Saturday, August 15, 2015

My Stay at the Summer Star Party...2015

my apologies for being about a week late with this post... for some unknown reason I lost access to the blog... But now I'm back!
It took about 4.5 hours to get to the star party campsite and I immediately began setting up my gear.
I got a lot of visitors from astronomy clubs all over the northeast and gave out membership 
applications to a few people interested in our big observatory (with darker skies than they were used to from their New York City metropolitan area).
I had only two small scopes with me due to space constraints with my truck. The scope on the left is a 102mm Explore Scientific APO refractor on a CG5 mount that was tracking perfectly throughout my stay. I saw over 25 deep sky objects as well as Saturn and Neptune. I didn't do any imaging though.... I think I was too into the social aspect of the star party to bunker down with a laptop and camera glaring in my face.
The little scope in the center is an Orion 4.5" StarBlast which I use mostly for spotting the brighter objects quickly as well as solar observing with the Seymour Solar Filter on the front.
It's a great scope for star parties as parent's like it's low price, ease of mobility and good optics as a started scope for the kids! 

The days were perfect as the mountain air was fairly dry during the day so the clouds would open enough at night for decent observing. Although I highly recommend purchasing a dew heater... I didn't have one and the first night it hindered my viewing especially in the eyepieces.
People with dew heaters didn't appear to have any probems and as you can see, everyone had covers. 

My views of the sun were the talk of everyone that looked through my ES with the new "LUNT White Light Solar Wedge". Word passed quickly of the contrast quality and high resolution it provided compared to a filter at the front of a scope!
Below is an image I took using my Galaxy5 ... not too bad for a phone-camera but visually and through a CCD camera the wedge is spectacular. I bought the 1.25" wedge but if I were to buy now I would get the 2" version.

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