Black Star Canyon Star Party Recap - Saturday January 25th, 2014
This past Saturday the sky was clear and blue throughout Orange County when we opened the gate about 4:30pm. There were a few cars (3) waiting at the gate and by the end of the evening we had over 30 cars and about 50 people come out to the BSC star party. So the first BSC star party in 2014 started off with a bang!
At first, all we could see was planet Mercury as the Sun set. Jupiter was rising in the East and was a favorite telescope target. The next favorite target was M42, the Orion Nebula which was very sharp and showed the Trapezium even under low power. Neptune set before we had time to view it but the pretty blue-green dot of Uranus was fun to show people wandering around.
Don Stoutenger brought out his equipment and had great video views of objects like the Andromeda Galaxy. He even showed galaxy M82 which showed the bright spot that is the latest Super Nova that has just shown up in the past week. Jonathon and Jennifer Kellog had their big Celestron scope running smooth and were sharing views of all the best objects in the sky. Butch showed up along with other regulars like Val & Ves.
We had a lot of new people show up, including Jim & Penny Smith, Dave Murphy with his Loaner Scope, a Meade ETX90 and Stuart Capewell with his 11” Celestron. Thomas Swann and Supaporn came out with a trailer to haul their 20” DOBS. Andy Cochran set up a 16” Lightbridge while Hansa Wahla & Gurpreet set up an 8” DOBS. Paul Schamberger set up an 8” Meade and David Cruise was using an 11” CPC1100.
We even had OCA President Greg Schedcik show up along with OCA Board member Sam Saeed & wife to show granddaughter Lorelei & her Dad Rob how to use a new Celestron telescope. Neil Arellano & Lourdes were shooting digital images of the BSC area and objects in the sky.
Later in the evening when most people had left, I viewed double star Almach ( y Andromedea) and measured it's Orange-blue stars separation with our astrometric eyepiece at about 10”. I took a look at a few other double stars too, including Polaris. This was my first attempt to measure double star separation.
Nice as the evening started, it cooled down fast and we put heavy jackets on early. Unfortunately it got colder as the night went on and that caused people to leave. We closed the gate around 11:30pm and the temperature was a chilly 47 F.