Saturday 01/17/09 BSC star party recap

Posted On January 18, 2009

It was 70 F when I drove out to open the gate at BSC around 4:30 PM but dropped down to 44 F for awhile, then warmed up later back to 54. With people leaving and others dropping in, we ended up having 40 cars full of people at the star party. We even had one person, Reynold Burbank drive down from Santa Monica and join the club Saturday after getting some telescope help from Frank.

We did get to see the ISS go over but missed the HST and no one saw the tool bag pass over, which required binoculars. No one saw the asteroids or comets either but we did see Uranus and M42, the Orion Nebula looked fantastic as did many star clusters. One young 9 year old new member, Christian, was showing some spectacular views of many objects, including the double cluster.

We did see Saturn and moon Titan late in the evening but did not look as clear as it has in past months. Tom Drouet was showing some nice Alberio type double stars and Val brought out his big Meade refractor giving some nice views of M42, etc. Don McClelland brought out his new huge  F4 dobs which gave some great wide field views. Vittal had his dobs, finding one Messier object after another.

The Pleiades and Hyades did look spectacular all evening and our new board member, enjoyed the star gazing all the way to midnight, when I finally was able to lock the gate. This was the biggest winter-time start party ever, that I can remember! We had Mag 4 seeing determined by stars we could see in the Little Dipper.