[AZ-Observing] Re: MM date limits (again)

  • From: "Jack Jones" <spicastar@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 18:59:54 -0700

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
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

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

> 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

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