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CloudyNights Messier Marathon Team Planning (for Saturday, 20th of March)

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#1 EmeraldHills

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Posted 12 March 2021 - 10:32 PM

Join us in this thread - as we plan the first-ever CloudyNights Team Messier Marathon. It's specifically for EAA'ers and their guests, next Saturday night, 20th of March, 2021. If you're curious about what in the world is a Messier Marathon, read more here in Wikipedia or here on Space.com or here at Messier.seds.org. See this report on doing the Marathon and these photos.)

 

I've created Zoom link for up to 500 people to attend. Tickets might be hot. Only the first 500 registrants will have a spot. The meeting cuts off at 500.

Anyone can participate from anywhere in the world. We'll start at 5pm Friday Saturday night, March 20th to 10am Eastern Time Saturday  Sunday morning, March 21st (which would allow our friends in England AND on the West Coast to pitch in with imaging, skies cooperating, of course).

Guests are welcome and highly appreciated!

 

Below, we're continuing to brainstorm ideas. Join us in the planning please!

---

Somehow, we'd have to work out a plan so that, once someone had located an object, he/she would note it in the chat log.

We would be pushing to log all 110 objects together as a team - via Zoom. So it would be interactive, rather than one-sided. This would also help if one person's night sky clouded over. Then he/she would be depending on other team members to pull us through.

We would record the event and, if God is with us (haha -- does he bless Messier Marathon parties?), we could create a YouTube video of the team outcome in which we reveal all Messier objects in numerical order. It would be a keepsake of which we could all be proud. We'd share the mp4 with all team members so everyone would be able to upload it to his/her YouTube channel directly so it would be fair for everyone. It would bond us together as a CloudyNights EAA "club," so to speak. We'd get to know everybody's personality a bit more - so we would all finish as better buds for sure. So we might really be able to help establish CloudyNights' EAA forum all the more as the HQ for EAA.

 

We could all promote it among all our constituents. Because it would be a team event, everybody's constituency would benefit. This is especially true if, say, one person's sky clouds over for just a few hours.

 

Of course, it could be chaos sometimes. We'd have to work out some kind of system. In the video, we could feature everyone's "view" of each object. So the recording would be cool.

 

I think if I provide the Zoom link for up to 500 people for the 12 hours, the least Sanjeev could do is provide ice cream and punch for everyone, right? (Let's vote on that in advance to make it official.) We would only charge someone if they damage something in the Zoom room, you know? Like if somebody kicks in a piece of drywall or breaks a window. (haha I'm joking of course) No but seriously - the whole thing would be free for everyone.

 

Why Friday Saturday night the 20th? Because I'm selfish. : ) haha Right now, every single night is clouded over through the 18th. Right now, it LOOKS like Astrospheric is forecasting that the weather will break on the 19th. But even if it doesn't, we could still push through. Because, see, with many of us contributing from all over the country, even if one person's sky is cloud-banked, another's might be clear. But ... more than being selfish because it looks like the weather breaks on the 20th, we could try the 20th because it gives us a week to plan for it. And I just thought of it tonight. haha

 

We could seek out international participants especially - so everyone is included the world over.

 

It sounds like a lot of work - but a lot of fun. 

 

What do you guys think? Who's in? If you might consider taking part, please reply with suggestions and whether or not you think it would be fun. 

I'm still trying to think it all through, but we could try using a link like this:

 

When: Mar 20, 2021 05:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada), 9PM London, 1AM Dubai, 8am Sydney  through 10am ET, 2pm London, 6pm Dubai, 1am Sydney.

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom...1F840EciDnXeyPo

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

EmeraldHillsSkies (Doug) gives his word that email addresses used in registration will only be used to correspond directly for this one event and will never be shared, sold, or used again for any other purpose.

 

By using a registration process, we should be able to avert "Zoom room bombing" a bit. People who were only interested in disrupting the meeting would be less likely to provide a 'real' email address during the signing up process. Everyone would get their own personal registration link. So - the link above would be the public link that we'd hand out to our friends and other amateurs. But the link that Zoom emails us would be our private link that we wouldn't share with anyone else. It's like - our own private ticket.

 

What do you think???

 

Sanjeev? Errol? Gary? Al (ShadowStorm / Sky King), Frank Zephead?, Jon Isaacs?, Pirate Mike?, mikenoname? , Nick (nicknacknock), Noah4x4?, hornjs?, Roelb?,  RNYboy?, Rickster? Others?

 

 

Edit: Note: Date changed from 19th to 20th


Edited by alphatripleplus, 17 March 2021 - 12:30 PM.

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#2 EmeraldHills

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Posted 12 March 2021 - 10:44 PM

Maybe I could offer a dropbox into which people could upload their best PNG images of each of as many of the the 110 objects they can log. Those images are the ones we could show in the main part of the video. But the audio track of the video would have some fun segments I bet - as we're gathering those. We could "pass the mic" to the person who is ready to display an image that has reached sufficient fulfillment. Everybody would then have 30 seconds (or whatever time we pick) to say something about that image. So we'd have it on video. But then he or she would upload the best, cropped PNG as well. (And, in keeping with the cloudynights protocol, we'd say - other than appropriate cropping, no post-processing allowed. haha)



#3 Noah4x4

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 03:37 AM

Sounds like a great idea, but three challenges;

1. Time zones, unless Australia starts, Europe follows and USA later. So it becomes a 24 hour marathon as well.

2. Clouds

3. Seasons, some parts of the World will have long nights, others short.

The reason you never see live broadcasts advertised from the UK is the weather. The team at Atik cameras that are located close to me trek to Portugal for its live broadcasts as that is the only way to guarantee the weather. I use various APPS to get an indication of a possible clear night but I am nearly always disappointed. We have had merely four short spells of clear sky at night in 2021. I so envy you guys under Californian desert skies.

#4 EmeraldHills

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 06:36 AM

Sounds like a great idea, but three challenges;

1. Time zones, unless Australia starts, Europe follows and USA later. So it becomes a 24 hour marathon as well.

2. Clouds

3. Seasons, some parts of the World will have long nights, others short.

The reason you never see live broadcasts advertised from the UK is the weather. The team at Atik cameras that are located close to me trek to Portugal for its live broadcasts as that is the only way to guarantee the weather. I use various APPS to get an indication of a possible clear night but I am nearly always disappointed. We have had merely four short spells of clear sky at night in 2021. I so envy you guys under Californian desert skies.

Noah4x4, we will stretch the experience to accommodate ANYone wanting to jump on board. 

 

For example, 5pm ET would be 9pm London time. It should be dark by 9pm, right? Let's start the experience at 5pm. That gives you the entire night to pitch in -- IF we can pray up some ultra clear skies. Honestly, we (here in the Midwest) can identify with you. Friday night the 19th is the ONLY night in the next 10 days that is at all forecasted to be clear - but for all I know, it will cloud up and the clear night (if at all) will move to some other day. But this event would still go on - because it's a TEAM effort. And maybe you and I, if we're under cloudy skies, won't be able to participate by bringing any targets to the Zoom meeting. But we trust our CloudyNights teammates to do their best to make up for us. How 'bout that?



#5 EmeraldHills

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 06:44 AM

Edited the brainstorming post above. I know the forum limits the time window for editing. So we'll soon lose that option. If you have any other input that affects the original post, please let us know.



#6 EmeraldHills

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 11:38 AM

We have a team of three so far, tackling this. We'd love your help with this marathon. As you think about it, how could we make it better?



#7 SanjeevJoshi

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 02:23 PM

hi, sounds like fun.   I am hesitating to commit given I have some other things going on this next weekend, family oriented.   I can try and join for an hour or two - seeing permitting.   You almost need a final commit the day prior based on people's schedule and seeing.  The 5 day forecast is not very meaningful where I live.  Keep us posted, 

 

Sanjeev


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#8 EmeraldHills

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 02:24 PM

Sounds good, Sanjeev. You could always sign up so you'd receive your own custom link - then show up if/when you can. : ) Even if you just bag 2 objects for the team, it's a contribution. : ) It would be great to have you and your 183/2600 combo kit. : )



#9 SanjeevJoshi

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 02:55 PM

Ok yes, seeing permitting and family commitments, sign me up.   I am always happy to pitch in.   Depending on what other cameras are being used for the evening and what's visible in my evening (7 pm to roughly 10 pm pacific) - i could contribute with one of three combinations ---

 

RASA 8 and 2600 MC Pro

RASA 8 and 183 MC Pro

C8 Edge and 2600 MC Pro  (with or without a F6.3 reducer)

 

I think RASA 8 and 183 MC Pro will give the most flexibility among the combinations I own but I am open to using any.  Not a ding on the 2600 lol.

 

I think will be good to have a master inventory somewhere, with rough size.   Something like this?  It is open office format since I dont want to pay for MS Office for hobby stuff.   I went thru some websites -- unfortunately did not write down object size, but the OTA / camera combination should be fine, if the images on astronomy.tools are correctly sized.  Might be good to add a column for the accurate object size if we can find one.  And perhaps some rough assignments that people can collaborate on, based on their favorite targets but also time zones and sky conditions.   We could put this on a google drive for example.

 

 

 

 

 

Attached Files


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#10 EmeraldHills

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 03:10 PM

That's an awesome idea. I knew you'd bring insight to the table. : )

 

OK - please just click here and answer 4 questions and it'll email you the link.

 

When: Mar 19, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom...1F840EciDnXeyPo

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.



#11 garyhawkins

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 03:20 PM

The weather here has been bad lately, but Friday looks promising.  If I'm operating from home, my sky view is poor so I may not be able to see many Messier objects.  That being said, I'll could try to bring something different to the party, how about checking in a live photometric session?  Either way, I will join.



#12 GaryShaw

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 03:24 PM

Fun idea Doug!
How is it determined ( demonstrated?) that an object is successfully viewed? No time for imaging or live stacking so is it adequate that a clear view of the object is achieved ‘onscreen’?

Gary

 

ps: seems mainly a test of object sequencing, mount management and plate solving...

 

ps(2): if I get to every object that passes my view window, it tallies 63 Max. DST is not my friend that night.


Edited by GaryShaw, 13 March 2021 - 03:28 PM.

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#13 EmeraldHills

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 03:24 PM

The weather here has been bad lately, but Friday looks promising.  If I'm operating from home, my sky view is poor so I may not be able to see many Messier objects.  That being said, I'll could try to bring something different to the party, how about checking in a live photometric session?  Either way, I will join.

I'm laughing so hard. You're a wild man, Gary. It's a Messier Marathon -- and you want to do photometry??????????? hahahahahahaha



#14 EmeraldHills

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 03:28 PM

Fun idea Doug!
How is it determined ( demonstrated?) that an object is successfully viewed? No time for imaging or live stacking so is it adequate that a clear view of the object is achieved ‘onscreen’?

Gary

 

ps: seems mainly a test of object sequencing, mount management and plate solving...

well, as far as I can determine, nobody's ever DONE an EAA Messier Marathon before! : ) To me, the proof would be -- at least 60 seconds of imaging of all 110 objects. So if we're doing THAT, we might as well also snag a snapshot of the final image. And if we DO happen to have several guys image the same object, no problem - we'll feature ALL objects in the final celebration video. If somebody ends up doing 10 minutes of data on one particular object, presumably, his or her final minute will be the best snapshot - but we might grab someone else's 30-second narration about the object for the video sound track, then overlay everyone's snapshot over the top of parts of the video, giving credit to each astronomer at the bottom of each image, naturally. You'll probably be famous -- even more famous for this than you are for your photometry, Gary! : )



#15 EmeraldHills

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 03:37 PM

I have a subscription to SmartSheet until March 31st. I'll create a chart that's publicly viewable, but only registered users can edit it. One of the cool things about SmartSheet is - we can upload our PNGs directly to the associated target/object. So all the images of M1 will be attached to the M1 line - and so on.



#16 SanjeevJoshi

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 03:38 PM

That's an awesome idea. I knew you'd bring insight to the table. : )

 

OK - please just click here and answer 4 questions and it'll email you the link.

 

When: Mar 19, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom...1F840EciDnXeyPo

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Doug, will you be starting a google share drive or google group file, where participants could update what object(s) they are planning or have already completed?   Being 3 hours behind -- I can look at what has been picked or shown already so that we are not doing much duplicating.


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#17 EmeraldHills

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 03:46 PM

Let's see if this chart will work - so we can keep all the objects straight. If this works, we and our teammates can all upload the objects directly to a line that is associated with each object so - at a glance - we can see the unfinished business. I'm almost done creating it.



#18 garyhawkins

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 04:00 PM

OK, I'll game for Messier Objects, but I might have to change my location, or stick to a pretty restricted set :)



#19 GaryShaw

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 04:02 PM

well, as far as I can determine, nobody's ever DONE an EAA Messier Marathon before! : ) To me, the proof would be -- at least 60 seconds of imaging of all 110 objects. So

As Phil has pointed out elsewhere, there are two flavors of EAA that seem to exist, 1) EAA Observing and 2) EAA Imaging.

 

If we adopt  'Observing' as our central objective, it would be consistent with the classic visual Messier Marathons and the 'honor system' regarding observation confirmation would be adequate - the pace would be fast.

 

If we want to take the 'Imaging' approach, the picture becomes the main objective and things could slow way down if competitive urges to have the 'best pics' take over.....

 

It's your party so you should set the 'tone'.

Cheers

Gary
 



#20 EmeraldHills

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 04:17 PM

Thanks for helping us think this through.

My thought is - observing is the key. But just as EAA ends up being a mixture of the two disciplines, let's make the Messier Marathon a mixture. For example, check out this chart:

 

https://app.smartshe...e71e35230de9d02

 

So I'm thinking - this will be a public chart that any of our guests/viewers can see. They'll be able to view our progress. Once a target has been "observed" by someone, somewhere, we can certainly celebrate. But once someone has uploaded at least one snapshot, then they click the checkbox and THAT's when we can relax about that target. So let's make it our goal that we do both observe AND upload a snapshot image.

 

So on the Zoom video recording, we'll have a video of the person who "observed" it. But then ANYone (even if they're not the one being featured in the Zoom video recording) could add an image of the target and THAT will also be a part of the final edited video that we make.

 

Deal?

 

The upload colum is at the far left and has a paperclip at the top.

 

Only those who register at the link below in advance will be given a user name to edit and upload.

 

https://us02web.zoom...1F840EciDnXeyPo

 

What do you think? Thoughts? Reflections? ideas?


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#21 ZepHead

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 04:30 PM

I'll throw my hat in the ring too.  Extended forecast shows good conditions for Friday...

 

What else do you need from me Doug (besides signing up for the Zoom meeting)?


Edited by ZepHead, 13 March 2021 - 04:32 PM.


#22 ShaulaB

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 04:33 PM

Rain, rain, and rain for me. Maybe next year. Did a Messier Marathon in 2012, gear iced over several times

#23 EmeraldHills

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 04:36 PM

Frank - Zephead!! That's awesome! Great to have you as part of the team! Yay!

Just please start planning your strategy. What hours you'll stay up and be on the Zoom call, which targets you can tackle, where you'll image, what kind of munchies you'll need... haha.  Sanjeev is supposed to furnish refreshments though, so if you can trust him, you'll be set already.

 

OK - I've just triggered the SmartSheet to send out editing credentials to those who have signed up so far. Feel free to log on and get to know the sheet. Still working on it - it's a work in progress.



#24 EmeraldHills

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 04:36 PM

Rain, rain, and rain for me. Maybe next year. Did a Messier Marathon in 2012, gear iced over several times

At least sign up and join us anyway on the Zoom call for an hour, ShaulaB. Cheer everybody on. Make fun of someone's snacks. Brag on someone's image. : ) It's a team event - so even if you DO have clouds - you're still part of the team! : )



#25 EmeraldHills

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 04:37 PM

One of the things we could all set as a personal goal -- to learn everybody's real name!!! haha




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