OK, folks, sorry about taking s long to get his out, but It's taken a while to get back to "human" status. Anyway, the 2009 AAMM was again a huge success. Approximately 25 Vehicles Showed up on a windy Friday afternoon hoping the wind would die down for an extra evening of observing. The wind did calm after sundown and the Skies turned out better than we expected given the wind that had passed through. Many of the folks there on Friday practice looking for M74 & M77, Myself included. The actual hunt the next night would be much different! Among the folks in attendance Friday were Don Machholz & George Robinson from northern California. As Most of you know, Don is considered by many to be one of the driving forces behind the Messier Marathon concept. Don actually marathoned his way down to Arizona, having stopped for the night in CA, he set up and found 109 objects. He did it again on Friday. When he sleeps is beyond me:-). With 110 objects possible the crowd started to roll in around 1500 and continued through twilight. BY the time of the Twilight talk, Jimmy ray had counted 90 vehicles. I estimated about 140 folks in attendance. For the 3rd year in arrow I filled in for the Marathon Coordinator, AJ Crayon, who unfortunately is recovering from recent surgery. AJ's doing well, but it was just to soon for him to take on a trip to the desert. During the talk, we found out we had observers from Colfax, & Auburn CA (Don Machholz & George Robinson), Jim Shedlowsky Came from Waterford, MI (Detroit Area). Dr Salvadore Aguirre from Hermosillo, Mexico came up for his 3rd visit. The furthest traveled was Greg Kettel, from Clifton Park, NY, near Albany. This in addition to the usual representation from al the major Arizona Clubs. After the talk, those marathoning manned their telescopes to begin the hunt for the elusive M74. Unlike the previous night, when I found M74 fairly easily, the moon made the sighting challenging. The Moon also seemed to play havoc with many of the evening setter, judging by the checklists turned in. Myself, I did manage to find M74 and the evening setters and thought that It would be an easy coast to 110. I took a 2 hour nap at midnight and upon waking up, I was greeted by an eastern horizon obscured by clouds! Curse you Meteora! As it turns out, Patience & perseverance paid off for those who stayed up. All 110 Objects eventually poked through the clouds and around 0430 the clouds lifted off the horizon, enabling the sighting of the morning risers. As Morning dawned, 5 1/2 observers, including myself had seen all 110 objects, more about the ½ later. 5 Observers found 109 and 3 more found 108. 27 observers found 100 or more objects and a total of 42 Observers turned in checklists with 50 or more objects. Now, How can you have ½ an observer? Well, Jimmy Ray turned in his checklist with 110 objects. He later called me to say after much thought, he really couldn't be sure he saw M74 and he'd rather have a solid 109, than a maybe 110. Based on his honesty and the fact what he described to sure sounded like he saw it, I'm quite prepared to give him the ½ ;). As folks left I received many compliments & thanks for a fun event. I accepted on behalf of the club, but the real thanks need to be given to those who truly earned it: AJ Crayon, who although not there physically, was there in spirit. His tireless efforts over the years have made this the premier event of it's kind. Having filled in for him, I realized how much work he puts into organizing this year after year. He can't be thanked enough. Jack Jones. Jack has for as long as I can remember fulfilled one of the most important job that ensures the marathon's Success: He orders the porta-potties! This year he also had designed Screened & printed the 2009 marathon T-Shirts, which came out really great. The Shirts design honors the founders of the Messier Marathon, Including Don Machholz, who graciously autographed shorts for those who asked. Jack managed to get the shorts done in three weeks time. Great Job Jack! Claude Haynes from EVAC: Claude offered to set up, on behalf of EVAC a hospitality tent at 2300. He had Coffee, Tea, Cocoa and lots of light snacks to help get us through the night. I'll tell you, the Cocoa sure hit the spot. Thanks again Claude and EVAC. Ray Farnsworth: Ray has allowed us the use of the observing field for as long as I've been with the club. He's always made us feel welcome and his generosity is appreciated. Most of all, I'd like to thank all who participated, whether you marathoned or worked on your own observing projects. Without you, it's just an empty field. I'll be publishing a preliminary list of counts shortly. Clear Skies Rick Tejera Editor SACnews, Public Outreach Coordinator Saguaro Astronomy Club Phoenix, Arizona www.saguaroastro.org <http://www.saguaroastro.org/> saguaroastro@xxxxxxx -- See message header for info on list archives or unsubscribing, and please send personal replies to the author, not the list.