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Messier Marathon - Magic Valley Astronomical Society
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Video Messier Marathon
March 28th
7:00 PM MDT (01:00 UT)

Weather Permitting

The Herrett Center and the Magic Valley Astronomical Society present the fourth annual Video Messier Marathon.

Join us on USTREAM.TV!
Download and view our video invitation: high speed connection or modem connection.
After the brightest comet of 1682 Edmond Halley realized it had visited us before, and predicted that it would visit again in 1758. He missed seeing it again by sixteen years, but his discovery got many people interested in comet hunting in the hopes that they would be remembered each time their comet came around again. One of them, a Frenchman by the name of Charles Messier spent much of his life compiling a list of comet like objects not to be mistaken for comets. At first the list was only objects he spotted himself, but later it included objects found by others.

By the end of his life he succeeded in the original discovery of thirteen comets, and a list of 110 comet-like objects. We don't remember any of the comets, but his list has become the favorite targets list of amateur astronomers. Back in the 1970's people realized that in March it is possible to view all 110 objects in a single night. The Messier Marathon was born.
Our event starts at 7:00 PM MDT with a presentation on Charles Messier and his catalog. As soon as it gets dark enough we will start hunting objects. We won't have time to let people look through the eyepiece, so 'viewing' will be in the Rick Allen room. Coats will be optional, but recommended. You are welcome to visit the observatory during the night, but with the cameras attached you won't be able to look through the telescope directly. There will be telescopes available on the Stargazer's Deck for viewing the brighter objects.

Our 24" DFM telescope is outfitted with two Stellacam II low light cameras, and carries a 5" Meade refractor and a 7" Takahashi astrograph. At least one of them will give us good views of each object. For the first time we will attempt to stream the event on the Internet. The ustream.tv link to our show appears above. We will turn on the program about fifteen minutes before the start of the talk.



Post Event Report.

We were almost totally skunked this year. Friday night's attempt to stream the event produced beautiful video, but no audio. We still have no solution on getting the audio to work. The night went from cloudy to snowing just as we left.

We've often said that the telescope can't see through clouds but that was disproved on Saturday night. We were able to see at least one star in M45 through the clouds. We also viewed Saturn, Mars and a couple of stars. Most were not visible by eye when we were viewing.

2008 Score Card -- 1 of 110
Green = Target Hit      Red = Target Not Hit
M1
SN Rem
Taurus
Crab Nebula
M2
Globular
Aquarius
M3
Globular
Canes Venatici
M4
Globular
Scorpius
M5
Globular
Serpens Caput
M6
Open
Scorpius
Butterfly
M7
Open
Scorpius
Ptolemy's
M8
Nursery
Sagittarius
Lagoon
M9
Globular
Ophiuchus
M10
Globular
Ophiuchus
M11
Open
Scutum
Wild Duck
M12
Globular
Ophiuchus
M13
Globular
Hercules
Great
M14
Globular
Ophiuchus
M15
Globular
Pegasus
M16
Nursery
Serpens Cauda
Eagle
M17
Nursery
Sagittarius
Omega
M18
Open
Sagittarius
M19
Globular
Ophiuchus
M20
Nursery
Sagittarius
Trifid
M21
Open
Sagittarius
M22
Globular
Sagittarius
M23
Open
Sagittarius
M24
Open
Sagittarius
M25
Open
Sagittarius
M26
Open
Scutum
M27
Planetary
Vulpecula
Dumbbell
M28
Globular
Sagittarius
M29
Open
Cygnus
M30
Globular
Capricornus
M31
Spiral
Andromeda
M32
Elliptical
Andromeda
M31 companion
M33
Spiral
Triangulum
Pinwheel
M34
Open
Perseus
M35
Open
Gemini
M36
Open
Auriga
M37
Open
Auriga
M38
Open
Auriga
M39
Open
Cygnus
M40
Double
Ursa Major
M41
Open
Canis Major
M42
Nursery
Orion
Great
M43
Nursery
Orion
P/O M42
M44
Open
Cancer
Beehive
M45
Open
Taurus
Pleiades
M46
Open
Puppis
M47
Open
Puppis
M48
Open
Hydra
M49
Elliptical
Virgo
M50
Open
Monoceros
M51
Spiral
Canes Venatici
Whirlpool
M52
Open
Cassiopeia
M53
Globular
Coma Berenices
M54
Globular
Sagittarius
M55
Globular
Sagittarius
M56
Globular
Lyra
M57
Planetary
Lyra
Ring
M58
Spiral
Virgo
M59
Elliptical
Virgo
M60
Elliptical
Virgo
M61
Spiral
Virgo
M62
Globular
Ophiuchus
M63
Spiral
Canes Venatici
Sunflower
M64
Spiral
Coma Berenices
Blackeye
M65
Spiral
Leo
M66
Spiral
Leo
M67
Open
Cancer
M68
Globular
Hydra
M69
Globular
Sagittarius
M70
Globular
Sagittarius
M71
Globular
Sagitta
M72
Globular
Aquarius
M73
Open
Aquarius
M74
Spiral
Pisces
M75
Globular
Sagittarius
M76
Planetary
Perseus
Little Dumbbell
M77
Spiral
Cetus
M78
Nursery
Orion
M79
Globular
Lepus
M80
Globular
Scorpius
M81
Spiral
Ursa Major
Bode's
M82
Irregular
Ursa Major
Cigar
M83
Spiral
Hydra
Pinwheel
M84
Lenticular
Virgo
M85
Lenticular
Coma Berenices
M86
Lenticular
Virgo
M87
Elliptical
Virgo
M88
Spiral
Coma Berenices
M89
Elliptical
Virgo
M90
Spiral
Virgo
M91
Spiral
Coma Berenices
M92
Globular
Hercules
M93
Open
Puppis
M94
Spiral
Leo
M95
Spiral
Leo
M96
Spiral
Leo
M97
Planetary
Ursa Major
Owl
M98
Spiral
Coma Berenices
M99
Spiral
Coma Berenices
M100
Spiral
Coma Berenices
M101
Spiral
Ursa Major
Pinwheel
M102
Lenticular
Draco
M103
Open
Cassiopeia
M104
Spiral
Virgo
Sombrero
M105
Elliptical
Leo
M106
Spiral
Canes Venatici
M107
Globular
Ophiuchus
M108
Spiral
Ursa Major
M109
Spiral
Ursa Major
M110
Elliptical
Andromeda
M31 companion

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