Saturday, March 9, 8:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.

Are you new to astronomy and looking for a challenge? Been around the sun a few times and are ready to up your stargazing street cred? There’s no better way than to try and run a Messier Marathon.

The Messier objects are a collection of deep space objects catalogued by French astronomer Charles Messier in his Catalogue des Nébuleuses et des Amas d’Étoiles (“Catalogue of Nebulae and Star Clusters”), originally published in 1771. The Messier objects themselves vary: in the catalog, you’ll find galaxies in a variety of forms, different kinds of nebulas, open star clusters, and globular star clusters. There are also a few unique objects: one supernova remnant (M1), one-star cloud (M24, our own galaxy), and one double star (M40).

In a Messier Marathon, you try and see all 110 Messier objects in a single night. Like a physical marathon, it takes planning and pacing to quickly move through over 100 deep space objects in a single night.

Whatever draws you to learn more about the Messier Marathon, you’re not alone. Every year, hundreds of astronomers undertake the challenge and head on out to the Schoolyard Observatory for some or all of the Messier Marathon where we will be attempting to discover all possible Messier objects with a number of telescopes and other amazing information on each object. Reservations are donation-based to help promote our fundraising efforts.

Please reserve and donate today.

In case of poor weather conditions this event will be held indoors at the Nature Center where we will be presenting high definition pictures / videos giving full descriptions and back grounds of the messier objects and how they came to be. We will contact you 24 hours prior to the event to confirm start times and weather conditions. 

Reserve tickets here or feel free to email observatory@hawthornhollow.org