Harshad Abhyankar is taking lead towards a full Messier Marathon on 17/18 March 2007. Harshad is one of the very few international amateur astronomers who as spotted all but one Messier object.

{If you do not know what it means to participate in messier Marathon then let me tell you that it is one of the most rewarding experiences in the life of an amateur astronomer.}

Once in a year, close to mid March, one gets a chance to see all the 110 Messier objects in one night. But this chance can be completely ruined by the presence of the Moon in the sky. Moonlight severely hampers identification of dim objects.

In 2007 the new moon is on 19th of March and night of Saturday 17/18 March offers a very good chance to spot all 110 objects in one night.

Harshad has very kindly offered to give training in observing Messier objects. This means all the basic observing techniques of observing M- objects, handling telescopes and also sharing of his unique experience.

This is a course ~ with fee tag of Rs 700/- . This money is only for the transport (It costs about Rs 200/- per trip) and for the course material ~ star charts / log sheets and so on.

Harshad is doing this free of cost and even he will share the transportation cost.

** This fee does not include food etc.

You can pay the fees in two instalments of Rs 450/- and Rs 250/- The first instalment will have to be paid on or before Dec 14.

This fee is not absolute ~ if we manage to save some money then your appropriate share will be refunded. If it costs more you will have to share that.

As it stands to day (Nov 24, 2006) following members have confirmed their participation in MM07

1. Vishwanath Jigjinni
2. Rakesh Shroff

(you are requested to confirm your participation before the time runs out)
Please also note – this is not on first-come-first-serve basis. Please read Harshad’s not below

Harshad adds

Participating in Messier Marathon and participating in these practice sessions are two different things. Let me clarify what I mean, and be a bit frank in doing so:

Messier Marathon *practice sessions* are not for beginners. You should have the following TODAY if you want to participate in these sessions:

1. Equipment:
You should own/ have access to a telescope better than 4″ or binoculars better than those 10x50s. Maximum 2 people can share one instrument. You should identify your instrument today, and be familiar with it with the objective of using the same instrument for MM.

You should also have start charts that show mag 6 stars.
2. Knowledge, of the equipment & the sky:
You should know how to read a star chart and how to use a telescope.
As a test, see if you can spot M31 or M42 in