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.
Saguaro Astronomy Club
Missed or Comments
|109||Peter Argenziano||25″ DOB||SAC/EVAC||M30|
|109||James Delia Brix||16″ DOB||(1)||M30|
|109||Chris Brownewell||120ED Ref||(2)||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||Richard Payne||6″ f3.3 Tak||SAC||M30|
|109||Marty Pieczonka||140mm Ref||EVAC||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||Julie & Jeff Trogan||LX200 8″ GPS||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|
|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|
|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|
|23||Beverly McCune||9×63 binox||TAAA|
|1||Julie Brozio||baby green eyes!|
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