SRSP


George Reynolds
 

I had a great time at my first Staunton River Star Party this past week.  We had clear skies four days, and had a lot of fun chasing those double stars, star clusters, nebulas, and galaxies.  BBAA had a fine turnout, with at least 8 of us:  Dave Read, Jonathan Scheetz, Patrick Vartuli, Dale Carey, Bob Beuerlein, Ron Neale, Ray Moody, and me.  We reunited with some old friends like Kelly Proffitt, Don West, Jim Allewelt, and John Raymond, and met a lot of new friends.

I had a chance to check out my refurbished 10-inch Dob and Patrick got to put his new Explore Scientific 20-inch truss tube Dob through its paces.  I can't list all the objects we saw -- double stars, open clusters, globular clusters, nebulas, and galaxies.  Saturn was beautiful, and Jupiter, with its dance of four Galilean moons was awesome.  Mars made an appearance later at night, and some with large scopes and the right filter saw some of the dark areas on the Red Planet.

The weather was beautiful during the day, and clear and cold at night.  The dew was copious Monday through Thursday, getting everything wet.  My dew heater battery conked out on Wednesday (I had forgotten to turn off the dew heater the night before, and it ran down the battery), so I put away my scope early and spent the rest of the night, until 1 a.m. looking through other people's telescopes, mainly Patrick's.  There was power at every tent site, so I was able to recharge my battery and use the dew heater the next night.

Friday night was open to the public for an hour or two, but the sky was totally clouded over, so those of us who did outreach just showed our scopes and demonstrated some of the "tools" of an astronomer: binoculars, telescope, planisphere, star charts, and green laser pointer.  I showed Stellarium on my laptop, and showed the visitors what was up there behind the clouds.  Away from the public area, Bob Beuerlein showed the movie, "Top Gun: Maverick", projecting it on Ray Moody's trailer.

Kudos to the staff of CHAOS, the sponsoring club, and the park rangers and staff at Staunton River State Park.  Now I know why those members who have been there rave about this star party.  I want to go again next spring and/or fall.  Our ID lanyards called it "SRSP Squared", since those initials stand for both Staunton River Star Party and Staunton River State Park.

I came home Saturday, but those who stayed one more day were hoping for clear skies.  I hope to hear their report.

George




George Reynolds

"Solar System Ambassador" for South Hampton Roads, Virginia
Back Bay Amateur Astronomers (BBAA) 
http://www.backbayastro.org


 


George Reynolds
 

I forgot to include old friend Michael Heiser, who treated Bob, Ray, and me to a delicious homemade chili dinner Thursday evening.

George


George Reynolds

"Solar System Ambassador" for South Hampton Roads, Virginia
Back Bay Amateur Astronomers (BBAA) 
http://www.backbayastro.org


 


On Sunday, October 30, 2022, 06:31:56 PM EDT, George Reynolds via groups.io <pathfinder027@...> wrote:


I had a great time at my first Staunton River Star Party this past week.  We had clear skies four days, and had a lot of fun chasing those double stars, star clusters, nebulas, and galaxies.  BBAA had a fine turnout, with at least 8 of us:  Dave Read, Jonathan Scheetz, Patrick Vartuli, Dale Carey, Bob Beuerlein, Ron Neale, Ray Moody, and me.  We reunited with some old friends like Kelly Proffitt, Don West, Jim Allewelt, and John Raymond, and met a lot of new friends.

I had a chance to check out my refurbished 10-inch Dob and Patrick got to put his new Explore Scientific 20-inch truss tube Dob through its paces.  I can't list all the objects we saw -- double stars, open clusters, globular clusters, nebulas, and galaxies.  Saturn was beautiful, and Jupiter, with its dance of four Galilean moons was awesome.  Mars made an appearance later at night, and some with large scopes and the right filter saw some of the dark areas on the Red Planet.

The weather was beautiful during the day, and clear and cold at night.  The dew was copious Monday through Thursday, getting everything wet.  My dew heater battery conked out on Wednesday (I had forgotten to turn off the dew heater the night before, and it ran down the battery), so I put away my scope early and spent the rest of the night, until 1 a.m. looking through other people's telescopes, mainly Patrick's.  There was power at every tent site, so I was able to recharge my battery and use the dew heater the next night.

Friday night was open to the public for an hour or two, but the sky was totally clouded over, so those of us who did outreach just showed our scopes and demonstrated some of the "tools" of an astronomer: binoculars, telescope, planisphere, star charts, and green laser pointer.  I showed Stellarium on my laptop, and showed the visitors what was up there behind the clouds.  Away from the public area, Bob Beuerlein showed the movie, "Top Gun: Maverick", projecting it on Ray Moody's trailer.

Kudos to the staff of CHAOS, the sponsoring club, and the park rangers and staff at Staunton River State Park.  Now I know why those members who have been there rave about this star party.  I want to go again next spring and/or fall.  Our ID lanyards called it "SRSP Squared", since those initials stand for both Staunton River Star Party and Staunton River State Park.

I came home Saturday, but those who stayed one more day were hoping for clear skies.  I hope to hear their report.

George




George Reynolds

"Solar System Ambassador" for South Hampton Roads, Virginia
Back Bay Amateur Astronomers (BBAA) 
http://www.backbayastro.org