Black Star Canyon Star Party Recap - Saturday February14th, 2015
This past Saturday the sky was clear and warm throughout Orange County when we opened the gate about 5 pm. There were a few cars (5) waiting at the gate and by the end of the evening a total of 24 cars and about 48 people come out to the BSC star party. So I think the Valentine's Night star party was a big success!
As it got dark, Venus was shining bright in the West. As it got darker we could also see Mars about 10 degrees above Venus. Jupiter was a favorite telescope target to the East and the belts were very clear as were the 4 Galilean Moons. Another favorite was the Orion Nebula (M42) and Comet Lovejoy. We were showing people the comet using our Celestron 15 power binoculars.
Don McClelland was in the group of cars parking first and he set up beyond the 2nd gate. Later he was showing great views of objects and was one of the first to show Comet Lovejoy. Sam Fahmie & Tisha set up inside the 2nd gate too as did Don Stoutenger & Mary plus their granddaughter. Don had a nice view of the Andromeda Galaxy on his big video monitor.
We set up in the usual spot by the middle picnic table and Sam set up next to us. Sam was helping Sherry & Dave while Peggy & George were set up near by. Kyle and his Dad also set up nearby and shared a lot of our telescope views.. Vittal brought his big DOBS out and would have stayed late if it hadn't got so cold. The temperature dropped to 50F pretty fast.
Jonathon and Jennifer Kellog had their big Celestron scope running smooth again and were sharing views of all the best objects in the sky across the way from us. Scott Young brought out his giant DOBS with 20” mirror again and always had clear views of objects. Also attending were Gustavo, Nicky & Colin Valdivia. Marc Alexander showed up as did Autry Harper, Tru & Phil Kimbrough.
Thomas Swan & friend Karlo seemed to enjoy the star party as did Ilknur & Tarik. This was the first time for Greg & JenJones Gebhardt and same for guest Steven Cochren who brought his two young sons. Guest Daniel Cucuiat was also a first timer and he also brought out his 7 year old son Giuseppi. I apologize if we missed anyone that came late as my wife Bonnie stops jotting down names at some point.
Early in the evening I viewed Uranus and much later showed galaxies M81 & M82 to visitors in our 6” Meade LS scope. Then I viewed Open Clusters M41 (the Little Beehive), M46 & M47 which were spectacular. I even saw the Sombrero Galaxy for the first time in our scope.
Nice as the evening started, it cooled down fast and we put heavy jackets on early. We closed the gate just after midnight and the temperature was a chilly 46 F.
Steve & Bonnie