Messier Contests

Keep your eyes open for upcoming TSS contests and challenges.
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Messier Contests


Post by Gordon »

Many members who followed us over from the old forum will remember the Messier Contests. These are really more of a way to challenge yourself than a contest. It appears things have slowed down a bit, and we would like to take this opportunity to re-introduce everyone.

It's pretty simple,

Tier 1: Observe 35 Messier Objects
Tier 2: Observe 35 more Messier Objects, for a total of 70
Tier 3: Observe 40 more Messier Objects, for a total of 110**

This can be done in any manner you wish. Visual, Sketches or Astrophotography.

Here's a link to the information. We hope everyone will accept the 'Challenge' and give this a shot!
Scopes: Explore Scientific ED80CF, Skywatcher 254N, Orion ST80, Orion Atlas EQ-g mount, Orion SSAG guider. Baader MPCC MkIII coma corrector, Vixen 70mm refractor. Lunt LS35THa solar scope. Skywatcher EQ5pro mount. Imagers: ZWO ASI1600 MM Cool, ZWO ASI174mm-C (for use with my Quark chromosphere), ZWO ASI120MC Filters: LRGB, Ha 7nm, O-III 7nm, S-II 7nm Eyepieces: a few, Primary software: Cartes du Ciel, EQMOD, SGP, Nebulosity, Photoshop, StarTools V1.4
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Post by bladekeeper »

And the best thing is, it's loads of fun!

By the time one works through the Messier Catalog, you've unwittingly developed a keen observing eye and you are primed to step forth with confidence into the broader universe of deep-sky observing.

When I started out, I worked through the Messier Catalog in about 4 months with my 12" dobsonian.

But! You don't need large aperture to view these objects provided you aren't inundated with light pollution. I've been working back through the objects with one of my 80mm refractors in my typically Bortle 5 backyard sky. Using my notes supplemented with some from my other scopes, I was able to earn my TSS Messier badges. My notes are here if interested: ... =89&t=7699

Plus you get a cool looking, suitable for framing, certificate!
Cert Sample.PNG
Which just reminded me, I owe a couple of folks a certificate... :shock:
Scopes: Apertura AD12 f/5; Celestron C6-R f/8; ES AR127 f/6.4; Stellarvue SV102T f/7; iOptron MC90 f/13.3; Orion ST80A f/5; ES ED80 f/6; Celestron Premium 80 f/11.4; Celestron C80 f/11.4; Unitron Model 142 f/16; Meade NG60 f/10
Mounts: Celestron AVX; Bresser EXOS-2; ES Twilight I; ES Twilight II; iOptron Cube-G; AZ3/wood tripod; Vixen Polaris
Binoculars: Pentax PCF WP II 10×50, Bresser Corvette 10×50, Bresser Hunter 16×50 and 8×40, Garrett Gemini 12×60 LW, Gordon 10×50, Apogee 20×100

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Post by 10538 »

Hi Bryan! I had a fun time reading your notes which reminded me of how much fun it is to observe the Messier catalogue. I never get tired of checking them out with different scopes and magnifications. They are like revisiting old friends! :Astronomer1: :lol:
Scopes: Orion XX14g 14” Dob w/MoonLite focuser. Meade LX200 Classic 10”w/AudioStar and MoonLite focuser, Criterion RV6, Orion ST80A w/2” GSO micro focuser. Meade ETX 90. Eyepieces: ES 5.5mm 100*, 6.7mm 82*, 11mm 82*, 14mm 100*, 18mm 82*, 20mm 100*, Meade 9mm XWA 100*, 24mm UWA 82*, 56mm 50*, TV Delos 6 & 8mm, Panoptic 24, 27 & 35mm, 17mm Nagler, Powermate 2X, Baader 6mm Ortho, Paracorr II. MISC: Orion Skyview Pro Mount, Skymaster 15x70, 20x70, 25x100 Binos, HoTech Collimator, Kendrick Dew System, Orion G3, Telrads, Catsperch Obs. Chair.
H1- Complete / H-2 185 remaining / H-3 163 remaining
Bortle 2-3 “Starlight, I hear you calling out to me so far away” Jeff Lynne ELO.
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Post by Dragonsfire »

Awesome Bryan :occasion-balloons:
Orion XT8i Dob, ES AR102
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Agena SWA 38mm 70 FOV 2" EP, Orion 25+10mm Sirius Plossl 52 FOV EP
ES 82* 11mm, 18mm 2", ES 68* 24mm, 6mm, 25mm Ortho. EP, Televue 3X Barlow
Filters Baader Continuum, UV/IF cut, Lumicon UHC, DGM OIII. ND5/3.8 Kendrick
GX1 Lumix, E-PM2, ASI120mc, SteadyPix Deluxe, iOptron SkyTracker 7.7lb
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Post by helicon »

It's a whole lot of fun. While it took me about 18 months (I'm no Bryan) it was very satisfying. All with a 10" Dob.
Various scopes, 10" Zhumell Dob, ES AR152, AWB 5.1" Onesky newt, Oberwerk 25x100 binos, two eyeballs
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Post by SonnyE »

Oh Dear!
I guess I'll have to get organized now.
My Messier's are messy and filed by date, not item.
Time to clean up my act. :lol:
I doubt I have 20 yet.
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"I'm just lookin for another victim to suck the light out of..."
Lotsa stuff. But not too much stuff.
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Post by Graeme1858 »

bladekeeper wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 2:06 am
And the best thing is, it's loads of fun!

I won't be completing in 4 months! I've missed a few and will have to wait for them to come round again.

But you're quite right Bryan, it is fun and you get to see and learn about objects you might not bother with ordinarily. Like who would have known there's a small planetary nebula in the middle of M46? I will probably go back to that with the 9.25 next winter.


Celestron 9.25 f10 SCT, CGX mount.
Canon 600D, Altair GPCAM2 290C, 0.5 Reducer.
Celestron 80mm Guidescope, QHY5-II Mono
Miranda 10x50 Binoculars.
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