Milky Way

The New Object Star Hopping (NOSH) Marathon


The NOSH marathon involves observing, in a single night, as many new astronomy objects (i.e. objects you have never observed before) that you can. While the term 'NOSH Marathon' was first coined in 2021 by amateur astronomer Warren Finlay (see p. 14, July/August 2021 SkyNews magazine), astronomers have been doing NOSH Marathons pretty much since the invention of the telescope.

Tips for running a NOSH marathon

Observers are free to choose their own list of targets, with the only criterion being that you have not observed any of the objects before and that you must find the objects by star hopping. Since different observers have different rates at which they are able to star hop to new objects, before doing your first NOSH Marathon you might want to try star hopping to a few new objects in order to estimate your time to find a new object. Add in time for some breaks during the night to snack on your favorite nosh and to rehydrate. You might also slate some time for a nap or two, since finding new objects for an extended period can be more tiring than finding familiar bright deep sky objects. There is no set number of objects that you must observe. For your first NOSH Marathon, start with perhaps at most a few dozen target objects.

If you choose to use go-to or digital setting circles rather than star hopping to find any of your new objects, that is considered a New Object (NO) Marathon, which unfortunately doesn’t involve nosh.