Saturday May 25, 2013
CoE Star Party
Tara and I arrived at Canyon of Eagles Park about 6:15 p.m. Checked in at the office and let them know to send guests to the Eagle Eye Observatory as soon as possible at sunset because of the 3 planets (Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter) that we were going to get a small chance to see right at dusk. Sky was about 60% cloudy on arrival, but seemed to be starting to clear up, so I was getting optimistic.
Grounds looked very good, best I've seen in a long time. I'm not sure who did the mowing and edging this time around but they did an excellent job. Sticker plants were edged out and gone from all around the observatory. No trash anywhere. Mild amount of ants and mosquitos.
We are out of paper towels at the observatory. I'll have to get with Darin to see if their is a list of equipment and supplies that we need to check for on arrival. I also need to get with him on greasing the Harlan to make it easy to move again.
I forgot to test the internet. All red lights working. Display working. Scopes did pretty well all night. The Forrest scope tracked about 90%. Harlan about 90% as well.
The Harlan still has the stiffness that Darin mentioned before, but otherwise tracked well.
Weather warm but nice breeze from south. Sky was about 30 to 40 % clouds most of the night.
Guests began arriving immediately. Nice mix of children and adults from all over the park. Clouds covered most of the planets early on, but were parted just long enough to view most of them for those that arrived early.
Viewed Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Mizar, and the moon. Normal AAS history ans sky tour of constellations presented.
Used the display hooked wirelessly to iPad for the following:
- Used Pocket Universe HD App to show Positions of Saturn and Jupiter's moons and what they would look like through the eye piece
- Used Exoplanet App to show closest Exoplanets in the Habitable Zone and where we are in the milky way.
- Used Solar Walk App to show Solar System Models and why it was a great time to see Saturn.
- Used Moon HD App for showing lunar landing sites and and how to spot them in the eye piece.
- Used Star Walk and Distant Suns to show how the stars draw the constellations (always a big hit with families)
Also presented "Minute in Physics" videos on "Why is Pluto not a planet"
Many people wow'ed by what they saw in the scopes and would leave and return with additional friends/family.
Last guests left about 11:00 p.m.
Secured all scopes, lights, observatory
Closed up and left at 11:30 p.m. Temp 75 degrees.
- James Hall