CoE Star Party July 27, 2013
7:30 p.m. - 12:15 p.m.
I got out to the observatory about 7:30 p.m. The sky was very clear. Grounds good. Weather was very nice. I opened up all the doors to let a nice breeze inside. I swept the observatory and checked for spiders under chairs and such. No issues there. Trash was full so I took out the sack and took it home. Cleaned the trash can cleaner from the cabinets. I cleaned the desks as well. Water and Electricity working well, I forgot to check the internet. There was a large bubble bee looking insect that chased me around the observatory for several minutes that probably looked pretty funny if anyone actual saw me setting up scopes.
About 14 wild pigs showed up on the south field and looked to be grazing. I took some quick video with my camera since that was a first for me. I've seen giant owls, turkeys, deer, squirrels, but not a bunch of pigs. I wish Tara could have made it, she takes such great pictures out there. I would have loved to have seen some high resolution photo's of them.
Roof opened. Lights on. Scopes working. Setup my iPad wireless to the display through iTV. Put both scopes on Venus as first guest started to arrive at sunset. Lots of children. I was soon able to switch the Harlan to Saturn and did iPad presentations of Exoplanet, Sky Guide, and videos on "Is Pluto a Planet" , "Mysterious Hexagon on Saturn", and "Star Size Comparisons". Some guests were getting bit by mosquitos so I offered them the off spray in the cabinet and another can from my truck to spay on while outside the observatory.
I turned the display off as it got really dark to preserve dark adaption. I did the normal green laser sky tour of constellations. Went over AAS history, public star parties, how telescopes work, and why we see the milky way the way we do. Able to view, Mizar, Alcor, Arcturus, Ring Nebula, Venus, several satellites and of course Saturn and its moons. Lots of "Wows!" Many guests vowed to return. Donations in box. Last guests left about 11:40 p.m.
When packing up to leave, I could not find the yellow eye piece cap for the Forrest Scope. I searched for over 30 minutes. I usually put it on the top shelf of the NE Cabinet. The only thing I can think of is maybe I knocked it off when grabbing the off spray out of the cabinet. I ended up using a 2 inch to 1.25 inch adapter with a 1.25 inch yellow plug from the cabinet. If we don't find it soon, I'll buy a new one to replace it.
Observatory secured without difficulty Left at 12:15 am.