Take the Moore Marathon! April 1 thru April 24

To celebrate 55 years of The Sky at Night in April, take on the Moore Marathon stargazing challenge – 55 night sky objects for you to observe. You can find the detailed and quick versions of the Marathon, listing all the objects in the challenge, here.

Sir Patrick Moore has picked his 55 favourite night sky objects and, over the month of April, would like you to see as many as you can. The Moore Marathon will help celebrate 55 years of The Sky at Night, which was first broadcast on 24th April 1957. This show has been part of the fabric of astronomy interest in England for decades, and it has been often observed how Patrick Moore is to British astronomy on TV what Carl Sagan was for viewers in the United States.

Patrick Moore as he appeared on the first ever episode
of The Sky at Night in 1957

From the Moon to the star Albireo, the Moore Marathon has something for everyone.You can spot some with your eyes, others need binoculars or a telescope, and you can take part on your own or as a group.

To celebrate the anniversary, the BBC is holding several special events this year. BBC 1 will air a special episode of the show April 1 titled “Warp factor 55,” which will take viewers on a journey at the speed of light throughout the cosmos, exploring stars, nebulae, and galaxies along the way (this is today). On 6 May on BBC One, and 10 May on BBC Four, The Sky at Night will feature a selection of your observations, from the simple to the most interesting.

You can take part by downloading a Moore Marathon observing form. There are two types,


 The Quick Observing Form  skyatnight55_quickform

Download this Excel file, save it on your computer, fill it in and email it back to skyatnight@bbc.co.uk.

To be included in the programme, this must be emailed by 24 April 2012.

Or, if you want to include more detail in your observation reports…


The Detailed Observing Form. skyatnight55_detailedform

Download this PDF, print it out and fill it in by hand. Then post it back to: The Sky at Night, BBC Birmingham, The Mailbox, Birmingham, B1 1RF.

To be included in the programme, forms must be received by 24 April 2012.

You can also download a detailed observing guide to Patrick Moore’s 55 objects, assembled and written by British observer Pete Lawrence.

Credit: BBC

A message from Sir Patrick

“I hope you enjoy the objects I have picked out for you to observe in April and I look forward to finding out how you get on. Good luck and thank you for taking part.”

Info borrowed from: here & here.


About heavenswithlamps

I am an educator by day and a casual Star gazer by night. I read a lot, surf a lot, cycle at times, like trekking, learning swimming, and philosophize at times. Life = Be Cooool!

Posted on April 1, 2012, in Hot News, Observation Logs and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Sir Patrick is a great guy. I met him once and he autographed my Observer’s Guide for me. I was probably about 12 at the time. Years later, my parents got a publisher friend to have him sign his autobiography as a birthday gift for me 😀

    Long live Sir Patrick!

  2. Reblogged this on ABC Astronomy and commented:
    Here’s an excellent challenge for April!

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