Re: (IAAC) Sentinel Arizona Star Gaze (Delmarva Stargaze V)

Where were you set up at Star Gaze & which scope was yours? I was also
there and missed most of what clear skies there were.
Harold Williams
Dave Mitsky wrote:
> Steve Coe and Linda Ross wrote:
> > Sentinel Star Gaze 99 Big Success
> > by Steve Coe
> > snip
> > I set up the 13" and A.J. sets up his 8", both Newtonians.
> > Once collimation is complete and finders are aligned, we are
> > just waiting for it to get dark.  An obligatory view of Venus
> > shows it to be about 50% illuminated and it is swimming
> > in a huge, bright cone of zodiacal light rising from the
> > western horizon.
> > snip
> > By now Mars is up nicely and we have a "Mars-a-thon"
> > for half an hour or so, trying different magnifications and
> > filters.  Syrtis Major is easy, as is the Hellas basin and
> > Utopia.  The southern polar cap is seen at higher power,
> > along with some clouds at the limb.  The dark features are
> > more prominent with the orange and salmon filters and
> > the clouds and bright features stand out with a light
> > blue filter installed.
> snip
> Steve,
> Thanks for the great report.  FYI, Venus was 75% illuminated on 4/15 and
> will decrease to 70% illumination by 4/30.
> I also attended a star party (in fact, one that also uses the name Stargaze)
> that weekend, the Delmarva Stargaze V
> (http://www.delmarvastargazers.org/gaze5.html) on Maryland's eastern shore
> near the Chesapeake Bay.  Approximately 200 amateur astronomers from
> Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and elsewhere attended the
> event.
> We had mostly clear skies on Friday night until fog rolled in at about 02:00
> a.m.  The fog lifted about an hour later but my friends and I had turned in
> well before then.  Just before dawn broke I had to get up to go to the
> bathroom and got to see a few more objects  through the 17.5" Coulter
> belonging to the Delmarva Stargazer's president.  It was clear for the
> entire night on Saturday.  On both nights I observed through a number of
> different telescopes of varying designs and apertures.
> Personal highlights included seeing both Leo I and II and the X of stars in
> the core of M13 for the first time through Kent Blackwell's 25" f/5 Dob.
> The Propellor was obvious through this scope but I wasn't able to positively
> identify the second, smaller one.
> Kent's 25" was the biggest scope at the site (Tuckahoe State Park) although
> there were at least two other 20 inchers there.  One was a 20" f/6.4 (with a
> very tall latter!) that produced excellent images of M65, M66, NGC 3628, NGC
> 2903, and M3.  My friend Kent allowed me the use of his scope (I took only
> my ShortTube since I decided at the last minute to go after finally finding
> a positive local forecast on weatherunderground.com) on both nights and I
> logged several new H400 galaxies but unfortunately not ones that would have
> been difficult from the ASH Naylor Observatory near Lewisberry, Pennsylvania
> (http://www.ezonline.com/ash/obs.htm) since the southern horizon was blocked
> by trees.  I had some fantastic views of the Eskimo Nebula, M51 and NGC
> 5195, NGC 4565, the Cat's Eye Nebula, the Dumbbell Nebula (best I've ever
> had even though I've seen it through a 32"), the Veil Nebula, and many other
> objects through this instrument.  I was able to see the central star in M57
> at ~500x through the 25".
> Roy Diffrient's award winning 18" f/4.5 Dob was nearby and some people could
> see M57's central star through it on Sunday morning.  The views of M11, M17,
> and many other DSO's through Roy's scope were superb.
> At the opposite end of the aperture spectrum I had some nice views of the
> North American Nebula through the ShortTube, Ultrablock filter, and a 26mm
> Ploessl and through Kent's new toy - a 4.25" Astroscan - and the same
> eyepiece and filter.  One of my traveling companions had a Meade ETX and I
> had my first nighttime looks through one of these controversial telescopes.
> Unfortunately, the seeing was not all that good and I had only a few quick
> looks at Mars through a couple of scopes.
> Astrophotographer Jerry Lodriguss was the keynote speaker and he wowed the
> crowd with his fantastic photographs.  Some choice door prizes were awarded
> and as in years past a 6" Dob was built during the star party (well, some of
> it was made beforehand) and raffled.
> Dave Mitsky
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