Black Star Canyon Star Party Recap - Saturday October 26th, 2013
This past Saturday the sky turned pretty cloudy throughout Orange County. When we opened the gate about 5:30pm, there were a few brave souls (Val & Jim) waiting to get in hoping the clouds would thin out. Even with the clouds, we had 11 cars and 16 people come out to the BSC star party and those that stayed were not disappointed, including guests Judy, Hal and Yelini.
At first, all we could see was Venus through the clouds but we could not see Mercury or anything else. Then Val found Vega and later we could see a few more stars so others set up their scopes and we managed to see some objects when clouds cleared in certain pockets. Just after 7pm, we did get to see the ISS pass over and that was encouraging.
I think it was about 8 pm when Don was able to show M57, the Ring Nebula on his monitor. Val had a great view of Uranus as a blue-green small disc and then we found Neptune. I am not sure what Jonathon & Jennifer were viewing but Rob managed to get a great view of M31 and other objects. Ken & Rosie seemed to have a good time as did new member Mary.
Later when Deep Sky objects M36, M37 & M38 should have been visible, it was too cloudy for me to find them. We and others were observing the M57 Ring Nebula and double star Albireo. Later we viewed the M31 Andromeda Galaxy, the M45 Pleiades and the Double Cluster in telescopes and binoculars. Several people found that our Celestron SkyMaster 15 power binoculars could be hand held steady giving spectacular views.
Hot as the evening started, it cooled down fast and we put heavy jackets on early. It was a pretty good star party considering the clouds that were moving around. We closed the gate just after 11:15pm when the last member left and the temperature was a chilly 50 F.