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2007 All Arizona Messier Marathon Results

Site: Arizona City, Arizona
Date: March 17/18, 2007

It is safe to say this year’s event was an OH WOW! For starters the weather, as forecast by the Clear Sky Clocks of Canada wasn’t good at all. The morning of the event had cloudy skies till 3:00am MST Sunday. By noon it was reporting clear skies about midnight, and when I left for the site at about 2:00pm it was to be clear by 10:00pm. But two hours later the clearing was predicted for 8:00pm. By twilight it was clear enough to be no problem at all.

Next were those in attendance. From counts by Jennifer Polakis we had 85 vehicles, 140 people and one dog, Rascal Polakis, the best astro-dog ever. Out of staters came from California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Virginia and North Carolina. I hope I’ve got all of them listed. To that add two observers from Mexico and a visitor from India. The Border Patrol came by, as well as the landowner Ray Farnsworth. Remember that without Ray’s co-operation and support we would not have access to this site. So a big thanks, again, goes to Ray. So many people, so little time.

As far as marathoners, there were 61 lists turned in a new record for the event. This surpasses the 56 from 2001, where all 110 were available.

Here are some highlights that stand out in my mind that were garnered from e-mail messages and notes on the checklists that were turned in.

From the final results, published elsewhere, only one person bagged all 110, Frank Pino, a member of the East Valley Astronomy Club (EVAC) located in the eastern suburbs of Phoenix, AZ. Butch Miller also found M30. Unfortunately he missed M74, which was buried in the bright glow of the Zodiacal Light, stretching upwards to the Pleiades, and Venus.

Speaking of M30 there were several others that found M30, but didn’t participate in the marathon. They were Tom and Jennifer Polakis, Frank Kraljic and Paul Lind, in a 10” f5.6 Dobsonian and Bernie Sanden in a 12.5” Dobsonian. Elsewhere several participants were discussing its visibility when they realized they only saw the 5th magnitude star 41 Capricorni, just 23 arc-minutes to its east, instead of the globular cluster. Leaving them with a count of 109 instead of the anticipated 110.

George Robinson, from Auburn, California, and I understand a friend of Don Machholz, did the marathon by memory. He had no Go-to, no push to, no digital setting circles, no analog setting circles and no star chart. Just his mind the telescope and a dark sky. Great job George!

Jim Jackson, from Eugene, Oregon, recorded an SQM reading of 21.59 at 5:00AM Sunday morning. Peter Argenziano got a reading of 21.65 around midnight and his previous nights readings averaged out to 21.49. Not bad for a mediocre Arizona observing site.

This year we seemed to have marathoners of all ages. They ranged from Ken Sikes’ son Clay and his grandsons, 11-year-old Ryan and 8-year-old Jacob. Not to be out done was Melvin Harrison’s 12-year-old grandson Daniel Butters. To that add 17-year-old Kevin LeGore. Great job all!

Needing mention is SAC member Al Stiewing who not only observed 109 objects, but also managed to image 108. He missed M103 as it was behind his campers pop-up and M30. He is still reviewing his images and promises to do better in a future marathon.

Jack Jones was busy doing a booming business selling 2007 All Arizona Messier Marathon t-shirts. Who said the economy wasn’t doing so well?

We also appreciate the support from EVAC. The president Claude Haynes setup their tent and offered midnight snacks for any and all that wanted to show up. Claude said he didn’t know how many took part because he was so busy finding 106 objects. Thank you Claude and EVAC.

As for myself, I bagged no Messier objects. I slept through almost all of the marathon observing. Wasn’t sick. Wasn’t tired. For some reason it just felt good sleeping out under the stars.

As I said, “OH WOW!” What a marathon.

AJ Crayon
Saguaro Astronomy Club

Missed or Comments
110 Frank Pino CPC1100 EVAC
109 Bruce Anderson LX200 EVAC M30
109 Peter Argenziano 25″ DOB SAC/EVAC M30
109 James Delia Brix 16″ DOB (1) M30
109 Chris Brownewell 120ED Ref (2) M30
109 Michael Evans C8 (3) M30
109 Jack Jones 20″f5 DOB SAC M30
109 Kevin Jones 8″ SCT TAAA M30
109 Scott Leach LX200 GPS (4) M30
109 Paul Lind 14.5″ f5 DOB SAC M30
109 Butch Miller LX90 EVAC M74 yes he found M30!
109 John Moschinger 8″ n/a M30
109 Richard Payne 6″ f3.3 Tak SAC M30
109 Marty Pieczonka 140mm Ref EVAC M30
109 Jimmy Ray CGE1100 SAC M30
109 George Robinson 10″ f4.7 DOB (5) M30 and all by memory!
109 Rick Rotramel 12.5″ f4.9 New SAC M30
109 Al Stiewing C8 SAC M30
109 Julie & Jeff Trogan LX200 8″ GPS EVAC M30
109 Alonzo Villarreal LX200 EVAC M30
108 Salvador Aguirre 8″ SCT (6) M74 M30
108 Bob Christ 9.25″ SCT SAC M74 M30
108 Gary Gardner 24″ DOB TAAA M74 M30
108 Brent Jacobs 10″ DOB EVAC M74 M30
108 Dan Gruber 18″ f4.5 DOB SAC M74 M30
108 Jim Jackson 16×70 binos (7) M74 M30 SQM = 21.59 @ 5
108 Raul Madero 8″ SCT (6) M74 M30
108 Ken Shaver 16″ f4.5 DOB TAAA M74 M30
108 Ken Sikes 10″ SCT EVAC M74 M30 son & grandson
108 Wayne Thomas 11″ SCT EVAC/SAC M74 M30
108 Shane Tillotson CPC800 EVAC M74 M30
108 Dave Trogan LX200 8″ GPS EVAC M74 M30
108 Christopher Vedeler 12″ DOB n/a M74 M30
107 Melvin L Harrison 10″ DOB EVAC M74 M76 M30
106 Larry Arbeiter unknown (8) M2 M72 M73 M30
106 Ed Beggy CPC1100 (9) M74 M108 M9 M30
106 Claude Haynes 10″ DOB EVAC M27 M72 M73 M30
105 John Evelan 20″ f4 DOB EVAC M33 M103 M72 M73 M30
104 Bill Lofquist 12.5″ DOB TAAA M77 M74 M2 M72 M73 M30
104 Scott Kroeppler Ori ST80 (10) M74 M75 M2 M72 M73 M30
102 Darrell Edwards 8″ SCT EVAC M74 M33 M32 M110 M76 M7
102 Thomas Watson 8″ Eq SVP TAAA M74 M55 M75 M15 M2 M72
100 Joan McGue 8″ f6 DOB SAC M77 M74 M32 M55 M75 M15
99 John Matthews LX200 EVAC
91 Tim Jones 6″ f6 DOB SAC
87 Rick Avery 10″ f5.6 DOB SAC
87 Christy Edwards 8″ SCT EVAC
87 Cindy Wood 8″ SCT EVAC
86 Sheryl Gambardella 8″ f6 DOB (11)
68 Linda Henneberg 10″ Goto SCT (12)
68 Bryce McFarland 10″ Goto SCT (12)
68 Kevin LeGore 10″ DOB n/a
66 Daniel Butters 10″ DOB EVAC Grandson of Melvin Harr
62 James Larson unknown (13)
62 Ques Zelaya unknown (13)
57 Clayton Sikes 8″ f7 DOB n/a Son
57 Ryan Sikes 8″ f7 DOB n/a Grandson
57 Jacob Sikes 8″ f7 DOB n/a Grandson
47 Trent Gutterdum unknown n/a
23 Beverly McCune 9×63 binox TAAA
1 Julie Brozio baby green eyes!

Notes –
1 – Rio Rico, AZ
2 – Calumet Astronomical Society, Griffith, IN
3 – Coconino Astronomical Society
4 – Colorado Springs Astronomical Society
5 – Auburn, CA; Astronomical League – Member at Large
6 – Sociedad Astronomica de Sonora Carl Sagan, MEXICO
7 – Eugene Astronomical Society; Eugene, OR
8 – Flossmoor, IL
9 – Tucson, AZ
10 – Astronomical League – Member at Large
11 – Tucumcari, NM
12 – Northern Arizona University Astronomy Club, Flagstaff, AZ
13 – McLean, VA