Saturday February 14th Black Star Canyon star party

Posted On February 14, 2015

Black Star Canyon Star Party notice - Saturday February 14th, 2015


Hello Fellow OCA club members!


This Saturday, I plan toopen the gate around 5 pm, which is about a half hour before the sun sets. The weather report for this Saturday indicates that Orange County should be warm, have partly cloudy skies and humidity near 25%. But please keep an eye on the OCA website "Home" page (below the next speaker info) where we will post a notice should the star party be canceled for any reason.


We should have 3rdquarter moon dark skies as the New Moon occurs February18th. First time visitors might want to get to the star party site while it is still light so they can find their way down the dirt road and into the parking area. Remember that you take the 2nd farm gate on the left after turning on Black Star Canyon Road (the 1st farm gate is the Xmas Tree farm). If you come in after dark, you should drive in with yourheadlights off!!! The dirt road may be marked with red flashers and you can hold a flashlight out the driver's window to light up the road directly in front of your car.


Try to park two cars in each slanted slot between the rock turning circles so we can get 20 cars into that area. I will help guide the first cars into the slots and then expect that others will follow that pattern. The first car in each slot must stay back, about a foot, from the road that leads out of the parking area so cars that leave early with headlights off will not accidentally bump into parked cars.


Warning:No Pets allowed!(This is an OC Parks and Nature Conservancy rule).



TheISS(International Space Station) will not make any visible passes Saturday evening.

TheX-37B(Air Force Boeing space plane) will not make any visible passes as it has landed.

TheHST(Hubble Space Telescope) will not make any visible passes Saturday evening.

Iridium flares:There will be no visible Iridium Flares this Saturday evening but I am sure we will see a number of satellites pass over in the early evening.


Planets & Pluto:

~Mercury, (Mag 0.6) sets about 3:30 pm in constellation Capricornus this Saturday sowill notbe seen at the BSC star party. Mercury will be about 75 million miles from Earth and rises about 5:15 am so might be seen a few hours before sunrise, but very low in the horizon.

~Venus, (Mag -3.9) must be seen early Saturday evening as it sets about 7:30 pm in constellation Aquarius. Venus will be about 135 million miles from Earth with a disc size of 11.8" and 88% lit.

~Mars, (Mag 1.2) will be in Constellation Pisces about 20 degrees high an hour after sunset so might be seen at BSC this Saturday evening in the southwestern sky. It will be about 200 million miles away with a disk size of about 4.2" (but don't expect to see any detail). Mars sets just before 8 pm so better view it early.

~Jupiter, (Mag -2.3) will rise before 5 pm Saturday in constellation Cancer so can be seen Saturday evening. It will be about 406 million miles from Earth getting a little closer every day with a diameter of about 45". It can be seen all night as does not set until 6:15 am. At 6:30 pm we should see moon Ganymede far to the East of Jupiter while moons Europa & Io will be grouped together about a planet width to the West. Moon Callisto will be far west of Jupiter.

~Saturn, (Mag 1.2) will be in constellation Scorpius this Saturday so willnot be seenSaturday evening as it does not rise until after 1 am. It has a disk measuring 16" with rings spanning 36" and tilting 25 degrees. Saturn will be about 935 million miles away Saturday.

~Uranus, (Mag 5.9) will be in constellation Pisces this Saturday evening setting about 9:15 pm so we should see it at the BSC star party when it gets dark. It shows up as a small 3.4" blue-gr