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Texas Star Party

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#1 wyundiv

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 10:31 PM

Hi All,

I've always read great reviews about the TSP, and it just so happens that I will be in Oklahoma (not too far away) on business around the time of it this year. Having never been to a star party outside of my small upstate New York club, I was wondering what the etiquette was regarding astronomers who can't bring telescopes. I have a nice dob at home, but unfortunately the biggest thing that can make the trip with me are my binoculars. Are the "big dob" owners at TSP generally willing to let you take a peek every once in awhile? I have heard that people mill around generally for the first part of the night and then settle in with their own scopes later, so I'm just wondering what transpires. Any experiences would be most welcome.

Thanks,
Walter

#2 poodle

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 12:34 AM

Walter, I can not answer your questions about TSP etiquette but I can tell you if you are in Oklahoma you are a long, long way from TSP. If you are right on the border closest edge you will still be about 8hrs. away.

#3 Unknownastron

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 02:58 AM

Yes, Oklahoma is still a long way from TSP! Regarding attending without a scope, that is not unusual. Sometimes observers are very busy with a program and do not have time to share views but most of the time people are glad to share views. Etiquette is simple: always ask quietly if you may share a look, and if the answer is no say "Sorry, didn't mean to intrude" and move on to the next scope. Most of the time the answer will be "Sure". Also, don't be a scope hog, that is, look at 2 oar 3 objects along with the others in the group, say "Thanks" and move on. If invited to hang out for a while, feel free. If you are there for the whole week you will likely be invited to observe by several people. If we have 3 or 4 clear nights in a row most people have done a lot of their observing lists and are ready to share.
Hope this helps.
Clear skies and clean glass,
Mike

#4 rmollise

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 10:52 AM

Hi All,

I've always read great reviews about the TSP, and it just so happens that I will be in Oklahoma (not too far away) on business around the time of it this year. Having never been to a star party outside of my small upstate New York club, I was wondering what the etiquette was regarding astronomers who can't bring telescopes. I have a nice dob at home, but unfortunately the biggest thing that can make the trip with me are my binoculars. Are the "big dob" owners at TSP generally willing to let you take a peek every once in awhile? I have heard that people mill around generally for the first part of the night and then settle in with their own scopes later, so I'm just wondering what transpires. Any experiences would be most welcome.

Thanks,
Walter


There's nothing wrong with "just" bringing binoculars. Though seems to me that you might at least be able to tote along something like a StarBlast. Don't want to waste those skies. If you are wondering about looking through other folks scopes, sure, people will let you look. HOWEVER...please be aware that many of the folks will have planned all year for this and will be working on personal observing projects that are very important to them. ;)

#5 wyundiv

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 09:24 PM

Hi Guys,

Thanks for the advice and experience. I understand Oklahoma is far from Ft. Davis, but it's a heckuva lot closer than New York! You could say TSP is on my "bucket list," it's almost mythical up here in the northern reaches!

And the StarBlast is a good idea; I might bring a Stellarvue or something similar...whatever fits on the plane.

Best,
Walter

#6 Alex McConahay

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 08:58 PM

I came from California to visit the Texas Star Party. There were people from Texas who had to drive longer than I did to get there.

Texas is a big place.

And I agree with what has been said. You will find some scopes to look through, but you will also find many people with tight observing programs. A program, incidentally, is not incompatible with looking through their scope, but you probably will not be looking at the Messier 110 all night.

Alex

#7 DeanS

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 09:56 PM

I have about a 22 hour drive, and when I get to the Texas Arkansas state line I am half way there :)

Of course WSP is also a long drive, and once I hit Florida I am also only have way there.

BUT TSP is worth the drive! :bow:

If you can't bring a scope don't worry as there are just as many casual observers as there are serious ones. We don't mind at all having people stop and spend some time looking with us.

Dean



#8 Phillip Easton

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 02:36 PM

Hoping to attend this year as well, would be my first. I mostly image but plan to bring my son's 130mm reflector for some casual visual. If you don't mind a small cheep reflector look me up. :D

#9 GaryJCarter

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 08:15 PM

Walter,

While Uncle Rod is correct, many are working on their observing lists, there are many also willing to share time at the eyepiece too. Bring what you can, binos, Stellarvue, or what have you. TSP won't disappoint if the weather cooperates. Look us up on the lower field!

Regards,

#10 Joe F Gafford

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 09:58 PM

Here's an image of the upper field at night

Joe

#11 Bob Moore

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 04:22 PM

Hi all just a note about the first ever Texas Imaging Symposium. For the first time ever TSP will have it's own imaging conference known is The "Texas Imaging Symposium" or TIS. TIS will run May 6-10 where TSP runs May 5-12. As of this time TIS is offering apx 75 hours of talks and at the scope night time instruction and is still growing, talks will be done at multiple times and on multiple days during the week. The symposium schedule is still being worked on but here are some links to check out. TIS web page = http://texasstarparty.org/tais/
the TIS forum page = http://texasstarpart...ymposium-forum/

#12 Lane

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 02:26 PM

I wonder if Astronomics in Norman OK would rent you a used scope for a few days. They definitely have used scopes in the store. Then you just need to bring your eyepieces.

#13 Charles Laird

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:41 AM

The best way to think of how close or far something is in these parts is simply calculate the miles and translate that into travel time. That might seem obvious but I found that having been a lifelong Texas resident driving in areas east of the Mississippi was confusing. People thought of distances in terms of miles whereas I was used to thinking of distance in terms of hours. The travel procedure I was used to was to get on the right highway and start driving, then after a good while look at a mileage sign and start calculating how much longer. But while driving in the east, on several occasions I had to backtrack to find the state I had driven completely through without knowing it. Everything was so close together.

#14 LivingNDixie

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 03:31 PM

The best way to think of how close or far something is in these parts is simply calculate the miles and translate that into travel time. That might seem obvious but I found that having been a lifelong Texas resident driving in areas east of the Mississippi was confusing. People thought of distances in terms of miles whereas I was used to thinking of distance in terms of hours. The travel procedure I was used to was to get on the right highway and start driving, then after a good while look at a mileage sign and start calculating how much longer. But while driving in the east, on several occasions I had to backtrack to find the state I had driven completely through without knowing it. Everything was so close together.


I won't be there this year, however this is good advice when thinking of travel times. When I get to Dallas I know I am a little more then half way there (coming for Birmingham AL). I generally stop in Abilene the first night.

#15 jmartin

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 08:58 PM

confirmations are out...

#16 rockethead26

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 09:51 PM

Looks like I'm going. Got bunk house accommodations. TSP 2013 here I come. :jump:

This will be number three for me. 1999, 2010 were the two previous.

#17 Steve Daniel

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 10:02 PM

Got my confirmation too, West Texas for a week in early May. What more could one want he he he.

#18 Erix

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 12:33 AM

Very excited to have mine today as well. This will be my first TSP!

#19 DeanS

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:06 AM

Got mine over the weekend as well. Looks like it will be my first year setting up in the upper field since I got an RV spot below the wall.

Dean

#20 Unknownastron

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 07:31 PM

We got our confirmation as well. It will take some creative financing but I am determined to go.
Clear skies and clean glass (in West Texas!),
Mike

#21 Cotts

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:32 PM

Hi, Jim. I got into a bunkhouse too! ("Angel's Nest") See you there!!!
A looong drive for me, too.
Dave

#22 rockethead26

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:34 AM

Cool, Dave. See you there. Are you bringing the Teeter?

I'm in Happy Trails on the other side of the corral.

#23 bicparker

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 11:31 AM

I will be there. See you all at the gate. And please remind me of your name if I forget. I can't remember... oooo, squirrel!

#24 Steph

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:01 PM

Looking forward to being there for my third time, first since 2007. :jump:

#25 Cotts

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 01:14 PM

I hope to, Jim. I have to find a small cargo trailer for it. The search is ongoing......

Otherwise, the 8" TEC will be going.....

Dave






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