COE Star Party
Saturday Aug 17, 2013
Number of Guests: 22
Operator: James Hall & Tara Heine
Tara and I had stopped by the front desk and found out that COE was at about 40% capacity. So expected a slightly slow night.
We arrived at the observatory about 7:30 p.m. The moon was about 80 percent full. Clouds about 10%. Temp 85 degrees with slight breeze.
Some large ant hills near south doors, but no other major insect concerns other than some gnats that buzzed around us through most of the night.
Some minor trash around south doors easily picked up. Otherwise grounds looked good. Roof and doors opened well. We cleaned and swept out under the chairs and scopes. Observatory lights and table lights turned on. Display working. Scopes working. Forgot to test internet.
Both scopes tracked well all night. Tara did a great job working the Harlan while I kept the guests engaged through normal green laser sky tours, AAS history, Public Star Party dates, explanation on how telescopes work, and fun things to see this year like the upcoming comet ISON. I was also able to hook up the iPad wirelessly to the large display for showing guests several apps such as Exoplanet, Moon HD, Pocket Universe HD, and short videos on "Is Pluto a Planet?" , "Star Size Comparisons", and "Black Hole at the center of our Galaxy".
The Forest scope was on the moon all night with 40 mm EP and moon filter.
Tara slewed the Harlan to Venus, and then Saturn and other objects for guests. We also viewed Mizar/Alcor, and a couple of other bright stars.
Lots of questions from Children and adults and many "wows" heard when looking at Saturn and the moon.
Donations in box.
Last guest left at 10 p.m. Tara and I started hunting around a bit and were able to barely pull in the Ring Nebula, but I really enjoyed seeing Double Double as my favorite part of the night. We packed up and secured the observatory at 11 p.m.
Temp 75 degrees.
- James Hall