07/03/10 BSC star party recap
By: Steve Short
July 4, 2010 3:21AM PDT
Views: 3572

There was a long line of cars waiting when I opened the gate at 7:30 pm and the daytime temperature had fallen to 66 F. Venus was the first object we could see as the sun set and even Ron with his new ETX70 could tell that planet was just 70% lit even at 14X.

Katie was the first one to see the 8:35 pm HST pass but none of us were able to spot the 2nd pass at 10:17. But we did see the 11:06 Iridium Flare and many other objects including a few meteors. Clouds or fog over the city dimmed those lights enough that the Milky Way was easy to see as it streamed out the Teapot's spout and drifted up into the Summer Triangle.

I was only able to see Saturn's moon Titan from my 5" ETX125 and Mars is just a small redish disc now. But I was able to find asteroids Ceres and Vista which Sam verified were in the proper vicinity.

I also found it easy to find Globular Clusters M4, M80, M19 & M62 in Scorpius. Some were seeing Alberio and the Double Double for the first time in their scopes.

When I locked the gate at 12:30 the temperature had dropped 20 degrees since I opened the gate so was getting chilly.

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