The Messier Marathon last weekend was tons of fun. It’s always great to get together with others who share your passion. And although we amateurs often gather in groups to observe, there’s not always a lot of social interaction going on.
And that’s why I like the Marathon. When it is clear, you can observe all night long, and when it’s cloudy, you can hang out socially with people you like. It’s a win-win either way.
This year it was clear at sunset. As it got dark, I piddled much of the first hour away noodling with the finder scope and getting things polar aligned. Luckily, Amy distracted me by finding Messiers with her binoculars. If it had’t been for her, I would have missed it all because, about an hour after it got dark enough to observe, the clouds rolled in from the West and stayed for the night.
Inside the shelter, there was talk about moving the Marathon up until early April next year, but in April you’re wrestling with dew all night long, and that can be really frustrating too.
Had a great time though. Got to hang out with Amy, ate lots of treats, scored a chunk of Fran’s Oreo tort before it was gone, got skunked in a Cribbage game with Amy, Jim and Wayne, got more practice polar aligning the telescope, and got to bed early. It was a good night.