09/08/12 BSC star party Recap

Posted On September 10, 2012

When I opened the gate at 6:30 pm we had overcast skies70% clouds so was concerned that we would not be able to see many objects.  But it was nice and warm (hot really).


When it got dark at 7:30, we had 25 cars parked below and we ended up with about 40 people on site and 20 telescopes. Again, some guests were from Montserrat Geier’s Cal State Long Beach Astronomy class. The sky continued to be cloudy but amazingly, we were able to spot Saturn but not Mars.


We even had a professional photographer on site and took pictures of Jonathon’s pretty wife Jenifer looking through a telescope, which was to be used in a school textbook.


During my night sky tour, the Summer Triangle was only partially visible but for awhile, we could see the “Teapot” and the “Scorpion”. The sky continued to be mostly cloudy, but areas would clear and we then could spot objects.


We had a number of people from the Beginner’s Class show up, Amy with some of her girls, Richard & Sue and others. They seemed to have a good time at their first star party.


Rob Mackenzie told me he had some nice views of M2 and Hans Strupat used his Cannon 60D with a 500mm lens guided on his EQ mount to shoot a nice picture of M2.


We had a nice view of Mars on one of the biggest scopes at BSC but being 170 million miles away, no detail could be seen on the small red disk. I also walked over to the farthest scope and they had a great view of M13 even through the clouds.


We decided to look at some clusters above the “Teapot” and found M22 and then M25 but they were very dim. Val Akins was present as was Butch and all were finding objects to view as the cloud cover moved aroundeven finding the Andromeda Galaxy. I think it was Butch’s scope that showed the Double Double star with all 4 stars split.


Everyone packed up and left by 11 pm so we closed the gate about 11:15 when the temperature was still a warm 75 F.


We had an amazingly good star party considering the sky was covered with clouds all evening.


Steve & Bonnie