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Winter Star Party 2013

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#101 Cotts

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 09:00 PM

Chris, there was no wifi on site this year. Astro gizmos' truck broke down on the way.

Monday -Friday: 5/5 useful nights. Clear 80% or so of most nights. To my eyes no night was totally wind-free AND transparent AND with world-class seeing. Each night we had to settle for only two of those three..... Mon., Tues and Wed. were a bit windy for the Berm-ites. Thurs. and Fri. were very dewy but were relatively wind-free.

Attendance was down for sure. The berm looked to be only 2/3 as full as the year before. The vendors mentioned that it was a 'light' year, too...

A superbly run event, as usual, by the SCAS folks!

Except for the fact that for the 7th year in a row I came up empty in the door prize draw.....

Dave

#102 darklighteditor

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 10:04 PM

Great pics! Thanks for posting them...

:bow:

#103 rockethead26

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 10:21 PM

Thanks for the pics folks and I'm glad the weather was decent to good. Sounds like a nice week.

#104 Patrick

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 10:57 PM

Nice Shot, Dean!

#105 kfrederick

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:07 AM

Nice pic My wife and I had a great time . Spent one night with Al Nangler and a great 32inch how cool is that. They had a great setup for a starparty .

#106 crazyqban

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:52 AM

Except for the fact that for the 7th year in a row I came up empty in the door prize draw.....

Dave


Hi Dave, same here, no door prize at WSP... EVER!!!

Despite that, I had the best of times at the 2013 WSP. Good times with old friends and made a few new ones. As usual, the tops in the business are readily accessible, I had the pleasure of observing with Al Nagler on two evenings, Jon Joseph of Starlight instruments personally adjusted my 3" Feathertouch Focuser (thanks Jon), lunch with Mike Lockwood and on the last night I got to observe with Sue and Alan French. The attitude is laid back like the Florida Keys and I truly an amazing time whenever I attend. Being that I live in Miami it is easy for me to attend but if you are from up north and have not attended, I think that you should really take it into consideration. Unlike other Star Parties, there are tons of things to do in the Florida Keys like fishing, diving, snorkeling, bar hopping, etc... It's really a vacation and not just a star party. Here's a little postcard from the opposite part of the key that the WSP is held on. Enjoy...

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#107 JimMo

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 01:11 PM

Hi Sergio, I'm glad you folks all had a great time. I was at the 2010 WSP and had a great time. It's 1500 miles from Michigan but worth the drive.

BTW-I took the same pic only at high tide. :grin:

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#108 kfrederick

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 03:33 AM

On the beach at WSP

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#109 bierbelly

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:00 AM

On the beach at WSP


Hey, my girlfriend and my brother's buddy...only two people at WSP who looked down more than up. :lol:

#110 bierbelly

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:10 AM

Here's my best artsy shot

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Left the WSP early to enjoy some "down time" in Key West. Girlfriend and I went out on a chartered snorkel trip Sat. Turned out that one of the crew was a staff/helper at WSP and the ship's captain was more than moderatly interested in astronomy. Small world.

#111 csa/montana

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:15 AM

Patrick, we greatly appreciate you posting pictures of the star party, it gives those that can't attend their "Ahhhhhh". :grin:

#112 Doc Willie

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:23 AM

Winter Star Party Observing Report

Executive Summary: Six clear nights of viewing

Drove down with 13.1 in Teeter, 80 mm Apo, and 60 mm Lunt h-alpha. Stayed in a chickee, mostly cooked (minimally) for myself. Every night was essentially clear, except one that didn's clear until 8:30 PM. A couple spritzes of rain but nothing to cause any hassles. The only major hassle was heavy dew on a couple nights that soaked everything.

My first goal was to complete my AL Messier list, which I did on the first two nights. The second night, I went to sleep from 10 PM to 1 AM, and got up again to catch the final objects in Virgo. On Tuesday night (actually Wednesday morning) at 03:22 I bagged the final object M 61. I showed my field notes to Bill Bogardus, to back up the cleaned up log which I will send him for my AL Messier award.

The remainder of the the time was spent viewing Sue French's Snowbird Delights list from 2007 http://www.scas.org/...P Snowbird D... and Dave Chapman's Widefield list http://www.scas.org/...ervingList.pdf. I viewed about half the items on each list.
After the third night of extended viewing, I found myself ready to quit around midnight the remaining nights. Since we were starting about 7, those are still 5 hour viewing nights. Most of the other folks seemed to be on the same schedule, except for the astrophotographers.

I only attended two of the speakers, neither very good. I made an attempt to improve the quality of the speakers by volunteering for next year.

There were no other members from MHAA this year, but being my third year I have gotten to know some folks. Bill B and Jeff Norwood were there as vendors, and Alan Traino from NEAF/Rockland Astronomy club were there. Marty from Adirondack Astronomy Retreat was there, as were Sue and Alan French. And I set up my scope next to the tent of Gay and Joe Haldeman (Science fiction author), so there was plenty of good conversation.

The usual vendors were there, except for AstroGizmos, whose truck broke down en route. I picked up an iOptron Mini mount from Camera Concepts. It was used, so I saved some money, and both Jeff and the previous owner were there to help me figure the thing out.

Following the weather back home, I changed plans two or three times to try to maximize my viewing time, but also arrive home in not too bad weather. I finally left Saturday morning, arrived back in New Paltz late Monday afternoon to a driveway covered with 8-12 inches of snow.

#113 bierbelly

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:24 PM

I have to give credit where credit is due. My last visit to WSP was in 2007. Since that time, either through the efforts of SCAS or the Girl Scouts, the facilities have been upgraded considerably. The showers and toilets did not back-up as they did during my previous visit, and there was actually hot water available for morning showers! While I'm sure that the lesser attendance had something to do with this, I'm also sure that improvements have been made. Kudos to SCAS for a great star party!

#114 bierbelly

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:29 PM

Great pics thank u .One question , would u go again?



Well, sure, but it's a long drive for me and there are some other star parties I'd like to go to as well. I've enjoyed my time here without question though. :grin: What's not to like...dark skies, vendors, meeting fellow amateurs and talking shop, and observing together.

There were a number of 'shooting stars', one fireball that lit the whole area, and a lot of really nice streakers.

Patrick


Whoa! I didn't think anyone saw me! ;)

#115 kfrederick

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:19 PM

It was a very nice run event We had a great time .

#116 Bill Barlow

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:42 PM

Thanks for the pictures, Patrick. Did it ever rain while you were there..and how would you rate the night sky there.

Bill

#117 bierbelly

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:41 PM

It rained a bit, but not at times to really affect observing. The nite sky is compromised a little by light pollution to the east (Marathon Key) and west (Key West), but pretty darned good above and to the south, where most want to look.

#118 Bill Barlow

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 06:46 PM

Okay, thanks for the information. What kind of scope were Sue and Alan French using?

Bill

#119 crazyqban

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 08:29 PM

I am not sure which scope Sue and Alan personally brought but when they observed with me it was through mt 16" F4 Starstructure.

#120 Joe F Gafford

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:45 PM

I have to give credit where credit is due. My last visit to WSP was in 2007. Since that time, either through the efforts of SCAS or the Girl Scouts, the facilities have been upgraded considerably. The showers and toilets did not back-up as they did during my previous visit, and there was actually hot water available for morning showers! While I'm sure that the lesser attendance had something to do with this, I'm also sure that improvements have been made. Kudos to SCAS for a great star party!

Above problem is one of the reasons I did not go to WSP since 2003. I got caught in the shower one night when the plumbing decided to back up. I had to go and clean my feet and lower legs out into the surf! I'm glad that they finally did improve the plumbing. The plumbers were called out twice in 2003.

Joe

#121 Howie Glatter

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 10:20 PM

"I got caught in the shower one night when the plumbing decided to back up. I had to go and clean my feet and lower legs out into the surf!

Maybe as an alternative you could just take a cruse on the Carnival line.

#122 kfrederick

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 07:22 AM

I thought they did a great job this year . Howie great to see you . I was impressed how steady the sky was. The sun in Howie twin telescopes was great And excited to share the chief.The highlight was the views in a 32inch with Al and his wife . Got some good ideas on my cell from Howie .The views in that 32 was worth the trip.

#123 Bill Weir

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 12:14 AM

Above problem is one of the reasons I did not go to WSP since 2003. I got caught in the shower one night when the plumbing decided to back up. I had to go and clean my feet and lower legs out into the surf! I'm glad that they finally did improve the plumbing. The plumbers were called out twice in 2003.

Joe


Complaining about a star party with plumbing of any kind? Showers? If I was inclined to teasing I'd call you a sissy. But I won't. Sounds like a cushy site on the whole. I'm used to star parties where the only luxury is a Port-a-John that hasn't blown over in the wind.

That being said I do hope to get to the WSP one day but it's a long way from my spot on the west coast. I do think though that my wife would like a few days in late winter laying on a beach. She's not prone to wanting to camp at high altitude and close to or even sub freezing tempertures at night.

Bill

#124 Joe F Gafford

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:44 PM

I did complain because during the two visits to WSP I racked more day trips than at the other venues I've been to from coast to coast. I would like to be halfway clean to visit these places. Also, I observed that there were too many people at this venue for the facilities to cope. This particular venue is made for little girls, not for irregular middle aged men! This past WSP with the smaller attendance seems to prove that.

My usual places are out in the primitive areas usually above 7,000 ft. Shovel required.

Joe

#125 Pkgastro

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 08:11 PM

I had a great time!






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