March: The Messier Marathon Month
MARCH is the time when you can see nearly all the Messier objects in the
course of one night. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to knock
off as many of the 110 objects in Charlie Messier's Catalog of deep sky
wonders as you can. This year we have two Messier marathons to choose from.
SAS Messier Marathon
Randy Johnson is putting together a Messier Marathon for the Seattle
Astronomical Society. The resurrected SAS Messier Marathon is planned for
March 4 (note the date change from what was in the January newsletter). Two
locations are being considered: the gravel pit near the Stampede Pass
turn-off, and a location near Cle Elum. If you're interested in this dark
sky star party, contact Randy Johnson for the final details. He can be
reached at 206-772-4322 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
Kah-Nee-Ta Messier Marathon
The Messier Marathon at Kah-Nee-Ta Resort near Warm Springs, Oregon, is
hosted by Portland's Rose City Astronomers. This year's marathon will be
held March 31-April 1. The resort is 286 miles from Seattle. Just take
highway 26 east from Portland. Kah-Nee-Ta is just off the highway about 50
miles south of Mt. Hood and about 70 miles north of Bend. There are plenty
of signs to mark your way. The RCA usually secures a special group rate for
anyone who mentions the Messier Marathon. Just call Kah-Nee-Ta at
1-800-554-4786 and tell them you're with the Messier Marathon. For more
information about the resort, see http://www.warmsprings.com. For the Rose
City Astronomers, see http://www.rca-omsi.org/rca/index.htm.