GCSP Reports

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tfwthom

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Some of the things comming in..........<br /><br />Posted by Jim Mahon on 6/11/2005 (SkyJim)<br /><br />I'll lead off with a partial - I was able to just get in a few nights due to a family obligation... <br /><br />The South Rim was well attended by amateurs, most from the Arizona clubs but with a sprinkling of Californians, Nevadans, and a few folks from more distant points present at the SAC pizza party on Sunday (Thanks to SAC, and also to the Sirius Lookers' Thom Walczak for the Wednesday mostaciolli feed!). I was happy to be sharing my campsite with Paul Keen of my club, The Local Group of Santa Clarita, California. <br /><br />Unfortunately we had significant wind for most of the public hours through Tuesday night, enough at some points that the 20" Starsplitter I was swinging actually became unsafe to use for public astronomy. Despite this, there were hundreds of enthusiastic and impressed park visitors who enjoyed the views each night. <br /><br />The winds did die down late on at least two nights I heard about though I had already packed it in. On Tuesday night, I stayed set up despite the 20" being almost uncontrollable and waited it out - it was my last night. I was rewarded by a couple of hours of superb dark-sky viewing between 1:00 and 3:00 AM, with about ten other die-hards, including Brad Campbell and Dennis Young of the Sirius Lookers and Steve, whose last name escapes me but is a first-rate astronomer and dad - our daughters were pals last year. Brad and Steve were back working that gravitationally-lensed quasar in U Major, trying to split it again in Dennis' 28". Awesome object, but I was spoiled since I'd been privileged to view it in the Mt. Wilson 60 inch! My good friends Nancy and her brother John were set up with me near Brad, and hopefully we didn't bother you too much, Brad! Also, my regrets to Kevin from Texas, who I had no chance to say goodbye to. I hope you enjoyed the views as much as we enjoyed your company! <br /><br />I was very happy to see M <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1" color="#3366ff">www.siriuslookers.org</font> </div>
 
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tfwthom

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North Rim Star Party Note<br /><br />After spending Friday night at Five Mile Meadow, Jenn and I went to the North Rim star party, where we spent Sunday and Monday nights. On the way up, we stopped off at Chris Luginbuhl's home in Flagstaff. Chris is the forgotten co-author of "Brian's book" (http://tinyurl.com/dxgu9) on deep-sky observing. He also knows more and has done more about lighting practices in Flagstaff than anybody else, and we got an education on the subject.<br /><br />The North Rim star party is held on the porch behind the lodge. The horizon is obviously zero degrees for a great extent of azimuth to the south. The lodge blocks the northern and northwestern views up to 30 degrees, and a nearby building blocks the view to the northeast. You do lose the Ring Nebula and a few other northern Milky Way objects, but not much more.<br /><br />There are three pesky lights, one of which drove us off for Night #2. They eventually unscrewed the two attached to the lodge, but left on a terrible light on the building to the east that cast harsh shadows. I don't know if that has been taken care of as I write. It singlehandedly destroyed what would have been incredble dark-sky views. With these lights off, the porch is a great site for up to a dozen telescopes or so. By the way, during brief periods between wind gusts on the porch, seeing was very good, despite the nearby hole in the ground! In general, though, *all* of the lighting at the North Rim is among the least astronomy-friendly I have seen. <br /><br />On Monday night, we were given permission to observe at Cape Royal, which is at the end of a faraway, isolated peninsula at 7800 feet elevation. I wouldn't try this without ranger approval, as we were told that night by a ranger that staying there even without at tent in the back of the truck was "on the margin" for visitors.<br /><br />Due to an unforgiving wind, we looked at zero telescopic objects while at Cape Royal. Taking a look around in the huge p <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1" color="#3366ff">www.siriuslookers.org</font> </div>
 
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nevers

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It's been nearly a week since I got back from the Grand Canyon. My "report" is now ready along with pictures at my website. I didn't really do the job I was hoping for - but at least it's done. Here is a "Postcard" I made and the link to the site.<br /><br />Grand Canyon Star Party: 2005
 
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tfwthom

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Brad I forwarded your report to Jane and others....her reply.<br /><br />Hi Thom, thanks for passing on Brad's lovely photo essay. :) Thanks Brad for creating it!<br /><br /><br />Here are our photos - well, just a very small sample of them. I haven't had time to write up a report yet, but when I do it will be posted here on the page alongside the photos. http://www.otastro.org/2005-06-GrandCanyon/<br /><br /><br />We had a great time in spite of the wind! I showed comet 9p/ Tempel 1 to my telescope visitors from about 8:30 - 9:30 p.m. each night (Except Thursday and Saturday), and then when Pluto rose above the trees, I showed Pluto on a couple nights, with easy star hopping charts to show the planet's motion trail. We had a thrilling trip to Flagstaff on Wednesday and visited both USGS and Lowell Observatory.<br /><br /><br />On a couple nights, when the crowds diminished, I was also able to check off one or two of my faint fuzzy projects - I've almost completed the Hickson catalog of galaxy clusters, and checked off about 5 of them this trip. <br /><br /><br />Next for us: The annual Northern California astronomy club Glacier Point Yosemite weekends. We'll be there with our astronomy clubs on Jul 8/9 (with the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers) and August 5/6 (with the San Jose Astronomical Association). Here is the full listing in case you or someone you know is interested in visiting Yosemite this summer. http://www.aanc-astronomy.org/yosemite.html Some clubs bring as many people and telescopes as there were at the Grand Canyon, some just a few. There are usually hundreds of national park visitors passing through the telescope set-up area. The busses and restrooms are a quarter mile away. Club members drive up, unload their telescopes at the granite Glacier Point ampitheatre, and then park their car back in the parkin <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1" color="#3366ff">www.siriuslookers.org</font> </div>
 
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nevers

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Hi Thom,<br /><br />Thanks for the warning! <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" />
 
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