12/08/2012 BSC star party Recap
By: Steve & Bonnie Short
December 10, 2012 3:51AM PDT
Views: 2797

When I opened the gate at 4:15 pm we had at least six cars waiting to get in and clear skies.


When it got dark at 6 pm, we had 11 cars parked below and ended up with about 15 people on site and 10 telescopes. It got cold fast and the humidity was high so our scopes were fogging up pretty fast. Thanks to Val Akins bringing a hair dryer powered by 12 volts, he kept everyone’s scopes working.


We even got to see the ISS (International Space Station) fly over in the South right on schedule which is always a treat. Some had never seen it pass over before.


This was Hassi Norland’s last BSC star party before he moves back east next to the Smithsonian Museum. It will also be everyone’s last BSC star party if that darn Mayan Calendar is correct…but we did not see Planet X headed our way, so maybe we will live on?


We had a member, Dan, who had never come out to BSC since he joined the OCA about a year ago. Butch was also there as usual and Don Stoutenger showed up after being away on vacations for three months. I think it was Frank who was set up beside Don.


Rob Mackenzie brought out his big 6 or 8” Takahashi refractor which was giving wonderful views of everything he pointed it at. He spent time entertaining some young mountain bikers who dropped in. But Rob’s final view of the Orion Nebula at the end of the evening showing the Trapezium was truly spectacular.


Andy brought out a big 16” Meade LightBridge DOBS that gave the most detailed views of the star clusters and other objects everyone was viewing.


Robert and Jill brought out one of the new 8” Meade Light Switch scopes that will align automatically using a small on board camera. He had great views of M31, Jupiter and other objects.


We enjoyed viewing Jupiter and its moons (IO slipped behind the big planet) along with Uranus and even Neptune. We never did find M103 and M52 as my finder scope was covered with dew. Our views of the Orion Nebula, Hyades and the Seven Sisters through the 15 power Celestron Sky Master binoculars were spectacular.


Everyone packed up and left by 9:15 pm as it got so cold (41 F) and the dew was so bad, so we closed the gate about 9:30.


We had a very good star party considering how high the humidity was and how cold it became.


Steve & Bonnie

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