Friday, August 15, 2014
CoE Star Party
When I arrived I found the N green ropes not tied down and hanging near the ground. Grounds were fair, stickers are growing, they need weed whacking around the entrance so that the pipe stops are free and clear of stickers. Skies were mostly clear, seeing was poor.
After opening the building, cooling the scopes, I set up my 16” dob and 25x100 binos on the field and I had 10 people right away. Gave them the history of our club and explained our mission. Everyone was impressed with my 16” dob and the views of Saturn, Mars was quite tiny at 7” but still could see some land features. With the 16” and DSC working, I was able to pull up quickly and see more objects like globulars M13, M22, M4, nebula M17, M57, Whirlpool M51, Andromeda M31, and Albireo. Clouds came and went, but each one was seen thru the binos also for the guests to compare the two views. I explained the sizes of our sun compared to some of the giants in the sky and had them visualize two grains of salt separated by 7 miles as our sun and Omega Centauri.
I had the Forrest on Saturn and Harlan on M51 for anyone wanting to venture into the observatory to see the scopes.
Many meteors were seen, some with good long trails, others quick and short. Oohs and ahhhs were heard. My green laser was a hit, many asked where do I get one?
Ok, best moment of the night was when mom and 9 yr old daughter who arrived late got to see a low and boiling Saturn and was completely taken in, the daughter had questions about black holes and what are they? They stayed till midnight, so very interested in what they saw in M31, M13, Saturn, Alberio. They were from Tennessee and had to leave at 6a for their long journey back to start school on Monday.
I noticed the south solar walk path entrance was off its perch laying on the ground lit up. I put it back. Needs glue.
Left at 12:30a temp 86º, quite warm.