Unistellar, the company behind the eVscope smart telescope is putting on a Messier Marathon that they hope will break the record for the largest event of its kind. The event will be full of amateur and professional astronomers gazing at the sky to find as many Messier objects as they can and will include a week of outreach events to get more people into astronomy.
A Messier Marathon is a friendly competition between astronomers to find as many Messier objects in a single night. Usually, these events require skills that can take years to master but with the rise of smart telescopes it can be done by much more novice astronomers.
Messier Marathon Week, hosted by Unistellar and now in its second year, challenges stargazers to observe as many Messier objects as possible in one evening. Events take place March 10 – 16, 2021, the only time of year that all Messier objects are visible in one evening. If enough stargazers participate, Unistellar hopes to set a world record for the largest Messier Marathon event. Some of the world’s leading astronomy institutions have signed up for the Unistellar Marathon, giving stargazers across multiple contents and languages access to diverse perspectives on space. Organizations including the SETI Institute plan to participate, either by attempting a Messier marathon or by sharing their best Messier observations.
A Powerful Partner for Astronomy’s Most Challenging Race
A full Messier marathon is a rigorous, all-night stargazing adventure across 110 galaxies, nebulae, star clusters and more. It’s an extreme test of skill and fortitude that can take decades to master—unless you have a powerful digital telescope by your side.“The eVscope has unmatched speed, ease of use and light sensitivity that make it possible for novice astronomers to complete a Messier marathon, even from the heart of the city,” said Laurent Marfisi, chief executive officer of Unistellar. “A scout earning her space badge can join the same space race as a professional astronomer at the SETI Institute. The eVscope is bringing an entirely new astronomy experience to stargazers around the world.”From March 10 – 16, Unistellar’s global network of eVscope users will livestream their Messier race attempts, alongside numerous observatories, planetariums, astronomy clubs, science centers and higher education institutions. Anyone can tune in by using #UnistellarMarathon on social media, and Unistellar’s Community Map will be updated with virtual event information.
This event will also have less advanced races that can be completed in as little as 1 hour for those that aren’t able to pull an all-nighter. While for those that don’t have a telescope, there will be live streams from both professional and amateur observers that you will be able to watch and enjoy.
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