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Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Oct 7, 2010 8:15:24 GMT -6
The Chicago Astronomers to set up telescopes by the Adler
07 October 2010
We have had a great run of clear warm evening of recent and tonight promises to be a wonderful night to set up telescopes and enjoy the stars by the skyline.
I will arrive at 6:30 pm to set up by the Sundial area - look for us - and share some Jupiter viewing and other nice targets...maybe even see if I can show the visitors Comet Hartley from under all the light pollution.
Our warmer nights of observing are limited now and it's highly recommended to come out and join us for some urban astronomy.
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Oct 8, 2010 13:39:39 GMT -6
The Chicago Astronomers, the skyline, a comet, a Astrobrella and a Rocket
07 October 2010
I ran into some delays and did not arrive on-site until 7:00 pm, but Chicago Astronomers Paulie & Hillary were already on locale by the Sundial and good see them.
I set up East side of the Launch Abort Rocket, looking for the smart angles for glory shots, while Chicago Astronomers Bill with is 5" Vixen and Patrick with his 9.25" Cat selected the shade of the rocket to set up...
I set up the C11 beast - skyline and rocket as backdrops...
And I brought my own shadow...
This was the first practical test of the "Astrobrella" in blocking out intrusive light and worked beautifully shading the scope and astronomer - and later sharing it with Bill when he relocated his scope to the area...
Some shots of the Launch rocket...
This was the last evening of the display in Chicago and we were fortunate to have it with us for a short while. The transport driver had planned to hook it up earlier in the evening, but offered to wait until we were concluded with our session, as we were still hosting visitors to the area.
This was an opportunity to conduct a star party session with a NASA rocket behind us and a great skyline in front. We had a good flow of people stop by after looking at the rocket and showed them, Jupiter, "E.T" cluster, the double cluster and Andromeda...
Bill is a great guide through the heavens and was explaining about Comet Hartley to our visitors...
Chicago Astronomer fan Kyle stopped by on one of his frequent visits to out sessions...
And...he is this close....to getting himself a C8. Excellent!
New participant Al joined us and brought his 6" Mead LS-ETX with the Lightswitch and Autostar suites...
He was having a slight problem with aligning and finding targets, but I hope he brings it back out and we can assist more in maing good use of the instrument.
Fellow car enthusiast and friend Tom and his friend Chris stopped by to say hi and sneak some peeks at the heavens. Now that race season is over, he can make more of our sessions. (Dig Chicago Astronomer Steve in the background...with his iPad around his neck...Heh... ;D )
I do not know what Patrick and Paulie were viewing isolated away, but I was sending the visitors to them as Bill and I were going comet Hunting and could not be distracted during these few moments.
Hartley was most difficult to find, but Bill used his camera attached to the Vixen to see if a time exposure would grab it...and it did. In a 30 second exposure, it was fainting registering and it least, confirmed it's location.
We moved the C11 to the area and at first saw nothing, but now with the image taken, we had a reference to go by and every so slightly, we could see the faint & dim smudge of Hartley. Easily passed over if we did not know exactly where it was, but yes...Comet Hartley can be viewed from under Chicago skies...but just barely.
I took a leisurely walk around the area and took the last pics of the rocket before we packed up our gear...
Here is a nice image of Bill using Patrick's 9.25" SCT...
It was now past 11:00 pm and we had a host of police with us, taking peeks and chatting up stories on various subjects, when it was time to take the rocket away...
With video even...
The Transport driver, Brian...
Brian on the right..
...was very nice to the Chicago Astronomer crew...giving me "Constellation Program Pins" for my members and a CD of the Orion project...
The very cool Constellation pin fits nicely along my collection in my accessory case...
Here are Chicago Astronomer fan Gerry's pics:
(Gerry provided me gifts...a portable DVD player so we can use it during sessions and a 80 gig Hard Drive chock full of space themed shows...too cool... ;D )
(Chicago Astronomer Steve also was the bearer of gifts, as he made me a data cable to for the Digital Setting Circles on the C11...and now if everything works....I can use the Laptop to help guide the scope to fainty deep space objects...sweet!)
Post by Paulie pchris00 on Oct 8, 2010 13:39:56 GMT -6
I think a dark dust cloud in the galactic disk blocked out Hillary in the first group shot.
I have a rather lengthy story posted on my blog, and rather than going through the trouble of reposting the whole thing here, I'm just going to link to it instead. I apologize, and I usually don't mind re-posting for Joe's readers, but I just don't have the time at the moment.
Had a great time on Thursday night! Sorry I was so off by myself, but the rocket was providing a great shield. I also have a lot to learn about using this scope, which was my primary mission for the night, only partially accomplished. I am getting better though.
Tonight was my first sighting of Jupiter's Great Red Spot and Marine 1 as President Obama took off from the lawn outside Soldier Field and flew right over us.
Had a short rotation of astronomical objects that I shared with everybody who came over and showed interest, which included the group of amazingly nice police who had helped clear the park. All were exceedingly funny and nice as we packed up for the evening and watched the Atlas Rocket get towed off. I hope that they return whenever we are down there and they are not too busy.
Blue Snowball (a first for me!) Pleiades Ring Nebula Jupiter (and GRS) Saturn Nebula (one of my new favorites) Andromeda Galaxy
No luck for me with the comet, even with Bill's eagle eye help.
Steve and Bill were great helps with my scope questions, and I know I have many, many more. Barely spoke with Joe as he was a bit late arriving and then had a ton of people to interact with, photos to take, and comets to hunt. Thanks everybody!
Joe did stop by long enough to give me a Constellation pin. I'll stick it on my scope bag to remember tonight.
A DeLorean showed up as the truck driver hooked up the Atlas LES trailer. Quite a sight to behold for all except Joe. Something you certainly don't see every day.
Last Edit: Oct 10, 2010 0:45:15 GMT -6 by patrickm
Post by Paulie pchris00 on Dec 5, 2014 8:58:17 GMT -6
I've been watching NASA's coverage of the Orion test flight, and was reminded of our star party in the shadow of the mock abort system rocket. I'm encouraged by America's return to spaceflight, of sorts, but wish the timetable involved didn't span decades.
"Just a boy, just an ordinary boy, but he was looking to the sky." -Vanessa Carlton