Black Star Canyon Star Party Recap - Saturday June 21st, 2014
We had a big line of 12 cars waiting to get into the BSC Star Party site at 7:30 pm and when we opened the gate and got down to the parking area, we had over 20 cars.
After sunset when the sky darkened, Jupiter was shining bright low in the west and set early during my night sky tour. Mars was also up and showing a shimmering reddish disk. Saturn was the favorite object to view with big moon Titan clearly visible.
We did get to see the ISS as it made a pass around 9:50 pm but the earlier dim Iridium Flare was not seen. The X-37B Space Plane was also missed because it was so dim and low.
After looking at the bright planets, I searched and found the two big asteroids, Ceres & Vesta. They both could be seen together in my 25mm eyepiece. We decided to view globular clusters M4 and M80 and they looked great. Bonnie wanted to see the pretty blue & yellow double star Albireo so we checked it out.
We had a lot of first timers show up including Phil & Arlene Trask, Kaz, Kendra Kargo and some friends, Brian Pape & Melisa, Rolando Mender, Robert & Mathew Dahms, Damian Ferr, Junghum Park, Peter Kim, Tycho & Harrison Hayashibara, Todd Preboski & Jessica with Mom & Dad, and others. Hope we documented the new people accurately and did not make too many name spelling errors.
There were also a lot of regulars at the star party including Val, Vittal, Jonathon & Jennifer, Martin & Tammy Cook, and many others. Ves showed me a great view of M13 in his 8” Meade LS scope.
Unfortunately the horizon started to cloud up around 10:30 and in just minutes the entire sky was covered. But we had seen plenty by then so everyone packed up and left happy.
We ended up having 29 cars come out and counted about 50 people. The gate was closed around 11:30 pm and the temperature was a mild 60 F.