Friday, April 21, 2006

Astromart Articles - Pulling an “All-Nighter”: Inside a Messier Marathon

Astromart Articles - Pulling an “All-Nighter”: Inside a Messier Marathon

In March and April daring astronomers have the chance to see all of the 110 objects discovered or cataloged by Charles Messier. It's a tough observing program. You can't spend much time with any object, it's on to the next, before it sets, and then there's big periods of nothing while the next set of objects rises.

This guy made it even tougher by only using a 4" refractor and equally big binoculars. I have a hard time identifying some of these with my 8" telescope. It's an interesting read. It really does take all night, from sundown to sunrise the next morning.

I've seen all the Messier objects, but never in one night. I've probably seen 40 or so on the best summer nights. Someday I want to try and do them all.