04/26/08 BSC star party Recap
By: Steve Short
April 28, 2008 12:24AM PDT
Views: 6651

Finally, we had no clouds and a clear 3rd quarter moonless evening for the BSC star party. By 8 PM we had 34 cars on site and more came in after that pushing the total to 40. It was warm out and even after midnight, when I closed the gate, it was still 61 F.

Hassi invited the students in the astronomy class, he teaches at Santiago Canyon college, to come out and a third of the class made it out. They seemed to enjoy the night sky tour I gave them just after the 8:30 Iridium flare passed over and then they had fun seeing interesting objects Hassi would find in his telescope, including Saturn, Mars, star clusters, etc.

Later that evening we did go galaxy hunting, seeing M51 off the Big Dipper's handle, M81 & M82 off the Big Dippers pan and the Leo triplets M65, M66 & NGC 3628 well placed almost overhead in the night sky just under the hind end of Leo the Lion.

We also had a reporter, Chris Bahnsen out taking notes for a story he plans to write about the OCA star parties for the Orange Coast Magazine. My thanks to Hassi, Don & others for talking to Chris and giving him the info he wanted for his story on why astronomers will give up their Saturday nights for star gazing. Actually, I think Chris understands why now as he had a good time and stayed until Midnight.

Also my thanks to Val for helping people out with their telescope problems, like one of our newest OCA family members with the 11 inch Celestron.

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