The Messier Marathon

The Messier Marathon is an exhaustive attempt by an astronomer to observe all 110 Messier Objects in a single night – usually occurring around Spring Equinox when all objects can be seen between dusk and dawn. The observer begins with objects which are low to the western horizon at sky dark, continuing eastward and finishing with the targets that are low to the east just before dawn. While no sequence list can be perfect for every observer at every location, the below list works well with mid-northern latitudes and can be modified to suit your needs.

Each year astronomy clubs and observing groups get together to run the “Messier Marathon”… an exhausting, yet wonderful time!

Messier Marathon Observing List

!. M77 spiral galaxy in Cetus

2. M74 spiral galaxy in Pisces

3. M33 The Triangulum Galaxy (also Pinwheel) spiral galaxy in Triangulum

4. M31 The Andromeda Galaxy spiral galaxy in Andromeda

5. M32 Satellite galaxy of M31 elliptical galaxy in Andromeda

6. M110 Satellite galaxy of M31 elliptical galaxy in Andromeda

7. M52 open cluster in Cassiopeia

8. M103 open cluster in Casseopeia

9. M76 The Little Dumbell, Cork, or Butterfly planetary nebula in Perseus

10. M34 open cluster in Perseus

11. M45 Subaru, the Pleiades–the Seven Sisters open cluster in Taurus

12. M79 globular cluster in Lepus

13. M42 The Great Orion Nebula diffuse nebula in Orion

14. M43 part of the Orion Nebula (de Mairan’s Nebula) diffuse nebula in Orion

15. M78 diffuse reflection nebula in Orion

16. M1 The Crab Nebula supernova remnant in Taurus

17. M35 open cluster in Gemini

18. M37 open cluster in Auriga

19. M36 open cluster in Auriga

20. M38 open cluster in Auriga

21. M41 open cluster in Canis Major

22. M93 open cluster in Puppis

23. M47 open cluster in Puppis

24. M46 open cluster in Puppis

25. M50 open cluster in Monoceros

26. M48 open cluster in Hydra

27. M44 Praesepe, the Beehive Cluster open cluster in Cancer

28. M67 open cluster in Cancer

29. M95 spiral galaxy in Leo

30. M96 spiral galaxy in Leo

31. M105 elliptical galaxy in Leo

32. M65 spiral galaxy in Leo

33. M66 spiral galaxy in Leo

34. M81 Bode’s Galaxy (nebula) spiral galaxy in Ursa Major

35. M82 Cigar Galaxy irregular galaxy in Ursa Major

36. M97 The Owl Nebula planetary nebula in Ursa Major

37. M108 spiral galaxy in Ursa Major

38. M109 spiral galaxy in Ursa Major

39. M40 Double Star WNC4 in Ursa Major

40. M106 spiral galaxy in Canes Venatici

41. M94 spiral galaxy in Canes Venatici

42. M63 Sunflower galaxy spiral galaxy in Canes Venatici

43. M51 The Whirlpool Galaxy in Canes Venatici

44. M101 The Pinwheel Galaxy spiral galaxy in Ursa Major (M102 may be a duplication of M101)

45. M102? Spindle Galaxy (NGC 5866) lenticular (S0) Galaxy in Draco

46. M53 globular cluster in Coma Berenices

47. M64 Blackeye galaxy spiral galaxy in Coma Berenices

48. M3 globular cluster in Canes Venatici

49. M98 spiral galaxy in Coma Berenices

50. M99 spiral galaxy in Coma Berenices

51. M100 spiral galaxy in Coma Berenices

52. M85 lenticular (S0) Galaxy in Coma Berenices

53. M84 lenticular (S0) galaxy in Virgo

54. M86 lenticular (S0) galaxy in Virgo

55. M87 Virgo A elliptical galaxy in Virgo

56. M89 elliptical galaxy in Virgo

57. M90 spiral galaxy in Virgo

58. M88 spiral galaxy in Coma Berenices

59. M91 spiral galaxy in Coma Berenices

60. M58 spiral galaxy in Virgo

61. M59 elliptical galaxy in Virgo

62. M60 elliptical galaxy in Virgo

63. M49 elliptical galaxy in Virgo

64. M61 spiral galaxy in Virgo

65. M104 The Sombrero Galaxy spiral galaxy in Virgo

66. M68 globular cluster in Hydra

67. M83 Southern Pinwheel Galaxy spiral galaxy in Hydra

68. M5 globular cluster in Serpens Caput

69. M13 Great Hercules Globular Cluster globular cluster in Hercules

70. M92 globular cluster in Hercules

71. M57 The Ring Nebula planetary nebula in Lyra

72. M56 globular cluster in Lyra

73. M29 open cluster in Cygnus

74. M39 open cluster in Cygnus

75. M27 The Dumbbell Nebula planetary nebula in Vulpecula

76. M71 globular cluster in Sagitta

77. M107 globular cluster in Ophiuchus

78. M10 globular cluster in Ophiuchus

79. M12 globular cluster in Ophiuchus

80. M14 globular cluster in Ophiuchus

81. M9 globular cluster in Ophiuchus

82. M4 globular cluster in Scorpius

83. M80 globular cluster in Scorpius

84. M19 globular cluster in Ophiuchus

85. M62 globular cluster in Ophiuchus

86. M6 The Butterfly Cluster open cluster in Scorpius

87. M7 Ptolemy’s Cluster open cluster in Scorpius

88. M11 The Wild Duck Cluster open cluster in Scutum

89. M26 open cluster in Scutum

90. M16 open cluster associated with the Eagle Nebula or Star Queen Nebula IC 4703 in Serpens Cauda

91. M17 The Omega or Swan or Horseshoe or Lobster Nebula diffuse nebula in Sagittarius

92. M18 open cluster in Sagittarius

93. M24 Milky Way Patch star cloud with open cluster NGC 6603 in Sagittarius

94. M25 open cluster in Sagittarius

95. M23 open cluster in Sagittarius

96. M21 open cluster in Sagittarius

97. M20 The Trifid Nebula diffuse nebula in Sagittarius

98. M8 The Lagoon Nebula diffuse nebula in Sagittarius

99. M28 globular cluster in Sagittarius

100. M22 globular cluster in Sagittarius

101. M69 globular cluster in Sagittarius

102. M70 globular cluster in Sagittarius

103. M54 globular cluster in Sagittarius

104. 55 globular cluster in Sagittarius

105. M75 globular cluster in Sagittarius

106. M15 globular cluster in Pegasus

107. M2 globular cluster in Aquarius

108. M72 globular cluster in Aquarius

109. M73 open cluster in Aquarius

110. M30 globular cluster in Capricornus

Good luck!!

Messier Poster courtesy of SEDS.