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Last Saturday of every month...

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#1 Whichwayisnorth


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Posted 29 July 2013 - 11:52 AM

My wife decided that she wanted to get to know the neighbors so she has organized a "last Saturday of every month" gathering in our driveway where neighbors bring snacks to share and their own folding chairs. Kids are welcome and encouraged so we usually have more kids than we do adults. We happen to live on a street that is 100% girls under the age of 10. Actually I am wrong, there is one boy. Anyways, weall sit around and chat etc. This last time I decided to bring out my telescope and point it at Saturn. While I was doing the initial alignment I turn around and see that the girls had, on their own, formed a single file line up the driveway to look through the telescope. Occasionally one of them would pull on the eyepiece and move Saturn out from center but it just took putting two of the older ones in charge of reminding the younger ones not to touch and that problem was solved. Eventually a few adults strolled over to see what they were looking at and they were amazed at the views.

Based upon this I am considering the idea of moving this show over to the community park and putting a time/date/place up on the community facebook page. I just need to make SURE the county controlled park has had the lights and the sprinklers turned off on those nights.

#2 Doug Reilly

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 08:57 AM

How often are the skies clear? I used to do Second Friday Star Parties, only to discover that about 10/12 second fridays in these parts are cloudy!

#3 csrlice12


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Posted 02 August 2013 - 11:11 AM

Throw cloud parties where you sit around and try to name the various cloud types you see........that way you're good for 10/12 nights. :lol:

#4 Pharquart


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Posted 02 August 2013 - 01:46 PM

I recommend changing it to the third Saturday. That puts it in the quarter moon time frame. A quarter moon makes a very appealing target in addition to Saturn. Set up a second scope if you can on the moon.


#5 tedbnh


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Posted 06 August 2013 - 09:58 AM

Our club does two public events per month. One is "first Friday of the month." The second is "Saturday night closest to the first quarter moon."

The "first Friday" is easy for the public to remember, but the moon is at random phase, sometimes new and sometimes full. So during the months with no Jupiter or Saturn we have little to show people. this event takes place in a parking lot of a science center with most lights off, but still some lights present.

The "Saturday closest to first quarter moon" is guaranteed (clouds permitting) to have excellent stuff to show on the moon. If Jupiter or Saturn (or every few years, Mars) are in the sky, we have 2 or 3 additional excellent targets. This event takes place downtown with bright lights. The only drawback is that you can't as easily put it on your calendar as it moves around in the month.

To be as certain as possible of being able to show something interesting, I recommend the second schedule.

#6 Whichwayisnorth


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Posted 06 August 2013 - 01:07 PM

I have reasonably dark skies and good weather for viewing. I am in a yellow/orange zone but for some reason lately I've actually been able to make out the smudge of the milky way. I think it is because of a marine layer that comes in and defuses the light blow my elevation.

I go to our clubs monthly star party so my schedule can't conflict with that and I am semi-active with our outreach program. My schedule will flexible and I'll try to find the best Saturdays I can. I actually plan to bring my 14" SCT and my 8" SCT and set them up before hand. Lot of work setting up and tearing down but I think it would be worth it. I plan to start next month if things go well.

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