05/12/12 BSC star party Recap

Posted On May 14, 2012

We opened the gate at 7:15 pm and had at least 15 cars waiting to enter the BSC star party site as the evening sky was clear. As the Sun went down, we could start to make out bright Venus with the naked eye. A telescope view showed the planet as a small crescent shape as expected..


When it got dark, we had 23 cars parked below and about 50 people on site. But no one was able to spot the Iridium Flare that was supposed to show up at 8:06 pmnot even our best satellite spotter, Katie.


Almost everyone viewed Saturn in their scope and biggest moon Titan was shining bright above the big planet. The best view of Saturn and its rings I saw was on Greg’s 8″ scope. Later on Brad’s scope, I could see even a few more of Saturn’s moons.


Mars was glowing bright and Brad’s nice 8″ (I think) scope showed the northern white polar cap at 225X even though that planet is now 94 million miles away..


Don Stoutenger set up his scope and was again showing objects on a video screen. His view of M51, the Whirlpool galaxy, was superb when it got darker. Greg found M81 and was trying to get M82 into the same eyepiece view.


Brad had a great view of the M13 star cluster with many individual stars visible at high power. Later when Vega came up, I was able to put 200X power on the Double Double and make out all four stars.


The crowd thinned out as it got later but a few stayed until closing time yet I was able to lock the gate just after midnight. We finally had another classic Black Star Canyon star party with dark skies and steady seeing all the way to midnight.


Steve & Bonnie