|Koen van Gorp - Astronomy and Photography|
The goal: observing all 110 entries of the Messier catalogue, a list of objects composed by Messier and Méchain to keep track of objects the could confuse with the comets they were hunting for. Ironically, they became famous for t he list and not the comets they discovered.
During a few nights each year the conditions are right to observe all 110 Messier objects: You have to possibility to do a Messier Marathon. This means: astronomical conditions are perfect. These do not include: weather, observer experience, fatigue, luck, light pollution, ... When put together, this marathon forms a major challenge for any observer.
Sir Patrick Moore composed this list of objects because he found many objects to be very interesting and/or beautiful but he didn't find those object on any observing list. Some of these objects are easy and well known, other objects are not.
When the two afore mentioned lists start getting depleted, you can try the Herschel 400 observing list. Compiled by the Ancient City Astronomy Club, it is a list of the most prominent 400 objects in the New General Catalogue which were observed by Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel (2477 objects).
Ofcourse, the fun doesn't end here...
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