09/04/2010 BSC star party Recap

Posted On September 5, 2010

I opened the gate at 6:40 pm with a long line of cars waiting and it was hot. It was a T-shirt night and was just 68F late into the evening. We ended up with 30 cars and a nice clear night with the Milky Way visible.

The secret USAF X-37B (Mag 4.2) passed over at 8:20 but without super satellite spotter Katie, no one saw it. Venus was a bright Mag -4.3 and 39% lit showing up first along side of Spica with Mars close by. Saturn was spotted just above the hill before it set.

M13 in Hercules was spectacular while asteroid Ceres was a dim Mag 8 object looking a bit yellow. I was not able to find M55 but M54 showed up along the bottom of the Teapot. M70 was fairly easy to spot. Jupiter finally came into view and was spectacular with Uranus just a degree away. We also viewed Neptune not far away and then looked out even further to the Ring Nebula, the Double Double and far out to the Andromeda Galaxy.

Greg Schedcik had his 13″ Celestron set up as did Dave so we had some nice large aperture scopes at Black Star. Jean was there with her big DOB scope she lovingly calls Dorthy and Vitall had his DOB too. Tina set up her new 8″ scope and Hassi had some astronomy class guests come out. Ron, from JPL was having fun as was Val and Don McClellan. Michael Wright set up his scope and we even had OCA Treasurer Charlie on site.