They expect to
have 12 or 13 participants with scopes and several other just looking.
Contact Wayne White
- The Agrupacion Astronomica "Magallanes" organize a 2000 Messier
Marathon in Jrez de la Frontera (Spain) the 1-2 April. Contact
Alberto Romero Vera
- The Israeli Astronomical Assocation is organizing 2 Messier marathons -
one on the night of the 30th and one on the night of the 31st of March.
Meeting place - Latrun gas Station, next to Andartat Hashirion. Israeli
people will know where this is. Please bring telescopes and other equipment.
Contact: Asaf Shtull-Trauring
If you have undertaken, or participated in, a Messier Marathon, 2000 or earlier,
if not already done so, please email me
your or your group's results, or the link to your results page, for inclusion in
our Messier Marathon Results page!
Sky Publishing's Messier Marathon Contest.
Last Modification: 6 Apr 2000, 8:20 MET