Brazos Valley Astronomy Club

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Messier Marathon 2012
After what seemed like an eternity of clouds and rain, the week of the Messier Marathon contained a forecast
of clear weather.  Anxious preparations were made and the group again gathered on March 23, 2012 at Mark
Spearman's Regina Caelorum observatory.  The night was clear and warm, for a Messier Marathon night.  We
had 17 total attendees with six attempting some part of the marathon.  Mark Spearman managed to image all 110
objects in one night using computerized goto with a Takahashi TOA 130!  The most remarkable part of this is
that M30 did not rise above the trees before it was very late. He actually was able to image the globular cluster through
the branches of the obstructing trees!  Truly remarkable!  Derek Kuhl logged 106 objects without setting 
circles or goto with his orange tube Celestron 8.  He missed M74 because it was too dim and thus invisible
in the decreased transparency of the twilight sky. He missed M32 and M110 because they set while looking
for M74. He was only able to log M31 by jumping up on Mark's deck and spying it with binocular before it set for
good. M30 was missed due to aforementioned horizon problem. Tim Cowden  managed to log 59 objects before
the dew caught up with him on this very warm and moist night. Judy Culver and Joe Powell collaborated on her
Vixen VMC200L to log 31 objects.  Kevin Gassen logged 15 objects with his 10x50 binoculars and Somasundaram
Essakiappan logged 18 objects with 7x50s. 
Mark again managed to pull out another patch of perfect weather for the Messier Marathon and the group thanks
him for hosting this great event for another year!