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Photographic Messier Marathon Album

by Tim Hunter
 

M17
 

In 1999, the eleven year old negatives from the photographic Messier Marathon on March 19/20, 1988 were scanned at low resolution (675 dpi) on a Polaroid Sprint 35 Plus Scanner and converted to JPG or GIF images for display on this web page. Several of the original negatives were missing, and their images can not be displayed here. All the negatives were processed in Photoshop 5.0 and Corel Photo-Paint 8.0 to improve contrast and to remove dust specks, scratches, and blue static electricity marks. Most of the images were cropped to reduce the image size and improve the image composition. Many of the original negatives produced very good images without much processing. Other negatives had few scratches or static electricity marks, but their images were poor because of underexposure or significant star trailing from poor guiding or wind gusts. The following images are representative examples of those with significant static electricity marks. The before images show the pictures as they originally appeared on the negatives. The after images show them after considerable processing:
M16 before M16 after
M24 before M24 after


"Contact Sheets" of the Messier Objects


The following list of images is in approximately the same order the photographs were taken on the Marathon night. Those objects on this list who names appear in blue represent Messier objects whose image negatives are lost. All images are approximately oriented with the North at the top and the West to the right.
 
M103
M34
M31, M32, M110
M33
M74
M77
M76
M45
M42, M43
M79
M78
M1
M35
M37
M36
M38
M41
M93
M46
M47
M50
M48
M67
M44
M105
M96
M95
M65, M66
M64
M53
M3
M81
M82
M108
M97
M109
M40
M101
M84
M86
M87
M58
M59, M60
M89
M90
M88
M91
M99
M98
M100
M85*
M61
M49
M83
M68
M104
M5
M13
M92
M57
M56
M29
M39
M12**
M10
M14
M107
M9
M80
M4
M19
M62
M6
M7
M8
M20
M21
M18
M23
M25
M24
M17
M16
M27
M71
M11
M26
M22
M28
M69
M70


* An object recorded as M85 on the original negative list does not match M85's appearance shown by The Sky and MegaStar as well as by CCD images of M85 taken at the 3towers Observatory. It has not yet been identified and must have been mistaken for M85 in the rush to photograph as many objects as possible on Messier Marathon night.

** The image recorded as M12 on the original negative list is actually that of M10. In the frenzy of the Messier Marathon night, M10 mistakenly was photographed twice and M12 missed.

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