Jump to content


Photo

Star Party at ASAE!

  • Please log in to reply
23 replies to this topic

#1 Keith Schlottman

Keith Schlottman

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 52
  • Joined: 02 Oct 2005
  • Loc: Tucson, AZ

Posted 08 October 2012 - 06:28 PM

I'd like to extend an invitation to all of you who will be visiting us for ASAE to spend an evening under some of the best skies anywhere.
The Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association maintains two dark-sky observing sites, and we will be opening them both during the Expo weekend.
Our darkest site is called the Chiracahua Astronomy Complex (CAC). We'll have CAC open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights (11/9 - 11/11). CAC is located in one of the darkest areas in North America - I have measured sky magnitude of about 22 using a Sky Quality Meter! We have plenty of telescopes on site including a 14" in roll-off roof observatory and an 18" Obsession, plus pads with electric service if you want to bring your own gear. This site is about 100 miles Southeast of Tucson and is well worth the trip. We will be requesting reservations to make sure we don't exceed County limits. An online reservation form will be available soon or you can e-mail me at president@tucsonastronomy.org to hold your spot. To learn more about CAC, see our CAC Page on our website: http://www.tucsonastronomy.org/cac/.
Our other site is called "TIMPA" and is located West of town. It's not quite as dark but is closer. This site has a roll-away observatory and also has telescopes and electricity available. TIMPA will be open on Saturday and Sunday, and visiting this site does not require reservations. You can learn more about TIMPA on the TIMPA Page at our website: http://tucsonastrono...g/timpa-site-2/
We also hope you will drop by to visit the TAAA booth onsite at the Expo and meet some of our members.
I'm looking forward to sharing some of our Arizona clear skies with you all!
Keith Schlottman
President, Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association

#2 Skylook123

Skylook123

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 7491
  • Joined: 30 Apr 2005
  • Loc: Tucson, AZ

Posted 08 October 2012 - 09:25 PM

TIMPA is only 15 minutes from home for me. I'll sure be there Saturday and Sunday nights.

#3 Starhawk

Starhawk

    Space Ranger

  • *****
  • Posts: 5546
  • Joined: 16 Sep 2008
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona

Posted 09 October 2012 - 04:26 PM

Wow- TAAA has pulled out all of the stops for this. The TIMPA site has a bit of skyglow from Tucson over the mountains, but is still very dark- especially compared to lower altitudes and wetter atmospheres attendees may be more familiar with.

The CAC site, on the other hand, can be expected to be extraordinarily dark. I'm wondering what I can do to get by there Sunday evening... Yes, Monday will have to be a vacation day.

-Rich

#4 Skylook123

Skylook123

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 7491
  • Joined: 30 Apr 2005
  • Loc: Tucson, AZ

Posted 22 October 2012 - 10:43 PM

So, anyone planning dropping in on TIMPA or CAC over the convention weekend?

#5 Starhawk

Starhawk

    Space Ranger

  • *****
  • Posts: 5546
  • Joined: 16 Sep 2008
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona

Posted 23 October 2012 - 09:11 AM

That's my plan. Friday I'm thinking I'll take the wife and kids to TIMPA, then Sunday go to CAC. Saturday is going to be the CN dinner- we will need to start working on where that's going to be.

The scale of available star party opportunities TAAA has put together is most impressive. I can't think of another star party on this scale.

-Rich

#6 ToxMan

ToxMan

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2768
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2011
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona, USA

Posted 23 October 2012 - 09:56 PM

I'll probably make a trip to a dark site and take a scope. I'm willing to caravan, help with directions, serve as a guide, lend a ride...Saturday only.

Paul

#7 Starhawk

Starhawk

    Space Ranger

  • *****
  • Posts: 5546
  • Joined: 16 Sep 2008
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona

Posted 30 October 2012 - 05:04 PM

I won't be able to head out until Sunday. Are you planning to do the CN dinner on Saturday?

-Rich

#8 ToxMan

ToxMan

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2768
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2011
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona, USA

Posted 31 October 2012 - 01:57 AM

Good question! I would like to meet all the CNer's out for the Expo, Rich. It sounds like we have about 20 possibles coming out and many (a dozen) have expressed interest in Saturday dinner. I've been following the dining thread and knew I had to make a decision about Saturday dinner. I have to work Sunday night...likewise Friday evening. Bummer. Ultimately, I would like to go to Saturday Star Party at CAC. But, dinner later than 5pm will make it tough, especially since I have equipment I'd like to set up.

Last minute crunch and I know folks want to firm up plans. It is a 2 hour drive out to CAC dark site. So, it would be hard for folks to socialize in the evening over drinks and dinner AND go out to dark site on Saturday. And, drive back.

Would some folks like to have late lunch, early evening drive and star party? I've have one gentleman who would like to hitch ride out to dark site. I've got room for a couple more passengers. If others are driving, they can follow. But, TAAA has room for only so many cars and asking for reservations on-line. I have a reservation now, 1 vehicle, 4 people, 2 openings. And, I know lots of places to eat along the way. For me, this means having a rendezvous about 4pm, have an hour for a sit down dinner, take the scenic drive east and get out to dark site around 7 o'clock. Maybe. Thanks.

Paul

#9 Shneor

Shneor

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 859
  • Joined: 01 Mar 2005
  • Loc: Northern California

Posted 31 October 2012 - 01:54 PM

4 p.m. is reasonable though I'd wish it were an hour later...
and I'd be happy leaving CAC at 2 a.m. Wondering how cold it's likely to be so I can figure out how much cold-weather gear to pack; I'm hoping to carryon and not check a bag.
Clears,

#10 Starhawk

Starhawk

    Space Ranger

  • *****
  • Posts: 5546
  • Joined: 16 Sep 2008
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona

Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:09 PM

What if we tried to do somethig more flexible- I dunno, like have a CN pick-up lunch where whoever thought they had a little time and wanted to see folks could rendezvous at a known spot in the convention, say at 11:30AM, and then mosey for lunch? That way there would be a way to see folks even if you weren't available for the dinner.

-Rich

#11 ToxMan

ToxMan

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2768
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2011
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona, USA

Posted 31 October 2012 - 08:38 PM

4 p.m. is reasonable though I'd wish it were an hour later...
and I'd be happy leaving CAC at 2 a.m.



No problem with leaving around 4 or 5 pm for dark site, Shneor. I'm glad to head back by 2am...maybe earlier??? Weather...plan for temps in the mid-forties. Too cold for rattlesnakes!

Remember you out of state visitors, we are not on daylight savings...Mountain Standard Time. "Sun sets early." (17:26)

I think it is great that folks have some options, Rich. All of us want to get a look around the booths at the expo...easy enough to rendezvous at convention center. There is a great line-up of speakers each day, leaving time in the evening. Some of the folks may prefer to hang out downtown and socialize, rather than going to a star party. I'm glad to be host for some folks wanting to go out to dark site. Flexible about dinner as long as we don't get out of town too late. There just wasn't anyway for me to go out one of the other nights.

Paul

#12 Shneor

Shneor

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 859
  • Joined: 01 Mar 2005
  • Loc: Northern California

Posted 01 November 2012 - 01:20 AM

It's about a 2-hour drive to my favorite observing site at 7600 feel in the Sierras; I'm used to driving home at 3 a.m. I take two caffeine tablets when I get into the car to go home. Good for at least 3 hours of driving. But let me check with my son about a dinner location on the way - he's lived in Tucson for over a decade and might know a good place to eat.

Clears,

#13 Starhawk

Starhawk

    Space Ranger

  • *****
  • Posts: 5546
  • Joined: 16 Sep 2008
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona

Posted 01 November 2012 - 09:00 AM

I'm just thinking if we pencil in some ways people can get together, then it can happen. I've found it's really impossible to add things in during events.

-Rich

#14 ToxMan

ToxMan

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2768
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2011
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona, USA

Posted 02 November 2012 - 01:55 PM

Hi Rich,

We're getting our threads criss-crossed. :rainbow: I'm making the same post to the Dinner thread.

It looks to me like most CN folks want to get together Sat Eve for dinner and socializing. At or after 5pm seems to be the best time for a dinner rendezvous. And, there are just a few folks wanting to go to TAAA-CAC star party that night. I'm glad to host a group to the star party Saturday night. I remember someone said they were going to dark site on Friday and another said Sunday. I can't speak for them about "hosting a group"...but, remind folks, there are star parties other nights.

Let's poll folks for these 2 scenarios, and plan to get together at Old Pueblo Grill. Those going to star party can rendezvous earlier, say 3:30 - 4:30, have a bite, and as the "in town" group starts arriving around 5pm, everyone will have time to meet and greet. The star party group could begin heading out about 5:30 as the in town group is gathering for their dinner. Two groups, one place, a little overlap, and from there, "the night is ours." The star party group can head south on Alvernon to I-10 and be on their way to the dark site quickly. OPG is 10 minutes from downtown convention center, and 10 minutes from I-10. I would probably head back to Tucson around 2am. But, I'm flexible.

I'll be glad to contact OPG, see if they can accommodate us with these scenarios and I'll get a reservation if this works for everyone. If they have a good idea what we want to do, we won't hit some unexpected snag. I have a star party reservation for 1 car, 4 people and so far just one passenger (looking forward to seeing you, Shneor) and room for 2...

Paul

#15 bob71741

bob71741

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1030
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2008

Posted 02 November 2012 - 04:37 PM

I take it that no one has checked the weather for next weekend; looks like Murphy's law will prevail. Still looks okay for Friday night, but Saturday and Sunday are pretty iffy.

#16 Starhawk

Starhawk

    Space Ranger

  • *****
  • Posts: 5546
  • Joined: 16 Sep 2008
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona

Posted 02 November 2012 - 06:55 PM

I was looking at the weather last night. Believe it or not they say it's a side effect of Sandy.

It looks like it's in the margins of what can be forecast, so we need to be closer before we have a better idea. But with all that astronomy gear coming to Tucson, it's a fair bet the new scope curse is in the offing.

-Rich

#17 Atl

Atl

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 501
  • Joined: 13 Apr 2012

Posted 04 November 2012 - 03:31 PM

Great...I just emailed you for Friday reservations.

#18 ToxMan

ToxMan

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2768
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2011
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona, USA

Posted 11 November 2012 - 03:20 AM

Salutations to John K. for hosting Saturday night. We arrived late, the conditions were not optimal. But, the times that we had no clouds and little wind, the views were spectacular. Well worth the drive out to CAC. Sorry we were late, John. Thanks for the show. Paul

#19 Skylook123

Skylook123

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 7491
  • Joined: 30 Apr 2005
  • Loc: Tucson, AZ

Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:52 AM

I'm glad the CAC event went well. A few of us hearty souls braved sucker holes at TIMPA, but TIMPA was, in the end, untenable. We waited for about an hour and a half (Bob Gilroy, Chuck Hendricks, Paul Anderson, Mike Finnerty, and I), with no Expo guests showing up, but except for alternating elements of the Summer Triangle and the occasional Polaris, Cassiopeia, and Cepheus, the dark clouds were rolling in and staying pretty much in place with apparently no intention of leaving; perhaps they hadn't read the forecast. We tried...tonight should be pretty clear. C'mon out, folks, and enjoy the near-to-town TAAA site. BTW, the site is shared with the Tucson International Modelplex Association with about a 1000 foot runway for radio controlled aircraft flying, and this weekend was supposed to be a big three day event, but the unseasonable cold and the Friday and Saturday winds had us all alone there. We often have joint events, where we watch some of the daytime airplane action, and some of them visit with us at night.

I hope you folks who want to enjoy a great night close to town will come on out. We should be open before 5 PM; we put the Party in Star Party.

If you need information on how to get to TIMPA, visit the TAAA booth in the lower level and we might be able to arrange some buddy rides, or give me a call on my cell phone at 5 2 0 - 4 0 5 - 6 5 5 1 and I might be able to help out. I have one spare seat in my truck. See the first post in this thread for more information. If you get lost on the way out (honest, it's an easy trek from the Convention Center), call me.

We'll have the Gila Observatory and the 14" LX-200 open, I'll have my 18" Teeter to share, and a 90mm refractor on a GEM if needed. That's just me; we should have a cadre of club members ready to share other instruments as well.

#20 fnowat

fnowat

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 60
  • Joined: 11 Jun 2012
  • Loc: N.E. Illinois (Chicago suburbs)

Posted 11 November 2012 - 12:18 PM

WOW!! YOU ARIZONA STARGAZERS ROCK!

ToxMan thanks for you and Sandra affording 2 Cleveland acclimated to polluted skies to get spoiled at your CAC dark site!
WOW!! Though I had to be to be a passive observer, it was well worth the wait!

I was saying exclamations repeatedly after the views through the eyepieces, but the best was listening to my wife’s approval! I knew that this trip was worth it!

Thank you Shneor for the expert tour of the darkest sky that my wife and I have seen since near Prineville this past summer’s OSP!

It was great meeting all of you and I only hope to repay you in some way soon. It was WOW (did I say that yet?)!!

Frank

#21 Shneor

Shneor

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 859
  • Joined: 01 Mar 2005
  • Loc: Northern California

Posted 11 November 2012 - 01:02 PM

I want to thank Paul, John and the TAAA for last night's star party. I especially appreciate all TAAA has done in buying and developing an excellent and very dark sky site. Toxman, thanks for driving all the way there and back. It was a pleasure meeting everyone!

Clears,

#22 Skylook123

Skylook123

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 7491
  • Joined: 30 Apr 2005
  • Loc: Tucson, AZ

Posted 11 November 2012 - 03:00 PM

I need to appologize for a bit of over-reaching in my post above. I have no idea who in the club will be showing up at TIMPA, nor how to get people there who are short of transportation. My truck turns out to be full, and I've just learned that the TAAA booth at ASAE doesn't have information on which members might be going. So, while I can help with directions to TIMPA, I can't help with matching up rides. I got a bit too enthusiastic in my desire to help people get out to the great skies.

#23 fnowat

fnowat

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 60
  • Joined: 11 Jun 2012
  • Loc: N.E. Illinois (Chicago suburbs)

Posted 12 November 2012 - 11:57 AM

It is now a quiet Monday morning at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport and after a good cup of Starbucks my mind is pleasantly reviewing the weekend...

I am greatly indebted to Jim for the lead on the impromptu star party at TIMPA on Sunday. I graciously thank Dennis for the transportation back down memory lane as we rode out to TIMPA! Thank you Dennis for the opportunity to open my eyes to the reputation of S. Arizona’s skies have, I am a witness to the serene beauty now. I thank you Jim for allowing me to watch and to view your Teeter Dob. It was nice to hear the stories of the scope and of its durability. I think that was the best Sunday night that I have had in quite some time. I love your Tucson skies!! It makes me think seriously about a career move to make my hobby more enjoyable!

It was nice to hear the diverse stories from other star gazers while out there this weekend. Thank you all for the camaraderie!! I wish you calm winds and instead of only 300 clear nights each year, I wish you 325 clear nights a year!

Thanks again, Frank

#24 Skylook123

Skylook123

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 7491
  • Joined: 30 Apr 2005
  • Loc: Tucson, AZ

Posted 13 November 2012 - 09:51 PM

Frank, it was quite a pleasure to enjoy the night sky with you and Olga. Sorry you needed to return to Parma; I grew up very close to there. Nowadays, I'm SO glad I don't need to shovel my weather any more.

Best of luck with your future Teeter. It will serve you well. If you are ever out this way in June, think Grand Canyon Star Party. If you think those desert skies last weekend were impressive at 2500 feet with some Tucson sky glow, I hope you can someday enjoy your Teeter at 7000 feet and DARK at the Grand Canyon. I hope we all can cross paths again some time.






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics