12/01/07 BSC star party recap
By: Steve Short
December 3, 2007 10:50AM PDT
When I opened the gate at 4:15 pm, it was cold (50 F) and the entire 360 degree horizon had clouds up to about 10 degrees. Many were worried that it would be muddy but the road was dry as was the main picnic table area. Even with those concerns, we had 15 cars come out and a number of visitors.
I gave an astronomy presentation at 5:30 pm to the visitors, even though the sky had clouded over completely. It did clear enough to see the bright ISS pass over right on time at 5:49 pm. Then as time went on, I was able to point out the summer triangle and as that clouded over, we could then see the north star and Cassiopia. At that time I alligned my scope and was able to show them the pretty double star Alberio, the double star cluster and the Andromeda Galaxy which looked very good.
Don McClelland showed people Neptune and Uranus in his 10" scope along with many other objects. Later, Mars was very bright but fuzzy while the Orion Nebula looked great and we could see the 4 star trapezium. We also could see comet 17P/Holmes as a very, very large soft fuzzy ball.
One member with a big DOBS was able to split double star Castor and the double double just above Vega. By 7:30 pm, the sky had cleared completely...but we had trouble with dew, and the temperature dropped to 40 F, so everyone left by 9:15 pm.