There is an article in the latest "Astronomy" mag about this being a good time of year for a Messier marathon - an event where folk get together and try to see all 109 M objects in one night. It is, of course, a northern hemisphere publication. Does any group in Aus do these marathons, and if so what time of year is best? I wasn't sure where to put this post - moderators pls feel free to move it to newbie section or star party section
What makes this a good time for the marathon is because there are no M's close to the sun. Unless you guys have a different sun down under, this is the best time for you too =-) Having said that, there are quite a few far northern ones that are probably hard for you at anytime of the year. I'm planning on going up to a lodge in the western Virginia mountains to make a run at it this year - <FINGERS CROSSED> hope the weather works out!!!
What makes this a good time for the marathon is because there are no M's close to the sun. Unless you guys have a different sun down under, this is the best time for you too =-)
The big difference between the hemispheres is what is often called "the seasons". the dec-jan period is when we have long hours of daylight and long periods of twilight. There are lots of lists for northern hemisphere folk telling the best orer to do a messier marathon, but just try it for a southern location such as Sydney. Stellarium is perfect for this demo. you soon see that a marathon in dec or jan just won't work.
I'd be jazzed to attempt March's Marathon from down under.
Close to half of Chuck's best are at or below zero declination.
And except for the 8 targets not available from -35°, a majority
reach more favorable viewing altitudes than those available to
many northern competitors.
Wouldn't mind the warmer weather, either.
Last edited by saberscorpx; 30-01-2008 at 01:34 PM.
Maybe us southerners can do a Bennet catalogue marathon?
Too right. Mr. Messier might have been the "Ferret From France", but for southern observers much of it is irrelevant if it doesn't include the best deep-sky objects visible to the Antipodean observer.
Personally I think the Bennett list is impossible to do, as you cannot observe all of them on one night at anytime during the year. My suggestion is to do a Messier Marathon, but replace the 8 missing deep-sky objects with southern ones.
For this I would include adding the following 24 bright southern objects instead, and deleting the various Messier objects north of +45 declination as;
NGC 104 / 47 Tucanae
NGC 253 / The Silver Coin Galaxy Sculptor
NGC 292 / Small Magellanic Cloud
NGC 300 Sculptor
NGC 2070 / The Tarantula Nebula
NGC 2451 Open Cluster Puppis
NGC 2516 Car
IC 2602 / Southern Pleiades Car
NGC 3114 Car
NGC 3132 Vela
IC 2391 Omicron Velorum Cluster Vel
NGC 3195 / The Grey Planetary Chameleon
NGC 3372 / Eta Carinae Nebula
NGC 3532 Car
NGC 3293 Car
NGC 3918 The Blue Planetary Cen
NGC 4755 Cru The Jewel Box
NGC 4833 Musca Globular
NGC 5128 Centaurus A : Cen
NGC 5139 Omega Centauri
NGC 5189 The Spiral Planetary
NGC 6231 Open Cluster Scorpius
NGC 6752 The Pavo Globular
NGC 6744 Galaxy in Pavo