The 2008 Messier Marathon will perhaps be one of the last occasions to combine a nine-planet marathon with the Messier event, but Neptune will be extremely difficult if at all possible, Uranus also difficult in the morning. Some comets brighter than about mag 14.0 may be visible; we will list them below from various sources (e.g., IAU's Observable Comets page, Gary Kronk's list of current comets and the Fachgruppe Kometen list):
Comet RA (2000.0) Dec mag March 21, 2008For the record: Southerners with large instruments may still try to spot now-faint (mag 18.9) old friend C/1995 O1 Hale-Bopp at RA 02:30.89, Dec -82:39.5!
Note that occasionally comets become bright shortly (like Hyakutake in 1996, Ikeya-Zhang and Utsunomiya in 2002), so check back for possible updates shortly before Marathon date.
Also, meteors from various showers may occur, and depending on your location, you may be able to observe the International Space Station, ISS.
If you have undertaken, or participated in, a Messier Marathon, 2008 or earlier, if not already done so, please send me your or your group's results, or the link to your results page, for inclusion in our Messier Marathon Results page!
Last Modification: January 2, 2008