07/23/2011 BSC star party recap

Posted On July 24, 2011

The gate was opened temporarily by the Nature Conservancy who led a group of visitors down the road to see the bat caves.  As darkness fell, they came back and joined the star party. I opened the gate for OCA members at 7:30 pm and we had 22 cars come down and park.

We did see the HST (Hubble Space Telescope) make the 8:50 pm pass and some saw the Iridium Flare at 9:16 pm while I was giving a night sky tour. The biggest attraction was Saturn with moon Titan clearly visible.

The Ring Nebula (M57) looked great and the visitors liked seeing the double star Albireo. Other favorites were M13 in Hercules and Neptune. The Andromeda Galaxy (M31) was very faint. Don was showing all these objects on a small video screen while taking images which also included galaxies like M51.

The night was warm in the mid 60’s and the temperature only fell to 58 F by the time I closed the gate at midnight.