Saturday July 11th, 2015 BSC star party Recap

Posted On July 12, 2015

Black Star Canyon Star Party Recap - Saturday July 11th, 2015

This past Saturday the sky was clear and warm throughout Orange County so when we opened the gate about 7:30 pm, there were 12 cars waiting at the gate. By the end of the night, we counted a total of 28 cars and about 46 people.

When the Sun was setting about 8 pm, Venus was the first visible object low in the West. It looked great at 25% lit, much like a crescent Moon. As it got darker we could see Jupiter to the right of Venus. They both were favorite early telescope targets but were so low that detail on Jupiter was hard to see. Saturn was much higher and further South in Scorpius so better positioned for viewing.

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 again. The best view I had of several objects was through Larry's telescope including M57, the Ring Nebula and M13. Vittal set up his 8" Meade DOBS and showed us a lot of Messier objects low in the southern sky including M4, M11, M17 & M22. Val showed me a great view of M4 and a red carbon star while nearby, Jason & Melody Oxman showed us a great view of Saturn through their 8" Celestron.

Rob & his wife Kathy were first in the auxilary parking just past the 2nd gate and during the evening he showed stunning images of many objects including M13, M57 & M92. His wife had a nice view of M22 through her binoculars set up on a paragon tripod. Kyle Cooker set up his 5.3" Takahashi refractor next to Rob and had the best image of Saturn I saw all evening. His view of the Dumbell Nebula (M27) was great and he even showed the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) late in the evening. Next to Kyle was Don Stoutenger looking at M57 on his video monitor and later, M31.

Many other regulars showed up including Sam (brought a box of fossils to share), George & Peggy Robinson and Martin. Also attending were Betty & Wes Morrissey, Dave Murphy & guest Chris, Jim Ruehlin, Robert Paredes & Jill, Sandy & Alan Martin with daughter Julia.

There were a number of 1st time BSC star party people, including Pat & George Gutman, Kim & Joe Saunders, Ryan & Daniel (9 yrs old) OGrady, Joyce Wangerin, Travis Simmon, Paul Stone & his 2 guests, Mel Goldburg & Bill Pratts. I think it was the 2nd time for Bruno Menezes (1st time for his guest Audrey) and 2nd time for Vinh Nguyen.

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.

We all were able to see the 9 pm Iridium flare glowing at a magnitude -3.8 for a few seconds in the NNW. I forgot to look for Comet Lovejoy and Asteroid 2 Pallas again but the Summer Triangle was well placed for viewing. Double star Albireo looked nice as did the double-double up by Vega. I had nice views of Venus, Jupiter and Saturn through our 6" Meade LightSwitch and after 11 pm had great views of M22, M13, M5 but M3 & M4 were very dim.

The gate was locked 15 minutes after midnight and the temperature had only dropped to 59 F. Everyone had a good time and the sky stayed fairly clear all evening.

Steve & Bonnie