Sky Watch May 1st
The weather looks like it will cooperate for tomorrow's Sky Watch. This Sky Watch will be my last! ☹☹☹ I have specifically not packed up my 12" DOB yet, just in case we were delayed on our departure to Colorado.
The installation of vinyl siding on our house in Chesapeake has been delayed again, now set to start on Wednesday the 5th. We were planning on picking up our rental truck on Saturday the 8th and being on our way to Colorado on the morning of the 10th. Now it looks like we will be moving that date to the right a few days.
We closed on our home in Colorado https://www.zillow.com/homes/310-S-5th-St-Westcliffe-Co-81252_rb/128491834_zpid/ on April 27th, so now we are in the UN-enviable position of having double mortgage payments until our Chesapeake home sells. While our new home is not actually on our homesteaded land it is within 11 miles and hopeful sometime after this COVID era of price gouging is over, we will pursue building a place up there once again. I do plan on building the Verde Mont Observatory by the end of the summer up on the homestead. If the Chesapeake house sells quick, it will be a bit larger observatory big enough to hold the 18” DOB and my imaging equipment. I am leaning towards building a roll-off roof design, if the Chesapeake house lingers on, a Sky Shed POD may be in my immediate future.
I have been monitoring Jupiter’s progress in the early pre-dawn skies. It is looking to be quite high in the sky as compared to last year. I plan on packing the 12” DOB towards the end of the Truck so I can have access to it as soon as we get into Westcliffe. I just can’t wait to play under the dark skies.
The local astronomy club there is a bit of a powerhouse for the size of the community. They do provide a full-ride scholarship for two applicants every spring. I was invited to dial in to their last “business” meeting earlier this month. BOY! Am I glad I am NOT their Treasurer, they have a half dozen accounts and annuities to wrangle. Who would have thought a club in a town less than 800 people would be so “BIG”. They have their very own public roll-off roof observatory, the Smokey Jack Observatory https://www.darkskiescolorado.org/smokey-jack-observatory. The land was donated by the town of Westcliffe and the materials were donated by local folks and a few of the valley professional builders donated time and equipment to erect it. It has a 14” SCT tied to a video setup that they can project on a screen outside of the observatory for many people to see, or they can rig it up for individual viewing. I am already scheduled to take their training on the observatory so I can jump into the “mix” and begin hosting star parties at the Observatory, which is seems to be a nightly event.
I hope to see folks at Sky Watch and I plan on being able to Zoom into the May meeting.