Presidents Message – March 2001

Posted On March 1, 2001

The Messier Month.

If you have attended the last several OCA meetings you would have heard mention of the upcoming Messier Marathon to be held at our March 24th Star Party at Anza. March is the ideal month to attempt to observe all 110 of the Messier Objects in just one night. This year it is the best time to experience a Messier Marathon at the Anza star-party as it coincides perfectly with the new moon.

The specific details of the program for the Messier Marathon (MM) will be released in a short while - but a major focus of the night will be around the setup of some scopes on the new Public Pads in the football field.

Many members who attend a MM will want to concentrate on their own task of locating, viewing and logging their personal tour through the objects. This year we want to make the event accessible to as wide a group of our members as possible. Having a set of public scopes available will make it possible for everyone (even those without a telescope) to experience many of the most beautiful dark sky objects available for your eyes to see.

Jim Benet and James Thorpe will also be operating the Kuhn Telescope as a public MM scope for the evening.

Everyone who attends the March star-party and observes any of the Messier objects will receive their own Certificate from the club celebrating the event.

At the February meeting (my first as OCA president) I did a little experiment and asked the audience to raise their hands if they were members and had never been down to Anza. Quite a few members did indeed raise their hands.

I want to extend a request to everyone who has not had an opportunity to visit our Anza site to come down to the March star party. This is the perfect time to make the effort to experience one of the most amazing opportunities afforded to us all through the clubs fantastic Anza site resource.

Those at the February meeting will remember my offer to drive some of you down to Anza for the Messier Marathon if that will help. I was serious. If you need a lift - just send me an email and we'll arrange something.

Don't miss this opportunity. Just dress warm and bring the whole family!

Liam Kennedy
"The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper"