08/11/12 BSC star party Recap

Posted On August 12, 2012

When I opened the gate at 7:15 pm we had a number of cars waiting to enter the BSC star party site, with one vehicle already inside it was an OC Parks Ranger. It was nice and warm (hot really) but the sky was 60% overcast so I was surprised that so many people showed up early.  


When it got dark, we had 23 cars parked below and we ended up with about 40 people on site. Some were from Montserrat Geier’s Cal State Long Beach Astronomy class. Amazingly, the sky continued to clear up but clouds lingered in the west obscuring Saturn & Mars.


After my night sky tour, the western sky cleared too and most everyone pointed their scopes at Saturn. I could only see giant moon Titan at 76 power and was not able to do any better at 200X. Mars is still too far away to see any detail in my ETX 125 Meade telescope.


Around 9 pm, the Scorpion was high in the SE sky with the “Teapot” just to the left that seemed to be letting out steam from the spout.  The Milky Way band was barely visible from Sagittarius up through the Summer Triangle.


Butch showed everyone Neptune at about 200X but when I showed it in my scope at 76X it was very small and some were not so sure it was Neptune. But I did some checking and it was Neptune showing a hint of blue-grey color.


My views of M22 and even M13 were not as vibrant and bright as usual but Albireo’s yellow and blue double stars looked great. The Andromeda Galaxy looked great in our 15 power binoculars. We also saw a number of meteors that were certainly a crowd favorite.


I noticed that the outreach at Riley Park was cancelled due to bad weather so I almost cancelled the BSC star party due to the overcast. But glad we did go out and open the gate as a lot of people showed up and we had a nice star party lasting all the way until midnight.


Steve & Bonnie