Black Star Canyon star party Saturday 03/10/07

Posted On March 7, 2007

Hello Fellow OCA club members!

Finally it looks like we will have a clear night sky for the Black Star
Canyon star party this Saturday, according to the latest weather report.
Daytime temps will be warm (78 F) but it will get chilly (below 50 F) when
it gets late. Sunset is about 6 pm so I plan to open the gate about 5:30.

The only two planets that will be visible Saturday evening will be nearby
(126 million miles away) Venus (Mag -3.9) shining brighter than any star and
distant (770 million miles away) Saturn (Mag .1). Venus in Pices will start
off 30 degrees high and set at 8:14 pm while Saturn in Leo (just 9 degrees
west of Regulus) will be up all night long. On Saturday we should see moon
Titan (Mag 8.5) far to the West of Saturn and moon Rhea (Mag 9.8) about half
as far to the East of Saturn. Moon Dione (Mag 10.5) will be to the West and
moon Tethys (Mag 10.5) will be to the East right next to Saturn so will be
very challenging to see.

A 70 mile wide asteroid 23 Thalia (Mag 9.8) will be traveling between Virgo
and Coma Berenices near M91. We have two comets flying parallel on either
side of Venus this month about 10 degrees apart. Comet Petriew (Mag 10) is
between Pices and Cetus while Comet 2P/Encke (Mag 11) in Pices heading for
Aries will brighten to Mag 8 in April. We got to see the ISS go over last
month but not this Saturday, nor will there any Iridium flares visible.

There will be some great deep sky objects visible around Saturn like the M44
Beehive Cluster, M67 faint Star Cluster, Triple star Tegmine and colorful
double star Iota Cancri all in Cancer. On the other side of Saturn in Leo
will be bright double star Algieba in the sickle’s curve and a striking pair
of galaxies M66 & M65 between stars Chertan and Iota (the hind leg of Leo
the Lion).

Bring your coats and sweatshirts to keep you warm and some food to eat on
the picnic tables. Last month we had about 10 cars come out even though it
was cloudy so with the forecast being warm and clear, I would expect twice
as many or more cars for this star party.

Your OCA star party host,