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Okie-Tex 2013 reports

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#1 Phillip Easton

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 12:10 PM

Just got back last night from 4 great nights (Sat-Tues) at Okie-Tex 2013. This my first ever Star party and I had a blast!

I thought all four nights were pretty good. A few clouds the second night. It did get a little dewy on a Sunday and Tuesday nights but thankfully I brought my DewBuster. So yes you can get dew at Okie-Tex if the weather is just right.

Capture data for two nebulae, two galaxies and one comet! Best part was while capture data for the Helix nebula I went next door to visit Perry from the Amarillo club and he was looking at it! So I got to see what I was imaging through a 12" dob. Pretty cool!

BTW - The hamburger at the Cosmic Cafe wasn't bad. ;)

Thanks to my new friends and the organizers!

Here is a short video of the fields.
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=VAyN960PmCo

And some pictures.
http://www.flickr.co...57636154210455/

Waiting to hear and see from others.

#2 Stacy

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 01:48 PM

Nice! Thanks for sharing. :)

#3 Joe F Gafford

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 03:42 PM

I'm still here at Okie-Tex and the forecast looks for clear skies for the rest of the week. Cooler Fri night. I got a lot done this time with some images done of the comet ISON Wednesday morning.

Joe

#4 okieav8r

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 09:09 PM

I'm still here on Thursday night. A bit too windy to take the cover off my Obsession, so I'll probably hang out and visit, and maybe do some binocular astronomy. Tomorrow is looking a bit wonky too. The food has been pretty good, and the burgers at the Cosmic Cafe are indeed very good. It's been a great star party.

Philip, I think your name was called in the prize drawing tonight. Can't remember what it was though.

#5 Phillip Easton

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 08:18 AM

My luck it was probably for an AP 1100 GTO-AE ;) LOL

#6 crosseyedcricket

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 01:04 PM

Phillip,

Glad you made it out and had a great time! You picked a good year to go. Nice pics of the star-field....will look forward to seeing your images at APSIG!

-David

#7 djpontone

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 01:33 PM

Wow great pics, one of my favorite star party dark dark dark!!!

#8 JimK

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 05:14 PM

I also enjoyed a night there. Others may have different values, but here's mine...

Oct 2-3 (Wed night)
Very clear, 55 to 45 F (mostly 40s), 1-3 mph, sunset at 19:37/dark at 20:56 (CDT)

Transparency = Extremely Clear
(M33 seen naked eye, Perseus Double Cluster seen as dense fuzz surrounded by larger, fainter fuzz, Milky Way seemed 3-dimensional)

Darkness (SQM-L) = 21.45 general reading
(based on 21:00=21.35, 22:00=21.40, 24:00=21.54, and 03:00=21.51 readings)

Seeing = Fair to Poor (Airy Disk is mottled, no rings),
but this is not a worry for Deep-Sky Objects (only for planet detail and close doubles)

I closed up at 02:30, and then a 8-12 mph breeze came, raising the temp from low 40s to low 50s in 5 minutes.

#9 okieav8r

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 08:15 PM

Friday night--cold, and very windy. :p



#10 Joe F Gafford

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 11:23 PM

Friday night--cold, and very windy. :p

I glad I left today in time to cover my surviving plants for tonight's freeze. Feet were acting up as well. They feel "swell". I did get more images done this time over 4 nights than the 2 previous years at Okie-Tex. Just don't run over the electrical boxes on the way out that Jack Eastman and I helped set out!

Joe

#11 MEE

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 10:18 AM

Did anyone see the aurora a few nights ago?
How far can the zodiacal light/ band be seen from there?

#12 Joe F Gafford

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 01:29 PM

Did anyone see the aurora a few nights ago?
How far can the zodiacal light/ band be seen from there?

The aurora was seen there for a very short time, The blue afterglow was visible for a good part of an hour.

The zodiacal light is quite visible there. At times nearly extends to the gegenschein. It is seen intersecting with the winter Milkyway in a equilateral triangle with the horizon glow.

Joe

#13 okiestarman56

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 04:54 PM

spent 6 days and loved it better than the heat and dust of last years

#14 okieav8r

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 11:09 PM

Joe, despite my best efforts, no electrical boxes were injured by me during my stay at Okie-Tex. ;) And I think the star party staff, and everyone who helped, did a great job pulling off another successful star party this year. So many clear nights!

We had just a very little bit of sleet, maybe five minutes worth, on Saturday morning at around 2:00 or so, and the low temp just before sunup this morning was reported to be 28 degrees. The brisket dinner on Saturday night was great! I'm looking forward to next year already.

#15 okieav8r

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 10:51 AM

The aurora was seen there for a very short time, The blue afterglow was visible for a good part of an hour.



Mike Lockwood and John Davis took some really nice photos of the aurora. I believe both are going to post them to their websites soon.

#16 Bill Kocken

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 12:37 PM

Phillip,
Great photos. I was surprised to see how empty the West field was. When did you take the photos from on top of the bluff?
Any idea on how high the attendance was? The last time I was there, in 2010, the place was pretty full. Some people had to sleep in the upper bunks, even.
I've got to get back to O-T. It is a great star party.
I'm sure you missed out on winning a full set of Ethos. :-) their door prizes are pretty nice.
Bill

#17 Bernie Poskus

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 04:39 PM

I was there from Monday night through Friday morning. All four nights had good observing, though it was windy on Thursday night. I left Friday morning because of the front that was moving in that cause the cold and wind that night.

I was observing with Bill Tschumy and we both measured the sky both of our Sky Quality Meters. We usually got something between 21.55 to 21.7. I do agree with JimK that the seeing was generally poor to fair but that wasn't a problem for me since I almost always look at DSO's. The one time I looked at Jupiter (and I waited until it got reasonably high in the sky), it was pretty bad.

I couldn't say that any of the four nights there were the best night I'd ever had, or indeed, that any one of them was the best night this year (first couple of nights at TSP probably got the award for best nights of the year). However, to have four nights in a row when I could get decent observing done was truly a luxury this year, so I'd call it the best of the three star parties I attended this year (TSP, Rocky Mountain Star Stare, and Okie-Tex).

It was my third Okie-Tex and I will likely make next year a fourth. Hope to see some of you there.

By the way, someone told me they had over 500 people. That didn't seem right to me and I agree with Bill Kocken that the fields seemed more sparse than previous years. I am willing to be corrected, though.

Clear skies all.

#18 Phillip Easton

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 07:14 PM

Phillip,
Great photos. I was surprised to see how empty the West field was. When did you take the photos from on top of the bluff?
Any idea on how high the attendance was? The last time I was there, in 2010, the place was pretty full. Some people had to sleep in the upper bunks, even.
I've got to get back to O-T. It is a great star party.
I'm sure you missed out on winning a full set of Ethos. :-) their door prizes are pretty nice.
Bill


Thanks, I took the photos on Monday. That side started filling up more on Tues/Wed. I put up a tent so I could just stumble to bed after imaging so don't know the bunkhouse situation.

#19 Cotts

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 09:19 AM

I hung in there for the entire 8 nights. Simply an astonishing amount of clear, dark sky. My best SQM reading was 21.75. Several nights got only to 21.35 - was there high haze or dust or airglow?? The worst night was Friday with gusty 20mph+ winds. Ed Wiley's 66mm refractor on a GM8 was steady!!! we observed a few double stars....

Despite the only average (for OkieTex) SQM readings, the gegenschein was easy every night, just below the great square of Pegasus. So was the zodiacal band, seen as a very slight brightening in the sky background along the ecliptic...

At the Saturday night draw Mike M. of the host club announced an attendance figure of around 410. Of course not all the attendees were there for all the nights.

Hats off to the organizers and Jodie and her cook staff (do they ever sleep?)

I'll be back in 2014 for sure!!!

Dave

#20 John Rhodes

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 02:37 AM

There was this "beam"... then nobody left !!! :question:

Attached Files



#21 core

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 11:13 PM

There was this "beam"... then nobody left !!! :question:


John,

Nice shot :grin: Don't tell me you were about the last one out of there?!

#22 sdmacdonald

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 09:25 AM

My wife and I went to Okie-Tex for the first time and had a blast. We were there from Thursday - Sunday. We missed the aurora but had a couple of nice nights. My Flickr album for the event is mostly just us running around the area and not a ton (any, really) of astrophotography, but I'll post it here anyway. Click the picture for the full set.

Posted Image
Welcome to Camp Billy Joe and the 2013 Okie-Tex Star Party by sdmacdonald, on Flickr

#23 Phillip Easton

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 11:10 AM

Thanks for sharing and taking the time to add commentary! I like camp life photos. I think it is a part of the experience.

Cheers!

#24 okieav8r

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 05:53 PM

Wow, what a pic! I remember that sunset--gorgeous!

#25 okieav8r

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 05:59 PM

There was this "beam"... then nobody left !!! :question:


John,

Nice shot :grin: Don't tell me you were about the last one out of there?!


John may be one of 'them'. :wron:






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