Hello Fellow OCA club members!
Sunset will be about 7:20 pm so I plan to open the gate about 6:45 pm for you folks that want to set up scopes while it is still light out. It should be pretty warm too and we probably won't need more than a t-shirt up to closing at midnight, but bring along a coat just in case.
Some lucky members might catch Mercury (Mag -.01) just before the sky darkens but we will all certainly see bright Jupiter (Mag -2.1) up above giant red star Antares in the Scorpion. We may just miss Jupiter's moon Europa passing in front of the planet but moons Io, Ganymede & Callisto will be seen to the right in that order in my Maksutov telescope. We should see the red spot on Jupiter as transit time will be 10 pm.
Dwarf planet Pluto (Mag 14) will be just 16 degrees NE of Jupiter but will require at least an 8" telescope, high power and dark sky to be seen. Neptune (Mag 7.8) will be easier to find in Capricornus as will Uranus (Mag 5.7) in Aquarius. Mars, Venus & Saturn will not be visible during the star party.
The large asteroid 4Vesta (Mag 7.2) will be just below Jupiter and a little dimmer than Jupiter's four Galilean moons while another 300 mile wide asteroid 2Pallas (Mag 8.7) in Pegasus is heading towards Aquarius this month. We might even see a left over meteor from the 83 B.C. passing of Comet Kiess, which then came back around in 1911 about 2,000 years later. We will also get to see an Iridium flare (Mag -1) at 21:01:56 15 degrees high at 358 degrees North that will light up to Mag -6.
High in the sky will be my favorite, the summer triangle topped by Vega, the fifth brightest star in the sky and then Altair, the brightest star in the Eagle constellation and finally Deneb, the tail of Cygnus the Swan. We might want to try and locate small open cluster NGC 6819 (Mag 7.3) in Cygnus which rests in our galaxy's Orion Arm (the one we are in). Some other Cygnus objects would be bright nebula NGC 6888 (Mag 8.8) found below Sadr. Nearby is the Fairy Ring asterism and also Open cluster IC 4996 (Mag 7.3).
Remember, Black Star Canyon is only 10 miles East of the 55 Newport Freeway
at the Chapman Avenue East off ramp out Santiago Canyon road near the
Silverado Canyon exit. We usually have fairly dark skies protected from
lights in a big bowl canyon.
Your OCA star party host,