07/14/12 BSC star party Recap
By: Steve & Bonnie Short
July 15, 2012 3:12AM PDT
Views: 2717

I opened the gate at 7:15 pm and we only had one car waiting to enter the BSC star party site, and it was the OC Parks Ranger. It was nice and warm with clear skies so I was surprised that more people did not show up early. This time no one was able to find Mercury as the Sun set, probably due to a bit of marine layer clouds.


When it got dark, we had 15 cars parked below at 9 pm but no one was able to spot the Iridium Flare that was supposed to happen at 8:32 pm. Later, two more cars showed up so we ended up with 17 cars and 30 people on site.


Almost everyone viewed Saturn in their scope and biggest moon Titan was just barely visible a few planet lengths to the west of the big planet. Mars was glowing bright Red but at 140 million miles away, showed no detail in our telescopes.


Around 9 pm, the Scorpion was high in the SE sky with the “Teapot” just to the left that seemed to be letting out steam from the spout.  The Milky Way band was visible from Sagittarius up through the Summer Triangle after 9:30 pm.


Don Stoutenger set up his scope and was again trying to show objects on a video screen. But the sky wouldn’t cooperate and the dew was so bad he wasn’t able to show anything. However, Jonathan, Jenafer and their daughter were finding lots of objects in their 8” Celestron.


New members Mike & Sasha had a lot of fun using their 6” DOBS at their first BSC star party. They had nice views of Saturn, M57, the Double Double and many other objects.


Butch set up his 9 ¼” Celestron next to us and shared views of M57, M13, M22 and many other objects with all. We trained our ETX 125 on most of those objects along with M4 (very dim) and even the new Nova in Sagittarius.


But without Val and his portable hair dryer, we and others would not have been able to see anything as time went by because of the dew.


The crowd thinned out as it got later and the dew fogged up eyepieces and scopes. Then just after 11 pm, the sky clouded over so everyone shut down and packed up and we were able to lock the gate just before midnight. We had another classic summer time Black Star Canyon star party.


Steve & Bonnie

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