My youngest son joined me for the fall 2017 installment of the Staunton River Star Party (SRSP). As with most star parties, it’s great to see old friends, make new ones, and just spend time together with others that enjoy the same hobby. I set up in-between fellow club members Matt L. and Rob O.
I set up my canopy next to my camper as my outdoor kitchen as well as my control center for video astronomy, trying to reduce the amount of light output so as not to impede on other’s dark adapted vision.
The weather was forecasted to cooperate for most of the week with the weekend being questionable.
Monday Night: I left my HDMI cord buddle at home and could not connect my monitor to the computer at the base of the scope, so night 1 was a bust, I just set up the scopes and used the AR102 to confirm alignment and sight some old but familiar objects.
Tuesday Night: Very dewy after 10:30 and I struggled with mount alignment issues, but managed to log 5 items in the end before shutting down at 2am. It was cold, got down to 36 degrees. My son ended up quite tired after a full day of adventures in the park and went to bed without observing anything.
Wednesday night, another cold night down to the mid 30s, I’m so happy I have heat (furnace) in the camper – I feel sorry for my friends in tents. I managed to log 14 objects before I called it a night around 1am.
Thursday night was not as cold but still very dewy. The evening started out cloudy but improved later on. My son and I walked around big dob row (were all the big Dobsion telescopes were set up) and looked through a 25″ f/5 and another big dob with NightVisiom, very cool! David was getting tired and only after a few objects viewed he went to bed. I spent quite a bit of time in the late evening looking for Comet ASSIN but no joy. In the end, I managed to log 4 observations after midnight and called it quits by 1:15am.
Friday and Saturday night were forecasted to be clouded out so we packed up on Friday and came home early.
Below are some the highlights of the objects I captured:
Clear & Steady Skies