A Fun Night Stargazing!

Mark and Diane arrived and started setting up at around 7:15. While setting up, it didn't look like the clouds wanted to move out, but the 33% gibbous moon was a good target to look at while we waited for the clouds cleared out. We were also able to look at Saturn and two of its moons - that always draws lots of ooohs and aaahs, and it didn't disappoint tonight, either.

We had the great pleasure of showing the night sky to around 30 people - it was a busy night, but they were an especially fun crowd and asked lots of good questions!

We were able to show everyone a good sampling of the types of things we look at while stargazing. Once it got dark enough we started looking at some multiple star systems, such as Albireo in Cygnus, Mizar and Alcor in Ursa Major (the Big Dipper), and Polaris (the North Star). We then turned our attention to M13, the Great Hercules Cluster in Hercules. We also looked at the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) in Andromeda and finally the Ring Nebula (M57) in Lyra.

We had a lot of fun with our visitors. I know many were quite amazed at what they saw. That's exactly why we like to share our hobby!

Thank you for coming out, if you weren't able to, we hope to see you out there soon!

Clear Skies!

Star Party Report for Sat., Sept. 12th

Due to the great weather all day and forecast for that evening, we put together a last-minute star party and it proved well worth it.

Mark arrived at around 7pm to start setting up (read: learn how to set up) the new Celestron Nexstar GPS 8. Once John arrived at around 7:15, we had quite an audience watching us hover over the telescope and controller, pretending we knew what we were doing! But eventually we got it aligned and on Saturn, which was quite a sight.

Saturn, with its amazing rings, and its moon, Titan are always a great first thing to see in a telescope and the 20 or so visitors were quite wowed by it. We were also visited by Kris from Bloomington and his 6" Dob. We're always happy to have more 'scopes join us!

We were able to start looking at Saturn as early as around 7:50pm - just 10 minutes after sunset, so it was a bit of a wait before we were able to start seeing the rest of the night sky. But by around 8:30 it was plenty dark enough to start looking at things like the multiple star systems Albireo in Cygnus, and Mizar and Alcor in Ursa Major (The Big Dipper). We also looked at some globular clusters, such as The Great Hercules Cluster, M13, and the globular cluster M22 in Sagittarius. The Ring Nebula, M57 in Lyra, the Eagle Nebula, M16, also in Sagittarius, and the Little Dumbbell Nebula, M76 in Perseus were looking good, too.

There was a lot of yawning going on by around 11pm, so we started packing up.

It was a great night for viewing and all of the visitors we get make it even better - we love sharing our hobby!

Weather-depending, we're still on for our regularly scheduled Public Stargazing Event next Saturday, the 26th, so we hope to see you there!


Impromptu Public Stargazing Event Tonight – Sept 12th

The skies are supposed to be exceptional tonight, our regular GLASS people are all available (that's been rare this summer), and we have a new 'scope to play with - a Celestron Nexstar GPS 8 Schmidt-Cassegrain. So we're holding a spur-of-the-moment Star Party tonight.

Sunset is as 7:39 and we'll need some extra set-up time with the new scope, so we'll be showing up at the latest 7pm. As usual we'll be in the middle of the circle at the Horse Camp area.


Star Party Report for 15 August

Lucky John got to head up the event all by himself, and as usual when that happens we get swamped! But that's a good thing!

It was a good night for viewing.  About 25 visitors came out to see the wonders of the night sky.

We looked at some doubles, like Albireo in Cygnus, and Mizar and Alcor in Ursa Major/The Big Dipper.  We also looked at the Trifid Nebula and a couple of other nebulae. The ISS (International Space Station) did a flyby while we were there. We also looked at the pair of galaxies M81 and M82.

The show really got going, however, after many people had already left. The Northern Lights gave quite a show, reaching almost overhead and shimmering in multiple colors! It's not often they come out that early, so it was quite a treat.

A Great Night for Viewing!

After weeks of bad luck trying to get out to park to hold a star party, it turned out to be a great night for viewing last night.

We were visited by about 25 campers, who were from places such as Rochester, Canby, Minnetonka - even from as far as Western North Dakota. - and plenty of mosquitoes!

We started out the night looking at a sliver of a moon, with Venus in phase, too. And that was before the Sun even set.

When it finally got dark enough to start viewing "the fun stuff", we looked at several multiple-star systems, like Albireo in Cygnus, and Mizar and Alcor in the Big Dipper. We also looked at the Hurcules Cluster and nebulae such as the Trifid Nebula in Sagittarius and the Ring Nebula in Lyra. Galaxies were on the list too, including the Andromeda Galaxy and the galaxy pair M81 and M82.

A highlight of the evening was a beautiful long-lasting meteorite, burning bright yellow and green.

Thanks to all of you who visited us last night - you're why we do this!

Clear skies!

Next Public Star Party

We've had spotty success being able to hold stargazing events, with the weather and busy schedules this viewing season. But we keep tryin'!

The forecast is (so far) looking promising for this coming Saturday, 6/27. Cross your fingers and keep an eye out here for confirmation of a star party this Saturday!

Clear skies!

Star Party Cancelled For Saturday, June 13th

Unfortunately our busy lives sometimes get in the way of some things we'd like to do more often!

Both John and Mark and their respective families were out of town last Saturday, causing us to cancel the star party at GLSP. Regretfully, that will happen again this coming weekend, Saturday, June 20th.

But fear not, we will be back out there as soon as the weather (and our busy lives) permit!

Keep an eye out here for the next event.

Clear Skies!

Star Party Report for Saturday, 5/30

The moon was quite bright, but that didn't stop us from catching some amazing views of the sky! We had the pleasure of hosting about 30 visitors; some campers, some local residents. Jupiter was showing off all four of its Galilean Moons right in a line. And, always drawing plenty of oooos and aaaahs to even the most experienced astronomer, Saturn was up too (it's not often we get to see both of the giant planets in the same night). We also saw the fascinating naked-eye double, Mizar and Alcor in the handle of the Big Dipper. Of course, with the moon so bright, we couldn't pass up in taking a close-up view of its craters, ridges and mountains. We would love to hear about your experience with us, so register with us (if you haven't already) and leave a comment or send us a note on the Contact page.

Public Stargazing Tonight

The Clear Sky Chart is looking excellent for clear viewing tonight (Saturday, May 30), so we'll be holding a star party at our regular location. Sunset is at 9:02, so we'll probably be showing up at around 8:30. It'll be a little cool tonight, so dress warm. See you there!

Regularly Scheduled Star Party Cancelled

Sorry, people, but we've been trumped by the weather again. We'll try again next month on our regularly scheduled 3rd Saturday of the month, but keep an eye out here, as we do occasionally hold a star party on an unscheduled Friday or Saturday if we're available and the skies are good. Clear skies!

Bringing the night sky to Glenwood and surrounding communities since 2008

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