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Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Dec 14, 2011 23:28:03 GMT -6
Chicago Astronomer Star Party
Friday 16 December 2011
After some dreary nights of recent, it looks like we are going to have a clear night this Friday evening for some scope time.
I will set up the C11 Beast to catch some nice Jupiter and perhaps Mars. As an added incentive, we would like to welcome a new member to the fold, Jim...who done and got himself a 12" Truss Dob Leviathan.
I am axious to see it in action and he is anxious to put it through it's paces. And to sweeten the pot, C.A. Rich will bring his newly restored C8 with fancy gearing.
I will arrive on-scene by 6:00 pm at our usual observation spot and remain for a couple of hours...maybe longer.
This will be a Chicago Astronomer overload of scopes and geekyness... Don't know how many clear comfortable nights we will have now until the early spring, so let's do it. Not to be missed!
The temps will be in the 30s for this session, not bitterly cold, but still...dress warmly. I encourage all Chicago Astronomers and fans to stop by and enjoy some urban astronomy.
Chicago Astronomer Joe Founder, Administrator and Chief Astronomer
Telescope/Observatory Docent Facilitator Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum
Astronomy Instructor Instituto Del Progresso/IHSCA
Astronomy Program Instructor British International School of Chicago /Lincoln Park Campus
Resident Astronomer Chicago Park District Nature Oasis/Night Out in the Parks/ 606 Trail
We should have all come to my house; I could see Sirius and Orion's belt on the way home, and just got a quick look at M42, M43 and M45 as I was unpacking the Astroscan from the car. Then I caught a 2nd magnitude Geminid near Cassiopeia.
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Dec 17, 2011 4:28:19 GMT -6
Seven Astronomers...no waiting -
It's been awhile since the Chicago Astronomer crew assembled for some scope time and it was a well deserved gathering of friends and scopes. Last cold weather session, I did not dress warmly enough and took C.A. Dave's lead and did many layers and thermals. I was quite toasty and not a bit cold - even with the temps in the high 20's.
C.A.s Paulie and Rich arrived first on-scene, bringing a Dob, a reflector and the newly refurbished C8 of Rich's - which survived a near tragedy - as it tilted to the ground with a crash, but the strong mount/wedge took the brunt of the impact...
Some minor damage, primarily to knobs, the OTA was sound. I took a look to once-over on how things survived - or not, as understandably, Rich was in momentary shock. Apart from being knocked out of collimation, (which we soon corrected), it was ok.
C.A. Bill arrived bringing his refractor and Binoviewers for a shoot-out with me later...
Chicago Astronomer fan Sally and her daughter Violet receives our Email notifications and made the trip to see us and Jupiter...
The weather started to deteriorate soon after we set up, coming from the NW...
Jupiter did it's best to punch through the high clouds, and presented itself to the crew and visitors nicely. Paulie got horizontal and spotted a Geminid fireball...
...and also spotted some odd cloud puffs...
Originally in the shape of the Big Dipper's handle, it was very odd.
I brought along the Android Toshiba Tablet, which was it's first use at a star party...and I must say, came in very handy when describing to our visitors what they were seeing, visualizing orbital mechanics and having them identify stars via SkEye/Google sky.
People who were driving/walking by - including Police, stopped by to peek at Jupiter, talk astronomy and share some laughs...
By this time, new member Jim came along with his brand new 12" Dob, bringing along heat...
It needed an alignment of the finder to the OTA, which we did. The scope came with 2" 35mm DeepSpace and a 10mm 1.25" Plossel Eyepieces. I took a look, but rightfully stepped back in order for Jim to take the first peek through his scope...
I like it... #Thumbsup#
This was not the best night for a true test of light gathering abilities and optics, but Jupiter looked bright and detail sharp. We hope to put it through it's paces at our next clear sky gathering.
I had my Orion Binoviewers and Bill his William Optics Binoviewers. We did a brief preliminary comparisons...
Both about the same dimensions and weight, I had Celestron 25mms in mine and Bill had W.O. 20mms. They are both pretty much the same, but I think Bill's are just a bit sharper. Jupiter displayed great detail - and with the Skyglow filter now permanently on the right angle - had good contrast in the C11. A proper test comparisons soon. The crew took their peeks thru the Binoviewers...
We also used our Zhumell and Celestron 8mm - 24mm Zoom 1.25" eyepieces. Identical to each other in every way, I popped in both in my Binoviewer with ok results. I had thought that using two zooms in the Binos would be a slick thing to do, but the results were not dramatic. But then again, we were testing this configuration on the skyline and not anything celestial. Another test is necessary soon.
The crew digs 'em and Chicago Astronomer Dave seems to be leaning toward getting a pair.
Here, Rich kneels at the alter of the the refractor...
While I attended to our visitors, the crew talked scopes...
We had a nice line up of different scopes for this session...
Although, not a solid night for clear sky observation, it was a good time together with fellow Astronomers and different equipment. We attended to about 20 visitors, but without C.A. Barbara and Maria...just a guess.
We are thinking about doing another session this Sunday evening, but not here by the Adler. Bears game in the area... Details soon.
Our crew for the night:
Bill, Myself, Paulie, Tom, Dave, Rich and newest member...Jim
Post by Paulie pchris00 on Dec 19, 2011 8:30:45 GMT -6
Despite the mostly cloudy conditions and cold, it was an enjoyable night. It's not often that we have a chance to get the crew together through the long winter months. It was a chance to hang out and play with new toys.
That Geminid meteor I saw wasn't just a meteor; it was a fireball. It was straight at the zenith, though. I only caught it because I was looking for the Sisters.
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Dec 25, 2011 4:29:33 GMT -6
I enjoy the nice emails I receive from happy visitors to our star parties...
Hi Mr. Guzmán,
My name is Willie Wesley. We met Friday night (12-16-11) at the planetarium while your group was observing Jupiter. I just wanted to give you my email address for future events and things of that nature. Thank you for the great experience!
Michael here and I stopped by your telescope group recently to view Jupiter and talk astronomy. It was a blast and thank you.
My name is Andres. You showed me and my family jupiter in your big scope. It was exciting and we would like to do it again.
I will be sure to include the very nice emails in the threads for the upcoming year...