Hello Fellow OCA club members!
Since the sun will set about 8 PM, I plan to open the gate about 7:30 PM for those that need daylight to set up large telescopes. The weather is supposed to start warming up Friday and the sky should clear up. Saturday, it should heat up to 81F but will drop to 51F by midnight, when we close.
When the sun sets, we will first spot Venus (Mag -4.4), standing almost 30 degrees high at sunset and will be about 48% illuminated. Fading fast now is Mercury (Mag 1.5), only about 10 degrees high and to the lower right of Venus. Saturn (Mag .5) will slip into the twilight in August so look for it now in front of Leo the Lion's head. Once in the telescope view, moon Titan (Mag 8.4) will be far out to the East of Saturn while the other visible moons will be much closer. Jupiter (Mag -2.6)
will be visible at sunset about 10 degrees high with moon Callisto far to the East and moons Io, Europa & Ganymede to the West in that order from the planet.
Asteroid 4Vesta (Mag 5.4), a 300 mile wide rock, is arcing towards Scorpius on it's 3.6 year journey around the sun and is still a naked eye object because it is so close and reflective. An Iridium flare (Mag -1) will be visible at 8:24 PM 66 degrees high at 89 degrees East Satellite Genesis-1 (Mag 2.5) will pass over starting at 9:47:44 PM 10 degrees high SSW going to 86 degrees high NE and dropping back to 10 degrees NNE at 9:55:58 PM.
Maybe we can explore the four Messier objects in Scorpius this Saturday as it rises in the SE. Near Antares is globular clusters M4 (Mag 5.6) 36' in size and further north M80 (Mag 7.3) 10'. Later in the evening we can see open clusters M6 (Mag 4.2) 25' and bigger and brighter M7 (Mag 3.3) 80'. There is also a double star Graffias (Mag 2.6) in the scorpion's head that is 580 light years away and under 100X will show a white and light blue star.
This will be the first summer star party and with clear skies and warm weather we should get a large turn out. We have three picnic tables for comfortable eating while waiting for it to get dark so bring out food and drinks. But please remember to cart off all the trash as there is no rubbish service at Black Star. I hope everyone knows there is also a large portable outhouse on site we can use.
Your OCA star party host,