It seems that everyone gets 110 or nobody gets 110, which is natural. At the SAC meeting I was trying to think of examples of only one person getting a clear 1st place at a Marathon but the only one I could think of was Dave Fredericksen's feat of March 16/17 in 1996. Although luck plays a part, in having the right telescope, right F.L., right eyepiece, right eyeball, and the right conditions at the right time, technique is the key, plus it helps to know you are on it by using DSCs or a definite star field. Stratagems to use: 1. Averted vision - Looking to the side of where you think it is can make a difference. 2. Tap the tube - The eye may not be all that sensitive to light, but it is very sensitive to movement. 3. Throw on some mags - Boosting magnification boosts contrast - then tap again - or move it slowly. 4. Be an experienced observer - Well, duh I know, and easier said than done, but that's what we are doing out there, isn't it, improving our observing skills. But really the main reason behind holding a Marathon is just to get everyone to come out and observe - under a dark sky - and have fun - and work on your skills - and have fun - and socialize - and have fun! Jack Jones Public Events Saguaro Astronomy Club Phoenix AZ spicastar@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx www.saguaroastro.org > The subject of the date range of a perfect score in a Messier marathon > lends itself well to comparing observations with desktop planetarium > software results. Naturally, I can't resist analyzing it to death. > > The best source of results is the SEDS site, which is back up and running. > > http://www.seds.org/messier/xtra/marathon/results.html > > > Tom > -- See message header for info on list archives or unsubscribing, and please send personal replies to the author, not the list.