Friday, February 20, 2015

Messier Marathon

On 21 March 2015 the Lowcountry Stargazers will hold a Messier Marathon in a field adjacent to Roxbury Park. The event will begin at sunset and continue until dawn of the following morning. The objective will be to observe as many of the 110 Messier objects as possible.

For a short period in early spring, around the New Moon, all of the objects are theoretically visible over a single night. The Messier objects are a set of astronomical objects first listed by French astronomer Charles Messier in 1771. Messier was a comet hunter, and was frustrated by objects which resembled but were not comets, so he compiled a list of them to avoid wasting time on them. The Messier catalogue comprises nearly all the most spectacular examples of five types of deep sky objects—diffuse nebulae, planetary nebulae, open clusters, globular clusters and galaxies—visible from European latitudes.

Since these objects could be observed visually with the relatively small-aperture refracting telescope used by Messier to study the sky, they are among the brightest and therefore most attractive astronomical objects observable from earth.
Bring your telescope and join us in observing all 110 of these wonderful sights.