Sat Feb. 16, 2013
CoE Star Party
Arrived about 6:15, sky was clear and looking forward to the the night. Met up with Mark / Star*Man on the way in on the dirt road. He informed me that he had just finished doing his cleanup and enhancements to the observatory. I called the resort to let them know I was there and then opened the observatory. Noticed AAS members were also setting up out in the field (Larry with his DSLR and laptop and Greg with the 90mm scope and Android tablet)
Grounds excellent, EEO floors good. Forgot to test internet. Both scopes powered on and appeared to be working.
My hats off to Mark / Star*Man for such great work on the eye piece case. I've never seen it look so good. And the whole observatory just looked cleaner and more organized around the desk area. I did find what looked like a rubber cement tube under the ealing. But was able to quickly just put that away in a desk drawer.
I setup the normal Red lights on the signs and quickly put the Ealing on the Moon with the moon filter. Donations light working. Glow in the dark bricks illuminated the path to the observatory well. The moon was about half full so it was plenty bright.
The Ealing tracked about 90% and kept it on the moon most of the night. The Harlan Tracked poorly all night, I couldn't keep it on Jupiter. I'm not sure why it wouldn't move. I turned off the power and turned it back on again once during the night but it didn't help.
I couldn't find my apple TV so I didn't setup my usual iPad mirroring this time. But did entertain guests with many apps such as Moon HD to show them the lunar landing sites as they looked through the Ealing. I love the way that app lets you switch between different views of the moon so that it matches the reversed view in the eye piece perfectly. The other apps were a big hit as well (Star Chart for normal sky tracking, and ExoPlanet for showing where we are in the milky way and the closest exoplanets to us. Of course the normal sky tours were a big hit as well pointing out various constellations. Also showed them where the two brightest comets would be this year and when to look for them.
Targets observed: Our moon, Jupiter and it's moons, Andromeda Galaxy, Mizar double star, Orion Nebula, and a couple globular clusters.
Had a great night of outreach. Nice mix of children and adults. There was a couple of people (Bruce and Cindy) who showed up from the Ft. Worth astronomical society. They helped out with some sky pointing as well. All and all a great night.
Guest continued to arrive right after I shut down at 11:00 pm but they promised to return on another night.
Observatory secured. I left at 11:25 pm. Temp 46 degrees. AAS Members still on the field when I left but they said they were going to pack it in by midnight, so I did a soft lock on the gate as I left.
FYI - Mark / StarMan mentioned there was a log in the observatory but, it was so late, I didn't get a chance to go through it before I left.