Friday March 30, 2012
CoE Star Party
Grounds good, Harlan Smith working, Ealing not tracking well (must over-tighten RA clutch- but still drifts over time), internet working but slow (.48mbs down .07mbs up). I took the Ealing finder eyepiece home with me to glue the stripped out threads as it crashed on the floor when a kid bumped into it. I stuffed a rag in there to keep bugs out. I hope to return it this Friday.
A very busy night with cub scouts with many ADD+D children. Yes, they constantly were tugging at me to answer this, that, this, that, some kept moving and pushing the Harlan. Had to reset it 6x within 1 hr.
Mostly clear, seeing was kinda poor at 5/10. Some hight cirrus clouds, passed quickly. Saw Venus, Jupiter, 1st qtr Moon, Mars, M42, M51, M81, Rigel, Saturn.
Was about to close down and leave at 11:40p and a p/u came with a family of 6 who were camping (late arrival) and I treated them to views only thru the Ealing at the Moon, Mars, and Saturn. One child was 5 yrs old in kindergarten and he looked 1st after I moved the scope without any words of the next object and he identified Saturn! His parents were awestruck. They donated $5 to the kitty for keeping me late.
Left at 12:30a, temp 70º F.