Charles Messier, a comet hunter by profession, who used to scan the skies for comets continually came across fixed diffuse objects in the night sky which could be mistaken for comets. He compiled a list of these objects, to avoid wasting time sorting them out from the comets they were looking for (which were objects like galaxies, planetary nebulae, other types of nebulae and star clusters. Who would’ve thought that centuries later hundreds of people would gather together to continue the journey which he started…
The hunt for comets, which led to the formation of a list of objects in the sky which would now pique the interest of people is known as the Messier Catalogue of deep sky objects is now used by amateur astronomers, to find as many deep space objects as possible during one night.!
The number of Messier objects visible in any one night varies depending on a few factors, including the location of the observer, the duration of daylight and nighttime, and the season (the positions of the Messier objects relative to the Sun varies with the season).
Because Messier compiled his catalog from a northern latitude, not all of the Messier objects are visible from the southern hemisphere. Although a Messier marathon can be attempted from any northern latitude, low northern latitudes are best. In particular, a latitude of around 25° north lends the best possibility to complete a Messier marathon at the right time of year which is a window of a few weeks from mid-March to early April. In that period the dark nights around the time of the new moon are best for a Messier marathon.
Messier did his observing with a 100 mm (four inches) refracting telescope downtown Paris, France. And fast forward to the present in February 2019.
Astroport India is proudly organizing a deep-space object marathon at all its flagship sites across India, inviting as well as challenging amateur astronomers across the country for an evening of their lives where people will compete in an overnight observation event to observe as many deep space objects as they can.
The challenge will not only comprise objects from the Messier catalog but other amazing marvels of the night sky as well. The participants will have a chance to use state-of-the-art cutting edge equipment using which they’ll be observing the celestial wonders.
The participants are most welcomed to bring their own observation equipment as well as use the ones which are already available with us.
We sure are really excited for the chase of the night, are you?
Dates: 6th March to 11th March 2019 & 30th March to 9th April 2019
Booking link: bit.ly/Astroport
Call us on 92787 67700 or drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org for booking inquiries and other details.