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 Post subject: Messier Marathon Report
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 7:17 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 8:24 am
Posts: 1022
Well, this will be a short report due to the fact that I am a bit tired Smile

In a few words, WOW!!!

4 of us (Mike Rossett, Lela Rossett, David (me) and Dennis O'Day) were able to see all 109 Messier objects in a single night's observing.

Lela and Mike deserve the credit for nailing M30, they took Lela's 8 inch scope, and carried it to the North end of the field, which enabled it to just catch a glimse of M30 (after about 30 mins of waiting).

All in all, it was a good night.

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12 inch F/4.5 Lightbridge Bearsonian
8" LX-200
8" F/4 Coulter Dob (yes, an original red Coulter) Smile


 
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 Post subject: Re: Messier Marathon Report
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:27 am 
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Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 9:22 am
Posts: 700
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Wow is right!

I consentrated on the M objects that I had not seen yet. My score last night was twenty-one. This brings my total to sixty-four.

I only stayed untill 3:30AM, that is when I got so cold that I had to pack up and go home. Next year I will try to make it all night.

To all of the folks that helped me, I want to say thanks!

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May you have:
Calm seas,
The wind at your back,
Clear skies.

Stephen D. Peacock RN (Retired)
Editor Skywatch


 
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 Post subject: Re: Messier Marathon Report
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 10:09 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 8:19 am
Posts: 266
Location: Jacksonville, Florida, Westside
I learned a lot last night. Mainly that I need to learn the constellations, I need a telrad & thick wool socks!
I logged in a total of 8.
M31, M45, M42, M43, M44, M97, M106, and M51.


Last edited by Tom Pierson on Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total

 
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 Post subject: Re: Messier Marathon Report
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 10:21 am 
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2014 NEFAS Benefactor
2014 NEFAS Benefactor

Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 1:29 pm
Posts: 1537
Location: Jacksonville
I had a great time last night and would have stayed longer had it not been for my plans for today (and I am running late, unfortunately). It was great to see the old-timers Greg Zentz and Bob Shipp on the observing field. I guess it was about 10 p.m. that I took my chair down to where Greg and Bob were and just shot the breeze for an hour. I saw a very bright meteor going basically from overhead toward the west and popped like a flashbulb in Gemini, the brightest meteor I have seen in many observing sessions.

I enjoyed meeting two new club members, Gordon and Dan. I believe it was their first time at the dark site and I had the opportunity to show Gordon around parts of the sky as I knocked off a few M objects. There are a few M objects I only visit during the marathon and those include the M's in Ursa Major (okay, I do go after M97/M108 occasionally) and in CVn (except for M-51, another of my favorites).

Unfortunately, by the time I arrived on site, most of the parking area was filled and I was at the far north end of the field. I had no chance at all for the M objects in Andromeda or Triangulum of Pisces.

I may go out later in the week and try to stay later and do the Virgo cluster.

Brrr! It did get cold last night. Thought my gloves were in the car but I was wrong. I think it was in the 30's when I left at 11:30.

Congratulations to all who came and especially to the hardy few who lasted the night. You are a great bunch of guys.

Roger


 
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 Post subject: Re: Messier Marathon Report
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:50 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 8:24 am
Posts: 1022
Stephen, you did a good job last night getting as many objects as you did. Keep it up, next up is the Herschels Smile

Roger, it got down to at LEAST 25.5 degrees. I think it was colder then that, but the thermometer I use only went to 25.5. Let's just say, we all had frost on our equipment and I think everyone agreeded, it was colder this year, compared to last's.

There was also a lot of cooperation between all as well, people having trouble finding an object, people would go over, confirm, show them tips on how to find it. And Mike and Lela's idea of moving Lela's 8 inch scope to the North end of the field is what enabled us to complete the search. Without it, we would have been stuck at 108, instead of successfully completing.

Dennis and I were able to complete 90% of the Double Star list in between the Messier hunt, our goal of getting the Master Observer's certificate is getting closer!!!!

Ray Hazelwood (set up next to me), did a good job of star hopping with his 6 inch Dob, I am not sure exactly how many he got, but he was knocking them out.

It was good to "hear" Bob Shipp again. It reminded me of old times when I heard some pretty interesinting conversation about different subjects coming from Bob, Greg and Roger Smile

Rusty was there, with his motor home and his 2 dogs, Canis Major and Canis Minor Smile Not sure how many objects Rusty saw, but he was also knocking them out.

We were able to see Omega Centauri play hide and seek between the trees.

All in all, a good night.

_________________
12 inch F/4.5 Lightbridge Bearsonian
8" LX-200
8" F/4 Coulter Dob (yes, an original red Coulter) Smile


 
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 Post subject: Re: Messier Marathon Report
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 2:34 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 8:08 am
Posts: 19
Location: Jacksonville
Hello All.

Some pictures. Very Happy

http://picasaweb.google.com/pabloa.vasquez/MessierMarathon


 
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 Post subject: Re: Messier Marathon Report
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 3:21 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 8:24 am
Posts: 1022
Very nice pics Pablo!!!!!!


Thanks!!!!


Dave

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12 inch F/4.5 Lightbridge Bearsonian
8" LX-200
8" F/4 Coulter Dob (yes, an original red Coulter) Smile


 
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 Post subject: Re: Messier Marathon Report
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 4:21 pm 
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2014 NEFAS Benefactor
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Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 2:52 pm
Posts: 777
Location: Middleburg Fl
Hi all,
Last night....BRRRRRRR I know it was colder than last year. I think all of us learned a bit more about the night sky and about our astro skills. Weather you saw 8 or all of the Messier's does not mater ,it is the effort and the search that count. Good job to all!
Did I mention that it was a bit chilly.
Dave and I also worked on the A.L.Double Star certificate. We found a bunch I am not sure how many I will have to check with Dave as he was keeping track. There were a couple of doubles we could not split even at 300x,but we will keep trying.
So to sum up last nightBRRRRRRR
Dennis O'Day

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Take advantage of dark skies!
Dennis O'Day


 
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 Post subject: Re: Messier Marathon Report
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2006 7:12 pm
Posts: 90
Location: Jacksonville FL
Well, family and church responsibilities kept me in Jacksonville last night but I was able to get out for about an hour and twenty minutes and bagged 14 Messiers. So I guess I did the Messier sprint from Mandarin. Wish I could have been out at the swamp!

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10X50's
7mm Nagler T1 with no scope to call home


 
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 Post subject: Re: Messier Marathon Report
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 8:00 pm
Posts: 413
Location: Brooker, FL
The best tip I got was Mike Ramirez' suggesting the use of binocs. Usually it takes me 10 minutes to nail the three Ms in Auriga; I used the 8x56s, and got all three in 30 seconds. In about ten minutes, I got another 10-12, that usually would have taken 30-45 minutes of hopping. I logged 55 objects, but, "note to self": Do not expect a ballpoint pen to write on ice; do not expect paper thawed out (and damp) to be able to survive a ballpoint pen. I totalled 85, but couldn't log that last 30 in.

I also discovered a discrepancy between the Telrad circles in TheSky NOT to be quite the same as the gen-yoo-wine Telrad on the scope. I'll be checking that. I also decided that next year I'll either use my larger refractor with a focal reducer to f/5.6, or bring the f/6.3 reducer for the Nexstar 11. One advantage of the refractor is that its mount has really accurate setting circles and a great polar alignment scope.

But mostly, it was enjoyable for the presence of the other club members, and best of all, Dave, Dennis, Mike, and Leila got all of the Ms!


 
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 Post subject: Re: Messier Marathon Report
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:16 pm 
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2012 NEFAS Member
2012 NEFAS Member

Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2006 12:35 pm
Posts: 587
Wow is right! It was a cold but, productive night. Got 104 myself. Ray told me he got 106. Was glad to hear David and Dennis wheren't the only ones to get all the objects. Tom Who had his scope for only a week or two bagged 8. Not bad for a beginner.

Thought you'd like to see the conditions by AM. I don't blame anybody for leaving early. Last night was rough. I look forward to a warmer 2008 Messier Marathon.

Eric


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 Post subject: Re: Messier Marathon Report
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:25 pm 
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2012 NEFAS Member
2012 NEFAS Member

Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 6:51 am
Posts: 332
Location: Jacksonville
Who says astronomers aren't athletes?
I have to add a WOW and BRRR to last night also. I was able to find 106 object. I missed M74 and M33 at the beginning and did not find, but was able to see M30 through Mike and Lela's scope with everyone else.

There were several time I was ready to call it quits, but I think my hand was frozen to the scope so I couldn't go anywhere. I must say that it was well worth the effort and I would not have a second thought about doing it again.

Next year should be around Mar 8th 2008. So start preparing now.

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Light travels faster than sound. That is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.


 
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 Post subject: Re: Messier Marathon Report
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 8:22 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 1:33 am
Posts: 586
Location: Jacksonville
Congrats to everyone who got 1 or all 110 objects. Some may be wondering why some say 109 objects and I keep saying 110 objects. The Messier list according to the Astronomical league is 110 objects. The object that most seem to dismiss is NGC 5866 (M102) a 10.5 mag. Gal. in Draco.

Those who wish to receive a certificate please get me your list. As stated in the previous post I would like to know how you found and viewed the object. Please indicate by using (A) for aided, (B) for binocular, (T) for telescope, (N) for naked eye.

The purpose for this is to help make it easier the next time you participate in the Marathon. I was out for only a couple of hours and there were many having trouble with some objects. Especially the first three or four, M74, M77, M33 and M110.

In Rusty Keeney's post he indicated that by using binoculars he cut down on a lot of time fishing with the telescope and frustration. If we can help you find a better and faster way, I'm sure you would agree it's much more fun and the plus side is we have that many more members that can help newcomers.

I never go out observing without a plan of attack. I know what I'm going for and how I'm best going to see it. I cut down on a lot of time and can see more objects in a shorter period of time. This plan works best for the Marathons, if your out just for an evening of viewing I suggest you stay on an object and really see it. Drawing it with pencil and paper would be a good way to impress the image into your mind.

You can give me your finder sheets at the next meeting or fax them to me at 641-1432 and I will start processing your certificate.

_________________
Mike Ramirez
NEFAS ALCOR

"The economy is so bad I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail."



 
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 Post subject: Re: Messier Marathon Report
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 8:53 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 8:24 am
Posts: 1022
Way to go Ray!!!! Getting 106 objects is very good!!!!!

Looking forward (as Eric said), to a hopefully, warmer 2008 session Smile



Dave

_________________
12 inch F/4.5 Lightbridge Bearsonian
8" LX-200
8" F/4 Coulter Dob (yes, an original red Coulter) Smile


 
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 Post subject: Re: Messier Marathon Report
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 1:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 10:50 am
Posts: 10
Location: on the right
Solo Messier Report:

Being a semi-professional bagpiper, March 17th is quite a busy evening! Therefore, I went to the in-laws place west of Lawtey for my first serious all-nighter Messier attempt last night.

In total, I logged 101 objects; not all, but certainly more than I had planned. M74 was the only one missed in the evening, due to trees in the west that were just a little too tall. The remainder were twilight objects that were either obscured by trees or that pesky sunlight. Seeing & transparency were pretty good, though after about 2am the moisture started to set in and "fuzz out" some fainter objects.

Sounds like the swamp was great, but at least at the in-laws I had power, fresh coffee, and a warm living room to sleep in from 230 to 330! I second the comment about using binoculars to expedite some of the objects. I beleive that if I hadn't employed that method, I would not have been able to view as many objects.

And yes, it was cold there too. Ice on my truck, and a first: ice on my scope tube when I came back out from my nap!

Hope all this makes sense, I've only slept about 2 hours since getting home. Tonight will be a good night's rest. Congrats to all who participated and hope everyone hit some new personal milestones.

Cheers,
Mike


 
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 Post subject: Re: Messier Marathon Report
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 3:44 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 12:37 pm
Posts: 67
Location: Greenbrier, Arkansas
Wow. I haven't seen that much frost since our last snow! You guys were colder than us. From the reports I've heard you guys were definatly astronomical warriors. I really liked seeing the pictures from Pablo and Eric. NEFAS adventures are one of the things I miss about Jacksonville. Congrats to everyone on thier success.

My deep sky session was on Friday night. I did a combination of viewing and imaging with the LPI. In the past I've tried to image M31 but was not able to intigrate it because there is no bright stars to stack on. On a whim I slewed over to M66 which has a bright star and while it won't make the pages of Astronomy, I was able to get the core and a hint of the spiral structure. I did the same with M51 was impressed with what I got. Again not a great picture, but the spiral arms of M51 and the bar of the companion can be faintly seen.

I also enjoyed several double stars.

If you don't have any software for astronomical planning I recommend AstroPlanner. It is a great planning and logging program. It will also connect to your scope and slew to objects on your list for you.
http://www.ilangainc.com/astroplanner/index.html

Here's my results:
M51 : http://www.astroscan.net/pod/displayima ... =12&pos=22
M66 : http://www.astroscan.net/pod/displayima ... =12&pos=23
M87 : http://www.astroscan.net/pod/displayima ... =12&pos=24
M35 : http://www.astroscan.net/pod/displayima ... =12&pos=15
Double Stars: http://www.astroscan.net/pod/thumbnails.php?album=39

Clear Skies,
Stephen


 
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