The University of Arizona


  • Messier Marathon at the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter
    Messier Marathon 2016 (Hosted by Kathie Zelaya)
    The Mt.Lemmon SkyCenter invites you to take part in one of Astronomy’s biggest challenges, the Messier Marathon!  Guests will peer through our very own 24” Phillips telescope in an attempt to accomplish the feat of observing as many of the 110 Messier Objects as possible, over the course of one night!

    This all night program begins one hour before sunset and ends just before dawn, making it possible to hunt for all of the magnificent Messier Objects!

    Participants may bring their own “non-goto” telescope, if they so desire, to attempt the marathon using their own equipment.  Don’t own a telescope? No worries! Our expert Hosts will guide you through the heavens in search of some of Messier’s best and brightest deep sky objects.

    Program Fee includes the use of a fantastic location, one of Arizona’s largest publicly available telescopes, and high quality binoculars.  You also receive two meals (dinner and light breakfast the morning after), snacks, refreshments and lodging.  In addition, all participants will receive a personalized Certificate of Participation.  This memorable keepsake will include the date of your Marathon attempt as well as the total number of successfully observed objects.
    The group size is limited to 15 guests. Sign up now!
  • Now Showing the Great Orion Nebula during our programs!

    See our Gallery

  • Images Available for Sale Online

    Now Available! Images taken by renown astrophotographer Adam Block.  Go to our Image Gallery select the image you want (just a few examples shown below), place your order online and we will ship it to you! Fast and easy, they make great gifts!


  • Astronomy with Adam Block

    Adam Block founded the SkyCenter astronomy programs in 2007 and continues to manage them today. In addition to his efforts to popularize astronomy and science through public speaking, he has also established himself as a internationally respected astrophotographer. In 2012 he was awarded the "Hubble Award" for his work in astrophotography and public outreach. In 2013 the Royal Observatory recognized him as the "Astrophotographer of the Year" for deep space imagery. Nature, Discover, and Time magazines have all featured his work and today he is a columnist for Astronomy magazine. He has discovered several asteroids and even a supernova in another galaxy. 

    Once a month (or so, see below) Adam hosts a special evening that is a variation of a regular program. He uses his broad background to highlight current research and the philosophy of science. At the same time he also enthralls audiences with his astrophotography and his artistic perspectives. Once it is dark Adam will lead guests in viewing through the 0.8m Schulman telescope at objects that are part of Adam's narrative on this evening. These things will often be objects not typically shown in a regular show .(Of course if Saturn is in the sky, he will show it!)

    This five-six hour program  will provide you with a captivating experience that will long be remembered. In addition to viewing through the telescope, other elements of the show may include a tour of research telescopes, hands-on demonstrations, and perhaps real-time astrophotography. 

    Come join Adam on the shores of our cosmic ocean and cast off into the depths of space. (Returning safely later in the evening.)

    Cost:  $75 per person includes light meal. Adam will happily sign pictures. 


    Friday January 29th 2016

    Friday February 5th 2016

    Friday February 26th 2016

    Friday March 3rd 2016

    Friday March 11th 2016

    Friday April 1st 2016

    Friday June 3rd 2016

    Friday July 1st 2016


    $75/person ($50 for youths) 

    Buy tickets >>