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Cherry Springs Star Party : June 6th - 9th, 2013

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#1 7lx200gps

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 12:04 AM

Cherry Springs Star Party 2013
2013 Cherry Springs Star Party : June 6th - 9th, 2013
Presented by the Astronomical Society of Harrisburg

The Cherry Springs Star Party or CSSP will be held at Cherry Springs State Park near Coudersport, PA. Cherry Springs State Park is well known for nice dark skies and we hope you'll enjoy them with us at the Cherry Springs Star Party! The Registration Desk will open at approximately 12 PM on Thursday and will be open at various times throughou t the weekend. We hope to see YOU at the Star Party!

The Cherry Springs Star Party features speakers and vendors from around the country, on-site food vendor with 24/7 food services, and door prize raffles.

Availability for the star party is limited. The earlier you register, the better. Towards the star party, registration fills up quickly. Please complete registration if you plan to attend. Registration forms can be found on our website, or the Facebook page. You can also pay PayPal if you wish. Registration will open sometime in late February or early March.


Getting to Cherry Springs:
Cherry Springs State Park is located on PA 44 in Potter County.


GPS Coordinates:

If you are using a GPS, the GPS coordinates for the Cherry Springs Observing Field are as follows (Coordinate and elevation information retrieved from the United States Geological Survey):
41°39’ 46” N, 77° 49’ 23” W (41.662778 N, 77.823056 W)
Elevation is 2300 feet or 701 meters


For more information regarding registration, food vendors, door prizes and weather, please visit http://astrohbg.org/...nformation.html

Cherry Springs Star Party also has a Facebook page for up-to-date material regarding the star party. You do not need a facebook account to access all the information on the CSSP Facebook page. This page will be updated faster for weather and any news regarding the star party.

http://www.facebook....295858413801517

#2 George N

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 12:36 PM

I hope to be there.....

#3 bierbelly

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 01:20 PM

Forcast is for cloudy and rain... :smirk:

#4 rmollise

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 02:24 PM

That was my experience at CSSP the year they had me up as a speaker...but...had a great time anyway! :cool:

#5 fuzzystuff4ever

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 03:13 PM

Went in 2010; weather was OK but it wasn't quite as dark as I was expecting; had a great time. Say hello to the flies for me....

Brian

#6 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 05:50 PM

The weather was great for this year's star party and flies were not a problem. The dark skies of Cherry Springs have been degraded in recent years due to light from gas drilling in Potter and neighboring counties. Drilling has been put on hiatus in Potter County due to the drop in the price of natural gas and the skies have improved a bit as a result.

http://www.youtube.c...ev9DZsM1SoQ&... (see the SQM reading graph at 2:39)

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#7 bierbelly

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:40 PM

The weather was great for this year's star party and flies were not a problem. The dark skies of Cherry Springs have been degraded in recent years due to light from gas drilling in Potter and neighboring counties. Drilling has been put on hiatus in Potter County due to the drop in the price of natural gas and the skies have improved a bit as a result.

http://www.youtube.c...ev9DZsM1SoQ&... (see the SQM reading graph at 2:39)

Dave Mitsky


Dang! That fast. You'd think that dark skies would be worth more than thousands of cubic feet of natural gas.

#8 George N

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 11:31 AM

Flies (last year anyway): Mostly gone now that the Gypsy Moth infestation is over. The squawky Blue Herons are still there.

Sky darkness: Has always been variable. High haze seems to reflect more light. If the daytime sky is milky, you can bet on a brighter night. I’ve seen SQM readings from 21.30 to 21.65 in recent years, sometimes on the same weekend. While it might not be as dark as it once was, Cherry Springs is still a great spot for observing, and the club that runs this star party does a great job.

Springtime weather: Hey, it’s the Northeast!! Expect anything from blizzards to tornados, and maybe a clear night or two, or more….

CSSP: I went a day early last year and had 3 good nights, plus one pretty icky one (Saturday – some folks left, but it did improve around midnight). The year before the weather was so bad I didn’t even bother to go, while watching hail hit my truck at home.

June??? I liked this star party better when it was in May. I’d rather have cold weather than shorter nights and less time to view the Virgo galaxies. Last year I also spent 4 nights in May and had better observing (and maybe a 100 people on the field), but of course no star party activities or vendors. I also had to borrow someone’s lawn mower to cut a patch out of the 6+ inch deep grass to set up my scopes.

The best part about Cherry Springs is that the site is perfectly set up for astronomy: large flat field, hardened roads, AC power, water, toilets, safe, and no white lights. The old airfield across the road would be even better for viewing, but lacks any of the amenities. I just wish that there were closer restaurants and small stores. My cell phone will not work there, but the phone built into my Chevy truck works fine.

#9 kreegan99

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:16 PM

Forcast is for cloudy and rain... :smirk:


George - if you don't go, will your 20" Obsession be going? :lol: Please? I plan on going, and plan on being parked right next to you again! Man really excited to get back to Cherry Springs again - what a beautiful place!

Maybe it will be as good as last year!

#10 George N

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 11:58 AM

Forcast is for cloudy and rain... :smirk:


George - if you don't go, will your 20" Obsession be going? :lol: Please? I plan on going, and plan on being parked right next to you again! Man really excited to get back to Cherry Springs again - what a beautiful place!

Maybe it will be as good as last year!


I plan on setting up next to the 30 inch scopes….. so that everyone lines up over there and leaves me and my little 20 alone! :cool:

Here’s to 2013 being as good as 2012. We certainly had a large club attendance, (plus the same at Stellafane).

I’m also hoping for a long dark weekend in April or May again this year. It was actually better observing at the 4 nights I spent at Cherry Springs in May last year than at the CSSP…. and that was pretty good.

#11 AutoPilot

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 11:41 PM

Are there any hotels within driving distance that would be recommended? I'd like to attend a star party or two before I invest in camping gear.

Thanks, Mike

#12 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 04:49 AM

The Mill Stream Inn in Coudersport is probably the best motel in the area.

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#13 AutoPilot

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 09:18 PM

The Mill Stream Inn in Coudersport is probably the best motel in the area.

Dave Mitsky


Thanks for the suggestion. I was waiting for others to chime in, but appears this may be the best choice.

Mike

#14 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:50 AM

You're welcome. Other motels in the area are listed at http://www.bfsp.org/...ommodations.cfm

Dave Mitsky

#15 ischua

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 04:13 PM

Mail-in registration is now open :thewave:

#16 Brett Carlson

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:48 PM

I just sent out my registration! I'm excited as this will be my first large star party! I hope to get good use out of my freshly re-figured 16" Starfinder!

Any advice for a first time attendee?

#17 ischua

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 05:51 PM

No laser pointers
Stay out of your car after dark unless you know how to turn all lights off before hand or you WILL get yelled at.
Tent camping? Eating in/out? Can be cold wet hot bugs or bears. I'm south of Buffalo so look us up.

#18 Brett Carlson

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:42 AM

I'll be tent camping....I'll bring some food with me but I'm sure I'll get bored with that quickly enough.

I already got the info about no laser pointers but thanks for reminding me.

I live in Rochester, NY but I grew up in Warsaw NY...I used to shuffle over to Buffalo fairly often. I haven't been there in a while except for a couple Bills Games.

Funny Story...I brought my Bino's to a Bills game. The only pair I have are 20x80's so it was way over-kill for football but provided some great views. The funny part was the reaction of people who have never seen bino's that big before. Quote of the day was from a gut sitting behind me. I let him borrow them for a few plays and he remarked..."man...you can see into the future with these things!". I laughed my *BLEEP* off!

#19 evrimi

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:44 PM

All my attempts to reach the club or event web site are a dead end, where else is the registration form available?

#20 ischua

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:19 PM

All my attempts to reach the club or event web site are a dead end, where else is the registration form available?


http://www.facebook....295858413801517

#21 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 02:24 PM

The ASH web site is under reconstruction.

Dave Mitsky

#22 The Ardent

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 10:45 PM

I want to go, but June has very late sunsets and early sunrises.

#23 George N

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 11:46 AM

I want to go, but June has very late sunsets and early sunrises.


Ya…. the wimps kept complaining about minor stuff like blizzards, temps in the low 20’s, and such…. So they moved it from April to May and now June. I’m planning on a 3 or 4 day run a month or two before CSSP, plus going to the star party.

CSSP is still a great opportunity for some dark sky observing along with all of the other activities of a very well-run star party. Yes there’s a shorter night, and less time before the spring time galaxies set, but you do get a good shot at “the summer Milky Way” late at night. I always ‘flex’ a day or two early…. or late…. to max out my chances under a clear sky. If the weather is good, you can expect half the field to be filled several days before the star party starts. Of course then you have to pay the camping fee and you are on your own for food.

I get a Galaxy Pass giving free camping for a year. You need 5 non-star party nights to break even, but…. the money is going for a good cause!

#24 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:45 PM

ASH has held the official Cherry Springs Star Party eight times. Three of them were in May, one taking place at mid-month and the others at the end of May. There has never been one in April. In years prior to 2005, there were a number of casual, "no frills" meets at the park that were promoted by ASH.

We also got complaints when the star party was held in May. Temperatures can drop well below freezing at the park in May. The issue of schools still being in session was another factor. Yet another was having the star party fall during the Memorial Day weekend.

I'd personally rather have the star party in July rather than June but people say it gets too hot in July for tent camping under the Sun.

Dave Mitsky

#25 kreegan99

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 12:29 AM

I want to go, but June has very late sunsets and early sunrises.


That is the bummer part of the Cherry Springs Star Party. I agree with George though. I've had some of the best social observing I've ever experienced at CSSP. Last year we netted three nights of observing, and it was very comfortable. It is a good time to learn new objects, and strike up some amazing conversations.

I've never been there in the mid-May time frame, but like both Dave and George pointed out. That place can get really cold there. I think it hit 45F one of the nights this last year even in June.

Either way - it's really good times, and I highly recommend going!






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