2016 All Arizona Messier Marathon
The marathon this year is at the same site as the event last year: Salome Emergency Airfield (Hovatter Airstrip).
Before continuing be sure you have read and signed the waiver for the 2016 event. It is located here. 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 sunset meeting.
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 certificates.
** NEW THIS YEAR **
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 certificates.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 join us.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! ENJOY!
The guidelines are pretty simple, please read them over if you plan on participating.
Start observing/imaging when you are ready, presumably some time 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 some time after morning twilight.
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.
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 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
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 again serve as lead Coordinator.
Saguaro Astronomy Club http://www.saguaroastro.org/content/messier.htm
1378 ft 420 m