The University of Arizona
Messier Marathon March 25, 2017

Messier Marathon 2017

The Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter invites you to take part in one of Astronomy’s biggest challenges, the Messier Marathon!  The Messier catalogue was compiled by French astronomer Charles Messier during the late 18th century and consists of 110 relatively bright deep sky objects (galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters).  At northern latitudes, it is possible to observe all Messier objects in one night during a window of a few weeks from mid-March to early April. 

Guests are invited to use the 32” Schulman and 24” Phillips Telescopes in an attempt to accomplish this feat, over the course of one night!  This all night program begins one hour before sunset and ends just before dawn.  Our expert Hosts will guide you through the heavens in search of Messier’s best and brightest deep sky objects.

Program Fee ($125) includes dorm room accommodations at our fantastic location, all night access to the Schulman and Phillips telescopes - 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.


As the Messier Marathon is an all-night affair, some individuals choose to turn in early or take a ‘cat nap’ during the night.  As such, your registration includes a double occupancy room inside one of our two Astronomer Dorm Room buildings.  Linens and towels will be provided, but you can certainly bring your own if you wish.  Each building houses one central restroom/bathroom facility. Personal toiletry items are not provided.


Arrival/check in time is 5:00pm on the day of the Marathon. You will be given your room and building number upon arrival. Check-out time is at 11:30 AM, the day after the Marathon.