02/25/12 BSC star party Recap

Posted On February 27, 2012

I opened the gate a little after 5 pm and we had a number of cars waiting to go in as the evening sky was clear. As the Sun went down, we could just make out dim Mercury 10 degrees above the hills with the naked eye. A telescope view just showed the planets as a small disc.


When it got dark, we had 32 cars parked below and about 50 people on site. Don Stoutenger set up his scope and video eyepiece and was showing objects on a video screen.


Venus was bright and glowing just below the crescent Moon. Jupiter was showing off its belts and moons to anyone pointing their scope that way. Mars finally came into view after 7 pm but was too low in the horizon to see any planet detail.


Many enjoyed looking at the Great Orion Nebula M42 Saturday evening but the best view I saw was in the Thomas Swann DOBS with the 20″ mirror. The Trapezium stars were very bright at about 230X power.


Just before 8 pm we noticed that the horizon was getting very foggy looking and the cold 50F temperature seemed even colder with the high humidity which must have been 50-60%. Unfortunately by 8 pm the sky was totally clouded over covering up even Venus and then the Moon. So everyone packed up and left and I locked the gate about 9 pm.