2018 All Arizona Messier Marathon
The 2018 All Arizona Messier Marathon will be held this year on March 17th,
2018, again at the Salome Emergency Airfield, near the Antennas Observing
Site. Please go to <http://www.saguaroastro.org>
http://www.saguaroastro.org for directions and the map. In addition, the
field will be available on Friday Mar. 16h for an additional night of
observing & socializing.
Evening Ast. twilight
Morning Ast. Twilight
Reminder the Friday date is NOT the marathon. It has been set aside for
more time to observe from your personal observing list. It will also
provide more time for socializing on Saturday.
Object Data Mar 17-18 2018
M74 at Sunset
M74 at Twilight
M77 At Sunset
M77 At Twilight
M30 Rises (over hills)
M30 at Twilight
M30 At Sunrise
Before continuing be sure you have read and signed the waiver for the 2018
event. The Waiver will be posted on the SAC website Marathon page soon.
Basically, SAC is not responsible for loss, theft, broken items, nor for any
bodily injuries you may sustain. Sorry for the legalese but it is a sign of
the times. Please turn in the signed waiver at the event, preferably at the
Your observing activities will not go unnoticed; there will be awards in
recognition of effort. People observing or imaging 50 or more objects will
receive an 8 1/2 x 11 certificate. For first, second and third place there
will be plaques suitable for mounting on a telescope. Duplicate awards will
be made for ties; there will be no sudden death observe off (:
Registration in advance is not required. The event is free and open to all,
but we will need either your or your clubs support to purchase the plaques,
which in the past have cost around $10.00. There is no charge for the
**5th Annual Messier Marathon Dinner & Raffle**
As has become tradition, we will again have a pre Marathon dinner & raffle.
More details to come via the email groups and Facebook.
In recent years there has been growing participation by younger astronomers.
To help encourage this trend, this year, the All Arizona Messier Marathon
will offer a separate award category for observers under the age of 18. All
U18 observers will receive a certificate of participation. Those observing
25 or more objects will received a certificate of achievement. And the top 3
observers in the U18 category will receive plaques as well as the
So, if you are under 18 and have an interest in astronomy come on out and
observe! If you know a young astronomer, let them know and encourage them to
The only caveat is all U18 observers must be accompanied by a responsible
adult and must be listed on that adults Liability waiver.
For previous participants see the Messier Marathon Observer's Results at:
Feel intimidated? Don't think you can reach high counts? DON'T WORRY!
* Set your own goals and don't bother with those high counts.
* The marathon is for having fun!
* Set your goals in order for you to have fun!
The guidelines are pretty simple, please read them over if you plan on
* It's an honor system.
* No one is going to be looking over your shoulder to verify your
* Have an observing list to keep track of observations.
* Fill out the heading.
* Find an object.
* Observe/image it with your eye through the main eyepiece of your
* Mark off the entry.
* Go to the next object.
Start observing/imaging when you are ready, presumably sometime after sun
set. It is up to you to decide when you are finished observing. Some
conditions could be when you have reached a set goal or sometime after
Here are some additional guidelines you should be aware of. These cover
situations and conditions that have occurred in the past, but in no way do
they cover the myriad of possibilities that may happen.
* Participants may use a variety of means to locate objects. This
includes memorizing positions; using binoculars, books or star charts for
star hopping. The use of setting circles, either analog or digital is also
permissible. Goto telescopes can also be used.
* In a small number cases there have been teams of two observers per
telescope. This will still be allowed, subject to the same conditions as
has been followed in the past. The condition is that each observer should
find one-half the objects and both must observe all objects.
* There is an option in the case of an award. Either one award can be
presented with both names or two awards can be presented - one with each
name. Please let us know which you select by noting this on the observing
list that is turned in at the conclusion of the event. In either case, if
the award is for a plaque, you or your club will be expected to pay for one
or both. It is recommended, that when paying by mail, to pay for the award
by check or money order. Please avoid sending payment by cash.
* Three or more observers per telescope can't qualify for an award.
It is possible to do the marathon this way, but none are eligible for
* Participants using two or more instruments are eligible for only one
award. This is not to be construed as one award for each instrument, it is
one award for the observer.
* Individuals or clubs that haven't paid for prior awards are not
eligible for awards until paid up. However, it is still possible to do the
The only form of registration is an observing list that is used to record
your observations and a signed waiver. Be sure to get one, either from one
of the local astronomy clubs, one of the coordinators or at the site. You
can also print one from our web site, see Marathon Order above. If you plan
on using this or your personal printed version at the marathon, please use
both sides so only one sheet is used and turned in to the coordinators.
This helps greatly with recording the event because multiple sheets from
many observers can get mixed up, possibly causing errors in recording the
event and determining awards.
Be sure to fill in the top portion so awards and certificates can be given
to all who earn them. The observing list will be returned with your award.
It is important to remember that your list must be turned in to one of the
Coordinators before they leave the site. Either you or someone else you
designate may turn in your list. One of us will stay, at least until
sunrise, so be sure to get yours in before then. This procedure is followed
in order to provide the awards in a timely fashion. Again, don't forget to
fill out the top.
The results will be posted, after some verification, on the Messier Marathon
Observer's Results web page referenced above as well as the SAC site.
More Marathon Information
* A description of the object is not necessary, especially since it
will take precious time needed to find the remaining objects.
* Study the list sequences, or use your own. Be prepared for the
extremely unlikely case it should become cloudy and the selected sequence
cannot be followed.
* Although it is possible to do the marathon with a 4-inch telescope,
or smaller, or binoculars, it is not suggested; unless you are an
* Plan on arriving at the site at least 30 minutes before sunset to
provide time to setup your telescope and for it to reach thermal
equilibrium. This will also give you time to meet old friends and make new
* If you are NOT going to stay all night:
* Park near the entrance so you don't disturb others when you depart.
* Please give a shout a few minutes before leaving and then again as
you are about to depart.
* This will give observers time to hide so the light doesn't interfere
with night vision.
* A port-a-Jon will be on-site. Remember this is a primitive site and
we strive to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
* Signs will be posted at the entrance to remind drivers to keep the
speed down because of the dust levels. We are on the Sonoran Desert!
* Please ensure your red filtered flashlights are in good working
order and PLEASE no white lights between sun set and sun rise. For more
information on star party etiquette click here:
We will have a very short meeting just before sunset for final announcements
and words of encouragement.
If you plan on participating, then doing some homework ahead of time will
pay dividends. If interested, the observing list can be made available prior
to the marathon for your reference.
Still not interested in the marathon? COME ANYWAY; enjoy a night of
observing, astro-photography or just plain old socializing.
Please keep in mind this observing site is not our property, it belongs to
the BLM, is rather primitive; which means if you need something, bring it
with you and be sure to take it back with you. Let's leave the site at
least as clean as it was when we arrived.
This year Rick Tejera will be again lead Coordinator.
2018 All Arizona Messier Marathon Coordinators
Rick Tejera: <mailto:saguaroastro@xxxxxxx> saguaroastro@xxxxxxx
Rick Rotramel: r.rotramel@xxxxxxx
Jack Jones: <mailto:telescoper@xxxxxxx> telescoper@xxxxxxx
Lori Prause: loriprause@xxxxxxxxx
Kevin Kozel: kevin.kozel@xxxxxxx
Saguaro Astronomy Club www.saguaroastro.org <http://www.saguaroastro.org>
Rick Tejera (K7TEJ)
Saguaro Astronomy Club
Thunderbird Amateur Radio Club
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