Messier Marathon Observer's Results
Here we plan to list all reported Messier Marathon Observer's Results.
Please notify me if you'd like to have
your results/score/report/link to be added !
(widely based on Don Machholz's report in his
Messier Marathon Observer's Guide, and private communications with
Tom Hoffelder and AJ Crayon)
In 1976, Tom Hoffelder and Tom Reiland of Pittsburgh, PA,
noticed that it would be possible to observe most, if not all Messier
objects in one night around the first day of spring (March 21) each year.
They decided to try it in 1977. That year, both of them did (though Tom
Hoffelder had moved to Akron, OH), and also Ed Flynn of Pittsburgh
did a marathon (which was probably the first ever). Tom Hoffelder notified
Walter Scott Houston of Sky & Telescope who published the
story in March 1979 (when Tom had already moved again to Florida).
Don Machholz states to have realized the possibility even in the late
1960s, but did not begin further investigation until 1978.
Eventually, Gerry Rattley was the first marathoner to log all 110
Messier objects in the night of March 23/24, 1985 from Dugas, Arizona.
- Ed Flynn of Pittsburgh logged 98 Messier objects on March 24-25,
- Tom Hoffelder logged 101 on March 25-26, 1977 from Akron, OH
with a 10-inch f/5.6
- Tom Reiland of Pittsburgh, PA logged 103 on April 11-12, 1977
- Don Machholz logged 107 (all but M74, M110, and M30) on the
weekend of March 23-25, 1979, in San Jose, CA (in a SJAA event)
- Tom Reiland logged 107 (all but M74, M77, and M30) "a few nights
- Don Machholz and Gerry Rattley logged 108 (all but M74 and
M33) on March 30/31, 1979.
- Don Machholz logged 109 Messier objects (all but M30) on March
- Tom Reiland and Ken Wilson of Pittsburgh logged 109 objects
(all but M30) on March 15/16, 1980.
- Don Machholz and Ken Wilson of the SJAA logged 109 (all but
M30) on March 15/16, 1980.
- The Saguaro Astronomy Club (SAC) held their
first Messier Marathon on April 4-5, 1981 in
New River, Arizona. This was the first greater Messier Marathon event
recorded. Paul Maxson observed 108 (missing M74 and M77), Greg
Askins, Wally Brown, Bob Buckner and George Kohl
107 each (missing also M33), and Ron Caciola found 103.
In addition, the SAC held their first Messier Plus
Marathon (75 Ms, 34 NGCs, and
Brocchi's Cluster, Collinder 399) on September 26, 1981 at New River,
Arizona (we have more info on
Messier Plus Marathon).
- Phil Harrington logged 107 Messier
objects on his first Messier Marathon on March 27-28, 1982 from Westport,
CT with an 8-inch reflector, missing M74, M77, and M30.
- The Saguaro Astronomy Club (SAC)'s second
Messier Marathon was held on March 27/28 at Dugas, Arizona, but
clouded out at the end - Wally Brown bagged 103. SAC held their
second Messier Plus Marathon on
September 18, 1982.
- The 1983 Saguaro Astronomy Club (SAC)
Messier Marathon was held on March 12/13 at Dugas, Arizona. Four
observers, namely Wally Brown, Ron Caciola, Ron
Hatcher, and Gerry Rattley got 109, and four more got over
100: Grant Klassen (108), Jim Glass (107), Tom
McGrath (106) and Roland Scharer (102).
- David Levy logged 109 Messier objects (all but M30) on
March 15/16, 1983, as documented in his book,
The Sky: A User's Guide (p. 222-225) with his 40-cm scope.
- Phil Harrington hunted down 103
Messier objects during a Messier Marathon held March 31/April 1, 1984 at
Southold, NY, using a 13.1-inch reflector.
- (drums !) Gerry Rattley logged all 110 Messier objects for the
first time from Dugas, AZ, on March 23/24, 1985, with his 10-inch f/5.7
Newton, during the 1985 Saguaro Astronomy
Club Messier Marathon. Congratulations ! On this event, four
more observers got over 100: Dan Ward (109), Wally Brown and
Paul Lind (108 each) and Shane Fortune.
- Tom Hoffelder and his wife, Lynn Hoffelder, logged 106
objects on March 8-9, 1986 with a 6" f/10 refractor from Palm Beach, FL
(this night, he also observed comet Halley with a 5 deg tail !)
- Tom Hoffelder tried it two times in 1988, from Oklahoma City with
an 8" f/6 telescope, and logged 104 objects on March 12-13, and 109 (all
but M30 which he didn't try) on March 18-19, 1988
- Tim Hunter and Dan Knauss undertook the first-ever
reported Photographic Messier Marathon in the night of
March 19-20, 1988 from their Grasslands Observatory in Southeastern
Arizona. With their 24-inch f/5 Newtonian, an Olympus OM-1 and
hypersensitized Konica SR-V 3200 film they managed to photograph
84 Messier objects (clearly recognizable on the negatives), plus 19 NGC
and IC objects.
See their report!
- Phil Harrington bagged 91 Messier
objects with a 13.1-inch reflector during a marathon on March 19/20, 1988
from Southold, NY. He made it about 2:30 AM, when clouds came through and
obscured the sky for the rest of the night.
- Tom Hoffelder logged 104 objects from Oklahoma City on
March 31/April 1, 1989, with his 8" f/6
- Phil Harrington observed 69 Messier
objects with a 13.1-inch reflector when attempting a Messier Marathon from
Westport, CT on March 23/24, 1990. He suffered from poor showing due to
clouds around midnight and only made it through to about Hercules.
- Phil Harrington had his personally
best Messier Marathon on March 16/17 from Southold, NY. He hunted down 109
Messier objects with his 13.1-inch reflector (all but M30 which was
impossible at his latitude at this time), and verified 101 of them with an
11x80 binoculars before the objective lenses fogged/frosted over.
- A group of German astronomers from the Volkssternwarte Hagen, led by
Dirk Panczyk, undertook a Messier hunt on February 28-29, 1992 from
a location in Sauerland, and bagged 78 Messier objects, losing especially
many of the southern objects around Sagittarius, due to hazy horizon
conditions (a report of this marathon was published in the German
Sterne und Weltraum of January 1993).
- Phil Harrington managed to find 102
Messier objects on the occasion of a marathon hold on April 4/5, 1992 from
Westport, CT. He participated in the Westport Astronomical Society's Messier
Marathon and used their 12.5-inch reflector at Rolnick Observatory,
together with various club members on a rotating basis.
- The 1993 All-Arizona Messier Marathon took
place on March 20, 1993, under less favorable weather conditions. Paul Lind,
in the first place, managed 94 objects with his 8-inch f/4.5 Newton, seven
observers caught 50+.
- In March 1993, a Messier Marathon was held at the
Centro de Observacao Astronomica no Algarve (COAA),
Poio, 8500 Portimao, Portugal, led by British amateur Paul Money,
logging a total of 105.
- Amateurs from Nuremberg, Germany hold a Messier Marathon on March 19-20, 1993
at their Wetterberg observing station and obtained the following results:
Ronald Stoyan (120mm f/8.5 Refractor): 103,
Thomas Jaeger (317mm f/5 Newton/Dobson): 101,
Klaus Veit (200mm f/6 Newton/Dobson; 2 hours late): 98.
- The 1994 All-Arizona Messier Marathon was
hold late for Marathon season: April 9, 1994. Weather conditions were good,
and four observers bagged 107 objects, a total of ten 100+.
- In March 1994, led by Paul Money, a Messier Marathon was hold at the
COAA, Algarve, Portugal;
a total of 99 objects was logged.
..with Great Comet of 1996, Hyakutake..
- The 1995 All-Arizona Messier Marathon
was held lately, in the night of April 1-2, at Arizona City, AZ. Weather was
severely clear, except for one early evening hour. 58 scopes attended, and 26
forms turned in, 30 observers participating (52% participation). There was a
new record of 22 observers with 100+ ! 3 observers scored best, each of them
with 107 hits: Adam Block with Stephanie Garko, and
Paul Lind. They all missed the early evening objects M77, M74, and M33.
On this event, M77 was only seen by Stephen Alden and Janna Scott
(who logged 106), while M74 and M33 were missed by all observers.
Congratulations for these good results !
- Peter Nicholl hunted down about 60 objects on his first attempt, which
ended at 2 am, however, as
reported in his March 1997 observing report
- In March 1995, amateurs led by Paul Money held a Marathon at the
COAA, Algarve, Portugal, and
logged the complete set of 109 objects they had looked for (their list did not
include controverse M102).
..with Great Comet of 1997, Hale-Bopp, and Mars near its best..
- Tony Cecce logged 101 objects on March 15-16 with a 8" F7 Coulter
dobsonian (one of the last of these instuments). He posted his report to the
ASTRO mailing list, so it is here.
- Wesley Stone scored 103 (all but M74, 30, 55, 70, 72, 73, 75); look
1996 Messier Marathon Results
- Shawn Clark hunted down 108
Messier objects (all but M74 and M30) on March 19-20, 1996 in his first
Messier Marathon; congratulations for this high first-time talley !
Read his observing report !
- Phil Harrington has run his second best marathon this year. He picked
off 107 of them (missing M30, M55, and M73) using his 18-inch reflector from
a dark-sky site on eastern Long Island.
- Carl Lancaster of Greenwich, CT, used his 10-inch to find 100 of them
from the same site on eastern Long Island.
- The 1996 All-Arizona Messier Marathon was
hold on March 16-17, involving about 65 telescopes all crewed with observers
in an excellent location 35 miles north of Kitt Peak (but 100 miles to
drive), about half-way between Phoenix and Tucson. 30 observers published
their results, including David Fredericksen of the SAC who hunted
them all down with his 12.5-inch Dobsonian, 4 observers who logged 109 (all
missing M30), and another 13 who logged at least 106, and two more in the
"100 +" (thus a total of 20 observers). Congratulations!
- Dawn Jenkins was less
lucky with the weather this time, but here is her
Messier Marathon Report of March 15-16, 1996, when she, together with
friends, logged 22 Messier objects + one NGC globular, plus observed comet
- Jim Hendrickson
completed his most successful marathon to date on March 16-17, 1996.
He tagged 76 objects with a 70mm Pronto (!). He pretty much skipped the
entire Virgo cluster, and missed a few of the globulars in Sagittarius when
- Chuck Musante of the University of Massachusetts bagged 98 Messier
objects on March 16/17, 1996, from his local group's dark sky site in the
Berkshire's of western Massachusetts (i.e., Arunah Hill). He missed the first
six objects (his scope was in a bad place and couldn't get them through the
trees), and he didn't get the last six (partially for the same reason).
His observing companion, John Davis got 104 by using binoculars to get
the first six. This was his second marathon; his first, in 1995, suffered
from clouds after about 1:00 AM.
Northern Virginia Astronomy Club hold a Messier marathon, and
the members achieved the following results (observing site given in
Bruce Miller (Crockett): 95, Craig Tupper (Savage): 89,
Rich Kaiser (Savage): 88, Jon Stewart-Taylor (Parsells): 39.
Read their Messier Marathon page.
- Tom Hoffelder logged 104 objects on March 16-17, 1996, with his
8" f/6 from San Jose, CA. He also observed 4 comets: two Hyakutake's,
Szczepanski, and Hale-Bopp.
- Peter Nicholl logged 93 Messier objects on March 23-24, 1996, as
reported in his March 1997 observing report
- Out of the run, but notable to see what can be done at any date, not
only at Marathon time in March: At the Winter Star party this year,
Scott Smith ran his
personel "mini marathon", and bagged 56 Messier objects. Also respectable,
taking into account that this was his first "mini thon" !
Supernova 1998S in
NGC 3877 ..
unusually many observers weathered out ..
- The Astronomy Club (TAC)
members held their 1997 TAC Messier Marathon on March 8-9, 1997, at Henry
Coe park in Morgan Hill, California in rare clear weather, which turned
cloudy and windy as sunset approached. Bill Arnett has collected the
reports of the members
of his informal
Ptolemy Supper Club.
- Attendent Akkana Peck
hunted down 102 Messier objects, Centaurus A
(which was christened the Hamburger Galaxy on this event), obtained several
photos and observed brilliant comet Hale-Bopp.
Read her observing report !
- Mark Taylor hunted
97 Messier objects, and saw an additional 12 using his LX200 computer
which are not counted as Marathon score (so he saw the achievable
maximum of 109).
- Rich Neuschaefer scored
105 objects with his A-P 130mm f/8 EDT refractor, missing M74, M72, M73
and M30, and forgot M2. He also observed comet Hale-Bopp.
- Bill Arnett scored zero as he
observed many Messier objects using his LX200 to its fullest; at least,
he had his fun.
- Together with his friend Dean,
Darryl Stanford hold their first Messier Marathon in Santa Rosa.
As Darryl states in his report, he logged 50
while Dean scored 97 Messier objects. They have also observed comet
Hale-Bopp, Mars, and several NGC objects.
- Jay R. Freeman's Messier Observing report
of March 7 and 8, 1997
- Mark Wagner viewed from Henry Coe State Park south of San Jose,
California on the night of March 8. Using a 14.5" f/5.6 dob and a 19mm
Panoptic, Telrad finder, he viewed 104 Messiers.
- The 1997 All Arizona Messier Marathon was held
on March 8-9, 1997, at a dark place near Arizona City.
This was really a good night: 9 observers hunted down the possible
maximum of that night, 109 objects (as M30 was impossible):
The Alber's, Carl Anderson, Steve Bell,
Paul Dickson, Flynn Haase, Bill Peters,
Bernie Sanden, Bruce Walsh, and Charles Whiting.
Five more observers achieved the 100+.
Comet Hale-Bopp gave an extra show as it rised at 3 am.
- Messier Marathon inventor Tom Hoffelder finally managed to hold a
20th anniversary marathon in the night of
April 6-7, 1997, and logged 101 Messier objects, by chance the same number
as in his first marathon 20 years ago.
Northern Virginia Astronomy Club hold their second Messier
marathon this year, and the members achieved the following results
(observing site was Crockett, unless otherwise noted):
Bruce Miller and Craig Tupper: 105 each, Rich Kaiser: 104,
Mike Walker: 102, Jon Stewart-Taylor (Rocky Mount NC): 20.
Read their Messier Marathon page.
- Members of the German "Volkssternwarte Hagen" have held a Messier
Marathon (their 6th since 1992) in Sauerland on March 7-8, 1997.
As the location is not as favorable as others at this about 51 degrees
Northern latitude, the "magical" mark of 100 was again not achieved,
but their results are as follows:
Frank Döpper (280 mm SC): 96, Dirk Panczyk (333 mm Newton): 88,
Johannes Hernsdorf (114 mm Newton): 76.
We continue to hold our Messier Marathon 1998 page
for the record.
We continue to hold our Messier Marathon 1999 page
for the record.
We continue to hold our 2000 Messier Marathon page
for the record.
- Jeff Jenkins and Stephen Horan ran their Messier Marathon
on the night of March 27/28, 1998. They were located north-east of Las
Cruces, NM (approx: 106.7W, 32.6N). The main problem encountered was
Zodiacal light and heavy haze near the horizon due to blowing dust much
of the 26th and 27th. Stephen used a C-11 and star hopping, and finally
bagged 104 Messier objects. Jeff used a Meade 8 and setting circles and
found 108. Stephen missed M74 (sky too bright), M75, M2, M72, M73, and M30,
Jeff missed only M77 and M30 but got the rest by using setting circles.
M 32 and M33 were very difficult due to sky background brightness.
However, during a practice run the week before, the two observers had no
trouble with these objects.
This is the first marathon for both observers. They had tried in 1997
but had been weathered out.
- Robert Davidson did his very first Messier Marathon on March 27/28,
1998 and immediately bagged all 110 Messier objects from the Arizona
City observing site with his 8-inch f/8 telescope in a wonderful session
with the coyotes as his only companions in this great site with room for
well over 100 telescopes.
See Bob's excellent report (based on our form).
Congratulations, Bob !
- Dave Mitsky logged 58 Messier objects
in a weather-limited Messier Marathon session from ASH Naylor Observatory,
Lewisberry, PA on March 28-29, 1998.
- Jay R. Freeman, looking in vain for fellow observers in the San
Francisco Bay area, eventually
logged 40 Messier objects with his Meade 127 ED
refractor from the Henry Coe State Park observing site on March 28, 1998.
- Troy Johnstone bagged 69 Messier objects on
March 29-30, 1998 with his 8-inch Meade Starfinder Dobson from
Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada.
Northern Virginia Astronomy Club Messier Marathon was pretty
successfull, with a number of new "contentants", and with many previous
participants increasing their totals. The 1998 results are available at
and a quick list is:
107 Craig Tupper
104 Barry Wolfe
104 Jonathan Bein
102 Ron Cook
100 Jon Stewart-Taylor
35 John Avellone
35 Ron Mickle
Their original night was clouded out, but the following night was clear.
- Tony George from Umatilla, Oregon and the Tri-City Astronomy Club,
SE Washington run a Messier Marathon from Holdman, OR on March 29, 1998,
and observed 101 Messier objects (logged on our
form !). He also run a second marathon on April 25, 1998 and bagged 91.
- On March 29-30, 1998, amateurs Mark Dunnett, Paul Money,
Stephen and Timothy Tonkin, and Bev Ewen-Smith held a
Marathon at the COAA, Algarve,
bagged the complete set of 109 objects they had looked for (their list
did not include controverse M102), plus a
number of NGC and IC objects. Note Stephen's report.
- Out of competition, Penny Fischer run her
Mini Marathon on March 28 and bagged 18 objects.
- The Messier Marathon 1998 was an event of many unhappy failures. Above all,
the enthusiastically prepared and well-planned
1998 All Arizona Messier Marathon, scheduled for March 28-29,
fell victim to an unexpected rain-out,
according to J.R. Freeman, some of the San Francisco Bay area astronomers
were even hailed (see his report above),
and one of the authors' (HF's) own first attempt to run a Messier Marathon
from Konstanz/Germany on March 31, 1998 was infamously hazed and fogged out
after having bagged only 21 and lost 4 objects in the evening sky.
We continue to hold our 2001 Messier Marathon
page for the record.
- An amateur group with Isaac Silver of the Florida Institute of
Technology Astronomy/Astrophysics group attempted the Marathon on
March 3/4, and succeeded in observing 106 objects at the Bull Creek
observatory site in Central Florida. Clouds prevented two objects at the
beginning of the night, and they were too early in the month for the
last two objects.
- Dave Mitsky ran an Early March Messier Marathon on Friday, March 3rd
from Naylor Observatory near Lewisberry, Pennsylvania. Using a 12.5" f/6.5 Cave
Newtonian and a 17" f/15 classical Cassegrain at 64x to 270x magnification,
he hunted down 79 Messier objects, finally running out of time for various
Here is his observing report of this marathon session.
- Dave Mitsky also participated in a Messier Marathon on
March 31-April 1, 2000 at Cherry Springs State Park, Potter County, PA, USA,
together with four fellow observers (Gary Honis, Dave Barrett,
"Stosh" and Wayne Natitus). He bagged 92 Messier objects with
an 80mm f/5 Orion ShortTube refractor and a 12.5" f/4.8 Starsplitter Compact
Dobnewt in this session, plus a number of NGC and other deepsky objects.
See his report!
- Ron Humphrey of Mitchell, Georgia (USA) did a messier marathon the
night of March 5/6, 2000 from a site near Augusta, Georgia at lat 32.5 N and
long 87.7 W. He got 106 of the 110 possible, missing only M30, M2, M73, and
M75; he was at the position of M75 when morning twilight caught up with him.
M2 and M30 were probably not possible at this early date and at 32.5
north latitude. Ron speculates that M75 might have been possible if he had
started 2 or 3 minutes earlier. He eventually swept over position of M73, but
time didnt permit changing to a higher magnification and refocusing.
Ron used an 8 inch Newtonian f/4.5 on a dob mount.
- Timothy Geoghegan ran a Messier Marathon on 4/5 March 2000 from
Denver, CO (lat 39deg40min) with an 8" Starhopper (no setting circles, no
finderscope, no computers). He got 106 objects, all but Ms 72, 73, 55, and 30.
See his report !
- Ed Kreminski (firstname.lastname@example.org) ran his first Messier Marathon
on the night of March 3-4 from the CAS dark-sky site
(Lat. 39.7 N, Lon. 81.8 W) in Ohio. He used
a Tele Vue-101 apo refractor on an Alt-Az mount and a "red-star" unity finder
to point the scope. Using only star charts and thumbnail prints from the
SEDS site for verification, he managed to observe 103 Messiers on his first
Marathon. The sky was unusually transparent and the only problems were a
wave of cirrus clouds that moved in just as he was starting on the Virgo
region and the poor placement of the last few Messiers in the light of dawn.
The clouds moved off after about an hour and he was able to continue until
dawn. Ed was unable to observe M-55, M-75, M-15, M-2, M-72, M-73 and
- Phillip Hosey and his friends Tom McGowan, Tom Danei,
and Mark Crowler made their first Messier Marathon attempt on March 4
from a dark site in West Georgia. They used Tom's 16" and Phillip's 15"
Dobsonian telescopes with a number of eyepieces, and bagged 106 objects.
See Phillip's report for more detail.
- Len Bradley and Bob Havner ran a Messier Marathon from
Gilroy, CA in the night of April 1st and 2nd, 2000. They saw 98 objects,
missing Ms 74, 77, 31, 32, 110, 33, 76 (early in the evening, due to their
location) and 72, 75, 73, 55, 30 (due to the sunrise, although 72, 75, and 73
were also missed due to location; they were behind a tree!).
This was their first attempt at the marathon and they were very pleased to
have been so successful. The night was quite beautiful and the temperature was
Read more about their session!
- Kevin Bays (email@example.com) saw 106 Messier objects on
4/1-4/2/2000, missing Ms 32, 33, 74, and 110.
- Steven Dodder
and Jim Deck of the Saguaro Astronomy Club completed a Messier Marathon
on April 2, 2000 from Steven's Stone Haven Observatory, in Maricopa, AZ
(Long 112:09 W, Lat 32:55 N).
Steven used his C8 and Jim his 8" Dob. Due to evening clouds, they first missed
M 31, 32, 110, 76, 52, 33 and 103 together with M74 and M77, but then ran
through up to M30. In the second morning chance, Steven caught M31, 32, and 110,
thus bagging 104, while Jim found M52 and M103 for a total of 102 objects.
They also ran a successful all-planet marathon.
See Steven's report!
(or his own
Messier Marathon 2000 results webpage)
- Michael Slaven,
together with friends Alexander Macia, Leah Macia, his
wife Kristina Olson, brother Chip Slaven, and son
Lee Slaven of age 2 did a Messier Marathon on March 31-April 1, 2000
from Cabins, West Virginia (Long 79d 21.59' W, Lat 38d 57.68' N). They used
a Celestron 8, an 80mm f/11 refractor, a 4.5" f/4 reflector, and 12 x 50
binoculars. In this first attempt, Michael managed to find 64 object, with
his co-observers verifying the objects.
See his report!
- Paul Littlecoyote of Big Bear City, CA did his first "solo" Messier
Marathon on April 3-4, 2000 with a 20x80 binoculars.
See his report.
- The Brevard Astronomical Society and the
Kennedy Space Center Amateur Astronomers both held a joint event at
their north site on the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge.
This Messier Marathon was conducted the weekend of 3/31 and 4/1 2000.
got 98 objects, as early morning Fog and some trees to the northwest prevented
him from viewing more.
Missed in the early evening were M74, M77, M31, M32, M33, M110 and M76.
The early morning objects missed were M55, M2, M72, M73 and M30.
Best view M11, M3, M5, and M17. Worst view M40 of course! Time to get through
Virgo Cluster: 35 minutes!
- Bill Ferris
had in mind to run a Messier Marathon on April 1, 2000 from a dark site near
Flagstaff, AZ with his 10" Newtonian. After a rather successful 10x50 binocular
twilight tour of galaxies, M74 escaped detection behind a hill, and made
impossible his desire to go for all 110, so he gave up for this time.
See his report.
- David Green participated in a Messier Marathon on April 1, 2000 at the
L.A. Astronomical Society's Lockwood Valley observing site. Hills on the
western horizon caused the loss of the first evening objects, but then he
succeeded to bag 74 Messier objects until about 2:00 a.m., when he stopped.
See his report!
- Dave Moses of Emyvale, Prince Edward Island, Canada, did his first
Messier Marathon on April 1-2, 2000. Cloudy weather only permitted observing
between 9 pm and midnight, and Dave succeeded to observe 64 Messier objects in
these 3 hours. He also observed conspicuous Northern Lights that night.
See his report.
- Andrew Cooper
of the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association ran a Messier Marathon on April
4-5, 2000 from Empire Ranch near Tucson, AZ with his 6" RFT, and pushed his
old record of 106 to 108 Messier objects, only missing M74 and M33 in the
evening. Read his report!
- The Longmont Astronomical Society (Colorado) held it's 1st Annual
Mighty Messier Marathon on Saturday night, 1 April 2000 at Pawnee National
Grasslands in northeastern Colorado. Jim Sapp has written up and
contributed a report for their newsletter. With
his 12x50 binoculars and a 3.25 inch f/15 refractor he was able to bag
106 M.'s. The only other member of our party to go for the gusto,
Dave Ewing, used an 8 inch f/6 Newtonian to bag 100 even.
- Allen Mayer
participated in the Messier Marathon at the NOVAC club observing site,
Crockett Park, Nokesville (VA); this was his first marathon. He used a
1981 C8 and a Short Tube 80. Under a sky with about 5 mag limiting magnitude
and somewhat hazy conditions, he managed to hunt down 52 Messier objects before
inmoving clouds ended this observing session at about 1 a.m., just after he had
bagged the Virgo Cluster galaxies.
See his report.
- J. Bein ran his Messier Marathon on March 5-6, 2000 (probably)
from the Savage site of NOVAC, and was able to bag 104 Messier objects.
See his report (2000 & 2001).
- Nicolas Biver ran a
Messier Marathon on March 5, 2000 from Dillingham airfield, OAHU, Hawaii,
and found all the 109 objects but M30, all which were possible at this date.
See his timings.
- The Astronomy Club (TAC) held their annual
Messier Marathon on April 1-2, 2000 at Henry Coe state park (near San Jose,
Calif). Some low western horizon evening clouds prevented many to find some
of the evening clouds. It was estimated that at least 50 telescopes took part
in this star party; the number of marathoners was not determined.
The following results were reported:
used a 12.5-inch to find 107 objects, missing only
M77, M74 and M33 in the evening and recovering M32 and M110 on his second
morning chance - this was probably the (or one of the) best results in this
Rich Neuschaefer used an an Astro-Physic
155mm f/7 (155EDFS) APO refractor and found 103 objects, missing M74,
M77, M31, M32, M110, M33, and M30.
- Seven members took part in the Huachuca Astronomy Club (HAC)'s Messier Marathon
on March 3-4, 2000 at Junk Bond Observatory near Sierra Vista, Arizona.
Glenn Sanner and John Cassella achieved a score of 106 Messier objects
(missing M2, M73, M72, and M30), while Dave Healy cheated by using his
computer-slewed Celestron 14 to observe 109, all but M30.
See Dave's report for details.
- Jeff Layfield from North Carolina ran a Messier Marathon with his 10" Meade
LX 50 SCT, and was able to observe 71 Messier objects, using the guide from
Sky & Telescope.
- The All Arizona Messier Marathon 2000 was
held in the night of April 1-2, 2000 at the
Arizona City Site.
Although weather forecast was not too optimistic, 22 people came to attend this
event, and 16 telescopes were set up. Not completely unexpected, nobody could find
M74. Best results were achieved by Paul Davidson (108, missing M33 also),
Paul Lind (107) and Kevin Bays and Matt Spinelli (106 each).
First-time marathoner Mark Stephenson bagged 104 and got place 5.
A.J. Crayon, the coordinator of the Arizona Messier Marathons, has again
contributed a great report and results from this
The first Messier Marathon of the new millennium, 2001 turned out to be a truely
record breaking event!
Please email me your or your group's
Messier Marathon 2001 results for announce here !
Please email me all Messier Marathon
results (2001 or earlier) for inclusion here!
The year 2002 will offer another good opportunity for hunting down all 110
Messier objects, as New Moon occurs on March 14 (weekend March 16-17, 2001),
though M30 might be difficult. For more detail, see our
Messier Marathon 2002 page.
Again, we plan to announce all scheduled events here.
- Jonathan A. Bein undertook a Messier Marathon from NOVAC's Savage
site in the night of March 19-20, 2001. He used a scope with Telrad finder
and binoculars. He got all evening objects, but in the morning about
3:00 am the waning Moon crescent made observing difficult. He ended up
in a personal record, scoring 107 Messier objects and having missed M55,
M75, and M30.
See his report.
On March 22-23, 2001 Jonathan A. Bein, together with
Craig Tupper, undertook another Messier Marathon from a site in the
George Washington National Forest, 38degrees 39.9' W latitude, 79.5 N longitude.
Missing four objects in the evening (M74, 77, 33, ), they ended up with 106
of 110 when they finally bagged M30 after 5:00 a.m.
See Jonathan's report.
On March 26-27, 2001, Craig Tupper and Jonathan Bein endeavoured
a third and final Messier Marathon 2001, this time from the side of Mt. Weather
rd. near Heart Trouble La, and the Savage site of NOVAC. This time, they
bagged up everything but M30, thus scored 109 of 110.
Jonathan again provided a report!
- The Altrincham and District Astronomical Society (Manchester, UK)
attempted their first Messier Marathon on Sunday 18th March, from 53deg
Northern latitude. Paul Clark reports that he succeeded in observing
101 objects, missing M7, 30, 54, 55, 69, 70, 72, 73 and 75.
See his short report, and
read his more comprehensive
- Kirk Alexander and Jack Gelfand of Princeton, New Jersey had
two successful Messier Marathons from Arizona, each of them scoring fully with
110 of 110 objects!
All this happened around the premier Marathon weekend, March 22-25, 2001. The
first night, March 22-23, 2001, they were at the Chiricahua National Monument
near Wilcox, and on Saturday March 24 to Sunday March 25, they participated
in the 2001 All Arizona Messier Marathon near
Kirk has put their observing report
- Kirk Alexander also reports that a small team of people in Princeton, New
Jersey did a Messier Marathon on March 23-24, using the recently rennovated
36" scope and a small 4" scope to locate 108 objects. Given the light
pollution, that was a major accomplishment even for a 36"!
- For the second year in a row, Ed Kreminski ran a Messier Marathon
from the CAS (Columbus Astronomical Society) dark sky site near Zanesville,
Ohio USA. Ed managed to observe 102 Messier objects on the evening of 22-23
March 2001 using only an Alt-Az mounted 4" Apo-refractor and starcharts. This
year's obstacles to getting all 110 Messiers included two stray cows wandering
around the telescope field and clouds that blanketed the sky after 4am.
Misses included the last eight Messiers: M54, M55, M75, M15, M2, M72, M73
Poor weather conditions over central Ohio forced the cancellation
of the CAS Messier Marathon on Saturday, 24 March, 2001.
- March 23-24, 2001: Bill Ferris, being a day early and practising
for the 2001 All Arizona Messier Marathon, from the
Arizona City site, logged all 110 Messier objects alrready during this
"exercising" session. It happened that he also succeeded during the
All Arizona Messier Marathon, thus becoming the first person to run two fully
successful Messier Marathons in two successive nights!
Read his report!
- Dave Mitsky of Harrisburg, PA attempted a Messier Marathon on Friday
March 23 from a dark site in a state forest tract an hour north of Harrisburg.
With his Orion ShortTube 80 and Celestron 20x80 binoculars, he withstood
cold and partly cloudy weather and finally logged about 60 Messier objects
after about 8 hours. Also observed Jupiter, the Double Cluster, Stock 2,
Melotte 111, Collinder 399, Mars, a number of binary stars and saw several
satellites through the eyepiece.
See his report!
- Ken Mallard of North Carolina did his first Messier Marathon on March
23-24, 2001, but "cheated" by using his Meade LX200 w/ computer to find the
objects; he found 102 Messier objects.
See his report.
- The First Yugoslavian Messier Marathon was held at the night of
March 23-24, 2001, at the Letenka youth summer camp, ( Lon: 19 d.41' E, Lat.:
45 d.08' N ) Fruska Gora Hills, 400 meters above sea level, 15 km south-west
from Novi Sad, Yugoslavia. 15 teams of 2, from various Yugoslavian cities,
attempted a promotional competition, but due to bad weather conditions
See Dragan Miladinovic's report.
- The Ohio Valley Astronomical Society had their 2001 Messier Marathon
on March 23-24 from a dark site near Huntington, Ohio. Each of the five
participants provided a personal Messier Marathon report, but you can link
all from the OVAS' Messier Marathon
Dave Tolley (TV-101; 103 objects);
(20" Obsession; 95 objects);
Larry Oyster (C8, 70mm bino; 29);
(10" Cave Reflector; over 20);
Jeff Ball (AP 130 EDT;
photographed M65/66 and M13 - thus 3 objects)
- David Neal Minnick of Lake Elsinore, CA did his first Messier Marathon
on March 23-24, 2001, from the Kofa Wildlife Refuge, AZ, using his C14/G11 (but
no DSC's, no Gemini). He used Harrington's order-of-battle. M74 escaped before
he could identify it, but otherwise, a clean sweep: He succeeded in finding
109 Messier objects (5866 as 102).
- Arto Oksanen and Harri Hyvönen of the
held their first CCD Messier Marathon on March 24/25, 2001 from their location
in Finland, at 62.5N latitude, and could image 82 objects from 83 possible at
See their results on the web.
- Robert Martin undertook his second Messier Marathon (after 1999)
on March 24-25, 2001 from Joshua Tree, CA, with his Meade 10" LX-50. Arriving
late, he missed 6 evening objects (M77, M74, M33, M31, M32, M110) but found
all other 104 Messier objects. Read his report!
- Phil Harrington undertook a Messier
Marathon on March 24/25, 2001, using 10x50 and 16x70 binoculars. The early
evening was lost due to persistent clouds and showers. Sky finally cleared
around 9 PM, so evening rush-hour objects were lost. Phil started his hunt
at the Southold, NY site, but clouds came back around 1 AM. So he returned
home, where it was clear, and continued as best he could from my somewhat
limited backyard. Missed morning rush-hour objects due to poor ESE horizon.
- Russ Pinizzotto
tried a Messier Marathon on 24-25 March 2001 from Maryville, MO, using his
20 x 80 Celestron binoculars on a Virgo mount. He couldn't see M77 at
the start of the evening, but it went very well from there. He found
all of the objects he was searching for until it completely clouded over
at 4:30 am. He missed all of the late objects: M70, M55, M75, M15, M2,
M72, M73 and M30, and ended up seeing 101, so at least was able to break
100. Read his report!
- The Peoria Astronomical
Society conducted its 2001 Messier Marathon on March 24-25, 2001.
After a good start, clouds came up and eventually, snow ended this event
at about 2:30; best results were obtained by Tim Lester (75) and
John Barra (74).
Read John Barra's report, or the PAS'
- Mark Hansen did his first Messier Marathon on March 26, 2001 from the
Greenville, MI area, with a 16" f4 Dobsonian, with 27mm Panoptic and Parracor.
He bagged 101 Messier objects in this attempt.
- Douglas Rudd reports that cloud cover prohibited the 2001 Des
Moines Astronomical Society Messier Marathon scheduled for March 24-25 at
Ashton Observatory near Baxter, Iowa. However, on Monday March 26, sky was
clear and he ran a successful Messier Marathon from Ashton Observatory, Iowa.
With his 114mm f/8 Newtonian and the Observatory's 16" f/4.5 Newtonian, he was
succesful in finding 104 Messier objects, missing only M77, M74 and M33 in the
evening and M55, M2, and M30 in the morning (basically trees).
Read his report!
- The 2001 All Arizona Messier Marathon was
held on March 24-25, 2001, once more at the
Arizona City Site.
This event turned out to be the most successful to date, attended by about 91
folks, 79 scopes, a comparable number of vehicles, coming together from all
the US and even Canada, certainly many from Arizona. The score was a new record:
25 observers found all 110 Messier objects! 20 others also found more
than 100, and 11 more recorded their observations of fewer objects.
A.J. Crayon, the coordinator of the Arizona Messier Marathons, of the
Phoenix based Saguaro Astronomy Club, and first time personally bagging all 110,
has again contributed a great report and the results
from this event; thanks and congratulations to him and all participants!
Notably, after this event, there are now 5 persons who have succeeded twice
with a full 110-score Messier Marathon:
David Fredericksen (after 1996),
Bob Davidson (after 1998),
Kirk Alexander and Jack Gelfand after their success two days
Bill Ferris who is the first to succeed twice in two successive nights!
Rick Tejera (who scored 106) contributed his
article for the SAC Newsletter.
Bill Ferris contributed his report on his
Brent A. Archinal contributed his full-success
Please email me any scheduled events for
If you have undertaken, or participated in, a Messier Marathon, please
email me your or your group's results,
or the link to your results page !
Also send me past results which are not already in this page !
Last Modification: 9 Apr 2001, 09:25 MET