Saturday, November 3, 2012


There's definitely plenty of garden status to update, not to mention my new garden at the school house as Ronnie Davis would call it.  But, tonight I started my messier's marathon.
For our first anniversary, lauren got me a nice telescope.  We went down to Kara's house on Dewee's Island and she had these huge presents in the back seat.  I couldn't fit the cooler in the car to take it to the beach because of the gifts, but I knew she was trying to be sweet so I figured I could handle warm beers on the beach.  Anyway, the night we got down there she wanted me to open my presents.  She got me a nice scope and a bunch of eyepieces.  I got her a pearl necklace but she already had one so she took it back to the store when we got home and got some nice earrings.
So I was thinking about the telescope at the schiele the next weekend and I thought I could try to see all of the messier's objects.  I thought it was a pretty original idea until I started looking for a list and found books called the "Messier Marathon" and variations on that.  Well, I haven't read any of those books but i have checked on wikipedia and I know that M1 is the crab nebula in taurus.  Theres a pretty good story about ancient civilizations seeing a star go supernova and it later being linked to this nebula.  I went out on the back porch and unpacked the scope and prepared to start my marathon.  It wasn't the clearest of nights ever and I had been at a baby shower and checking out Kurt's new house in unsober conditions, but I thought it was a good night to start this thing.  There was a 3rd quarter moon low on the horizon and Jupiter was still behind the trees to my east.  Aldebran, the bull's red eye, was above the trees.  I read tonight that M1 was in Taurus so I thought I had a shot.
I don't really know how to work my scope and I had no real idea where or if I could find M1 from my back porch.  How did Messiers find this thing first.  How was the pleiades 45th?  I checked the internet and found out that M1 was between one of Taurus's horns and betelgeuse.  It might be above the trees now, but when I was looking it was too low for me to see.  So I started my Messier's marathon with M45- the pleiades.  I'm not sure if you are supposed to go in order or finish in a certain amount of time. I tried to start with 1 but it wasn't up yet.  I needed some success tonight so I tuned into the 7 sisters.  I even woke Lauren up to share the start of my journey.  She looked through the eyepiece and said " I see a lot of stars."  It was magical.  She immediately went back to bed and I thought I'd catalogue the nights events.  By the way I just went out back to pee over the porch and betelgeuse has made it above the trees.  I could break the scope back out and try to see M1 now but this is a messier's marathon, not a sprint.

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