Star Party Report for September 9th

Sorry, guys. I’m a bit late with this update – life gets in the way…

Saturday started out beautiful – mostly clear skies, good temperature, no more than a breeze. But as we were driving out to the park we were watching the clouds come rolling in from the West.

When we got to the park most of the Western and Southern skies were overcast and the rest of the sky wasn’t much better, with only a few “sucker-holes” we maybe could look at something through.

Despite that (and in hopes of better skies), we stuck around and the campers started showing up. The Western horizon still had a glow from the setting Sun when Diane spotted Saturn through some thin clouds. Saturn is one of my favorite viewing targets and always draws “wow”s and “cool”s from the uninitiated. It didn’t disappoint! By then we had about 10-15 visitors and we did, indeed get our share of “wow”s and “cool”s from Saturn.

Fortunately sky overhead and to the North were starting to clear, so we were able to point out some constellations, talk about how we find things (“Star Hopping”) and while we were doing that things cleared up enough to look more neat things, like the Andromeda Galaxy, the Hercules Nebula, the Ring Nebula, Mizar and Alcor, and Albireo.

Our persistence paid off that evening. Unless it’s raining we stick around. Chances are we’ll be able to do some viewing.

Until next time,
Clear skies!