Saturday Nov 7th Black Star Canyon star party Recap
By: Steve & Bonnie Short
November 9, 2015 12:57AM PDT
Views: 1853

Black Star Canyon Star Party Recap - Saturday November 7th, 2015
This past Saturday the sky was clear and warm throughout Orange County so when we opened the gate about 4:30 pm, we were surprised to see there were only 7 cars waiting at the gate like last month. After it was dark about 6:20 pm, we had 13 cars. By the end of the night, we had counted a total of 15 cars in the parking area and about 25 people.

Saturn was in Scorpius and set before 6pm. Dave Murphy was the first to spot Saturn in his telescope and said he could see moon Titan and even 10th magnitude moon Tethy. My view of Saturn was somewhat hazy as it was so low in the horizon but Titan was bright. Dave also was first to see M31.

Just before 6pm, we spotted the Iridium Flare in the South and then in the same area, a bright UFO appeared rising into the west, blowing up and then falling towards Earth. Rob McKenzie took some pictures of this UFO as did a few others and it was the highlight of the evening. Later we heard that it was from a USN missile test.

We set up in the usual spot by the middle picnic table and Larry set up his big 9.25” Celestron scope next to us again although he did not arrive until 6pm. He shared a nice view of Uranus, M31 & NGC457 (The ET cluster). Vittel was set up further away and shared views of M31 and other objects through his 8” DOBS. Barbara Martin was having fun viewing M103 and M45 (the Pleiades) with Kelee Eisetein through their scope. They managed to track the UFO through their scope as did Vittel.

Rob was first in the auxiliary parking just past the 2nd gate and during the evening he showed stunning images of many objects including the Double Cluster, M57 & M42. Ves Snelson set up his 8” Celestron scope next to Rob and was learning how to use a new Revolution Imager OC Telescopes donated to the Outreach program. Then Don Stountenger set up next to Ves and he was showing images on his laptop using a new cam, including M31, Dumbell Nebula, M42 & M57.

The Summer Triangle was well placed for viewing. Double star Albireo looked nice as did the Ring Nebula (M57) up by Vega. We had nice views of the Andromeda Galaxy through our 6” Meade LightSwitch, along with Uranus & Neptune. We also viewed the Deep Sky objects M103, M52 & the Double Cluster. Bonnie liked M31 through our 15power Celestron binoculars along with M45 and other objects like the Double Cluster.

Setting up across from us were Marcelo Reginato & his 7 year old daughter. Also Bonnie & Marty Needleman & Mathew Dahmx. Joyce Wangerin set up there too I think and got pictures of the UFO.

Some others showed up including Mike Antrim & his wife. He is a high school science teacher in Irvine who took possession of a Loaner Scope and holds star parties at the school.

Please forgive us if I missed anyone or we got your names spelled wrong. Bonnie tries hard to log in everyone and get your names right.

Unfortunately it got pretty cold as the night progresses going from 67F at 5pm to 53F at 6:20 then dropping below 50F so most everyone left by 10pm. The gate was locked just at 11:15pm and the temperature had dropped to 44 F.

Steve & Bonnie

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