Every year towards the end of March, amateur astronomers around the world participate in what is known as the Messier Marathon. The idea is to watch and catalog the maximum number of Messier Catalog objects in one night as possible.
Hartmut Frommert and Christine Kronberg have been maintaining the SEDS Messier Marathon pages. [Disclaimer: I am the founder and President for SEDS in India]. The Marathon can be called one of the few astronomy related sports and from all the reports that you read on the astronomy mailing lists you can only fathom the joy that you get from doing this Marathon with a difference.
Now a days, people have also been adding to the mix, the spotting of Planets of the Solar System on the same night. This is said to have a challenging effect on the contestants involved. This year, I hope to make a first attempt at the Marathon. I hope you do too.
Here are some SEDS resources to help you and wishing you good luck for the Marathon!
- Messier Marathon Homepage
- Messier Marathon Results page [you can also contribute your results here – veteran or amateur]
- Messier Catalog
- Messier Blog
This post has been posted after a kick from a recent Messier blog posting.