Saturday Jan 2nd Black Star Canyon star party Recap
By: Steve & Bonnie Short
January 4, 2016 3:55AM PDT
Views: 1980

Black Star Canyon Star Party Recap – Saturday January 2nd, 2016
This past Saturday the sky was cloudy and it was cold throughout Orange County so when we opened the gate about 4:15 pm, we were not surprised to see there was only 1car at the gate. But we were surprised that by the end of the night, we had counted only a total of 7 cars in the parking area and 10 people. I think this was the smallest BSC star party in the 10 years I have been running this event.

The first object we all got to see as it got dark was Mercury before it set about 6 pm. It was bright but without detail and looked great in our 6” scope. The HST was first spotted by newcomer Mark just after 6 pm on it's way down. It was a dim magnitude 1.8 and entertained the crowd for a few minutes as it flew through the sky and went out of sight in front of Orion.

We set up in the usual spot by the middle picnic table and later Matthew Sandoval & his Dad set up their big 8” Loaner Scope nearby. Matthew did a great job of finding objects manually including Uranus, M31, etc.

Across from us George set up his scope without his wife Peggy who was babysitting the new puppy again. Sal Rivera set up his big 9.25” Celestron with 2” eyepieces near George. Sal had not been able to come to BSC for many months so enjoyed the star party a lot. He shared nice views of several objects including M42 and the M45 Seven Sister's star cluster.

Also in the area was David Murphy & Jerry Livingston. This was Phil Isenhouer's first time at BSC and he is hoping to spend more time in astronomy now that he is retiring from Boeing.

When it started getting dark, much of the sky was cloudy and we could barely see the Summer Triangle stars and Polaris off and on.. But the sky in the east was fairly clear. Everyone loved it when Orion came up and we could see M42, etc. We did show Mark and others the Andromeda Galaxy and later Uranus and then Neptune. But we fought clouds all night long.

It did get cold and the temperature was 40 F at 7:10 pm then had dropped to 36 F at 9 pm when the last person shut down and left. The sky was 90% clouded over. We closed the gate about 9:15 and felt we had another successful BSC star party.

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.

Steve & Bonnie

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