Star Party Success!

The June 12th, 2010 public star party at the KOA campground was a HUGE success. It was well attended by both astronomers and the general public. The Night started off a little breezy but it rapidly calmed at dusk. The conditions where clear and cool, which made for a very pleasant evening.

Also not to toot our own horn, but I think the night was truly made when we Re-unveiled our 22inch Dobsonian Homebuilt Telescope with its brand new Swayze Optical Mirror.

It was great with our eye pieces, but it truly became a work of art and function when Mr. Pete introduced us the the Ethos line of eyepieces. We where COUNTING arms on the whirlpool galaxy. We could SEE the streamers on the Dumbbell, and many MANY other things had details the like of which we have never seen before.

All who looked through the scope had exclamations of aw on thier lips. The greatest compliment of the night was when our resident Planetary Expert Mr. Kent Wallace looked at the Dumbbell and said, wow. It was truly a great night with many great memories. Mr. David Majors and Dr. Tom Frey where especially helpful, as always, and all the other astronomers did a great job showing people the night sky… A great event all around!

Chris Estrada, CCAS VP


Report from Tom Frey:

Reid and Chris had their 22″ with the new Swazey mirror for the first time. Pete Roebber lent his TeleVue 17mm Ethos (FOV 100 degrees) and I lent my OIII filter and hood to see some of the greatest views of Ms 5, 13, 51, 27, 11, 20, 8, 17, the Veil, on this fantastic new, home constructed Dobsonian. there were a lot of ohhs and ahhs all night long.

We had 9 scopes on the hill and many visitors. The wind was a threat early on but settled down after sunset. The seeing was “very good”. Kent Wallace had his 20″ Starsplitter firing on all fronts with a long que at his scope. Mark was calibrating his Celestron for double star studies in Oregon in August. Tom was measuring a triple star in Draco with his Celestron astrometric eyepiece. Pete Roebber got his 18″ Obsession going after a visitor, Gordon, determined that Pete’s telescope had a bad cable; once replaced, it operated fine. Dave Majors was there with his scope as well as several other members. (I apologize for not including all of your names here.) But the 22″ took center stage. We all enjoyed looking through one another’s telescopes and enjoyed sharing the June skies with all in attendance. Tom left about 3AM, Reid, Chris, and Mark Brewer (new CCAS member) left after that.


From Kent Wallace:

The star party went well. We had quite a few people attend. It started out windy and cold. Later the wind dropped off and it got colder. The big hit for the night was Reed and Chris’ 22″ scope with it’s brand new 22″ mirror. Got a wonderful view of M 51 in it.

People enjoyed seeing M 5 and the Cat’s Eye Nebula in my scope. Later I swung the scope to the Network Nebula which is the eastern part of the Veil Nebula supernova remnant. I used a 32mm 2″ eyepiece with a 2″ O-III filter screwed into the back of the eyepiece. People really liked how the all the filaments lit up and the large size of this object.

Tom and Pete were there with their 18″ scopes. Also there was a new member there with a 16″ Lightbridge scope. So we had plenty of large scopes on top of the hill. The green laser pointers seemed to impress visitors as we pointed out various constellations and were various deep sky objects could be found. Also as usual, the Stargate asterism was a hit with people, just because it look neat.


From Dave Majors:

Chris and Reed’s 22″ was the star performer. When we saw M51 everyones first utterance seemed to be “OH!!!” As Chris said we were counting arms and we could follow the arms through almost their entire arcs.  We didn’t get out until about 2:30 AM Just after Jupiter had risen. We did take a peek at Jupiter but it was still in the mud and all we could really tell was that one of the equatorial belts was missing.  A great evening!!

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