June 25th BSC star party Recap

Posted On June 27, 2016

Black Star Canyon Star Party Recap - Saturday June 25th, 2016

This past Saturday the sky was clear throughout Orange County so when we opened the gate about 7:30 pm, we were not surprised to see there were 14 cars waiting at the gate. A few more came in while all were being parked totaling 17. By the end of the clear night, we had counted a total of 21 cars that had come to the BSC star party and over 30 people.

The first object we all got to see as it got dark was Jupiter shining bright high in the sky just under Leo the Lion. Then Mars became visible and Saturn. Only 3 moons were visible around Jupiter until 9 pm when Europa showed up but none of us ever saw that moon's shadow on the big planet. The Iridium Flare at 10:33 pm was also a no-show.

We set up in the usual spot by the middle picnic table and Larry set up his big 9.25" Celestron scope next to us in front of the 1st picnic table. Larry showed me the best views of Jupiter and many other objects during the night as his scope was able to hold higher power views. But even his scope was not able to show any detail on Mars as it shimmered just too much. Next to us in front of the 3rd table, Sam set up and shared views of Jupiter, etc through his binocular telescope.

On the other side of Larry, Val set up his 6" reflector with some retro eyepieces like a Killner that he had recently acquired. Val showed me his view of Mars and then we tried the eyepiece on my telescope giving a nice image of Jupiter. It was nice to see Butch set up near Val and he had a nice view of the Ring Nebula in his scope. David Murphy was set up nearby and so was Brad Feinner who was showing a slightly green Beta Libre.

We had many people set up scopes across the way including Robert Cunningham who showed me his view of M8, the Lagoon Nebula in a star cluster. George & Peggy Robinson set up on that side too and was showing nice views of many objects.

Also attending was Eric Seavey & Kyle Smith (guest) and Andrew Villaruz. Nearby was Robert Peredes and Marty Needlsman. Also Greg & Denise Spalter along with John Creigh & daughter Athena were there along with Chris Dominguez. Herb Abrams & guest Pat Weeks were there for the first time to check BSC out before bringing a scope next time. Bruno & his son Ryan had fun & stayed for my night sky tour. Member Haley & two friends from her Golden West Astronomy Class attended as did Beginner's Class Steve Zimmer & Sheryl. Previous OCA member Karen Dienhart attended as our guest.

We did look for M4 & M80 but our scope was not pointing well and I did not find them. But M57 looked good as did double star Albireo. Saturn looked good and we could even see some of it's moons including big moon Titan. But Mars was never very clear as the atmosphere made it shimmer but the bigger disk was still very apparent with Mars so close to Earth.

We were lucky to have clear skies all evening long and it never got very cold. We closed the gate at midnight with a temperature of 59 F and felt we had another very successful BSC star party.

Please forgive us if I missed anyone or we got your names spelled wrong. Bonnie tries hard to log in everyone and get your names right.

Steve & Bonnie