[AZ-Observing] All Arizona Messier Marathon Report St. Patrick's Day 2007

  • From: "Jennifer Polakis" <m24@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2007 15:51:24 -0700

According to Peter Argenziano, there were 17 vehicles at the AZ City site for 
the Friday night not-official-marathon festivities; actually, make that 18 
vehicles if you include the Border Patrol helicopter that blasted quite a few 
folks & scopes with enough light to check a green card from a safe distance.
I counted 87 vehicles for the Saturday "Official" Marathon, with a ~140 people 
and at least one dog (Rascal Polakis thee best astro-dog ever). Peter counted 
115 people and one dog at the pre-M74 info-mercial eloquently delivered by 
Marathon Maestro, AJ Crayon.  Thank you Saguaro Astronomy Club Deep Sky Group 
for sponsorship!  And thank you Jack Jones, SAC Events Co-coordinator Dude for 
arranging T-shirts and "facilities".
  
A very unofficial survey indicated 51.31475% of the attendees were not 
participating in the Marathon this year and nearly 27% of the non-marathoners 
were only there for the free midnight snacks and coffee provided by East Valley 
Astronomy Club. Thanks for that! It made for a great impetus to get out of the 
warmy sleeping bag to surf the Milky Way and all its glorious glories.  M24 
Rules!

Amateur Astronomers came from California, Indiana, Michigan, Chicago, Seattle, 
Denver, Oregon, and Mexico specifically for the Marathon this year! Or maybe 
they said they came for the 90o photons to thaw their hands enough to operate a 
focuser.

It was especially nice to meet up with SAC's previous president and main ATM 
guy, Thad Robosson, who made his way North from Sierra Vista for the event; 
what a relief to see he did not fall into a black hole as rumored.   Also 
traveling from Tucumcari to Tucson:-) was another SAC alumni, Sheryl 
Gambardella-always intent on bagging a few more Ms than last time.--Hey! add 
New Mexico to the out-of-state list!

Tom Polakis fine tuned observing software and telescope in pursuit of that 
elusive, impossible, invisible, morning Sun companion M30 bagging it against 
all odds.  His observation with his 10" f5.6, Spooner mirror Dob was verified 
by at least 3 other people including me, Bernie Sanden, and Frank Kraljic and 
maybe a 4th observer, Paul Lind.  Paul--did you see it in Tom's scope????

Looking forward to AJ's Crayon's official results from those marathoners who 
got their list in on time.

Jenn Polakis
Secretary, Saguaro Astronomy Club   
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