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Chiefland Fall Star Party

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#1 DeanS

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 10:38 AM

Coming up in a couple weeks. I will be there again. Who else is going?

#2 Rusty

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 04:21 PM

I'll be there - down at Crowley's.

#3 Cotts

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 08:50 PM

Hi, Dean. I'll be there with the TEC 8". The good news is that it has to be better than last year......

Dave

#4 DeanS

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 09:44 PM

Hahaha, I sure hope it is better.

You have been logging a lot of mile Dave, I heard OkieTex was pretty good?

Dean

#5 Cotts

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 11:18 PM

Hahaha, I sure hope it is better.

You have been logging a lot of mile Dave, I heard OkieTex was pretty good?

Dean


Yup. 7 1/2 clear nights out of 8. One windy night, two nights with approx. freezing temps. I burned myself out!!!!!

Dave

#6 DeanS

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 07:57 AM

Glad to hear it turned out so well. Peach State Star Gaze was also very good, and never got much colder than 60. But we sure had lots of dew.

#7 ngchunter

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 03:48 PM

I've missed the last few, looking forward to coming back again this year.

#8 dawziecat

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 04:01 PM

Well, sadly, not me. :(

Was at Chiefland a few times in 2012. Great facility! Had a peek at omega Cen. through "other guy's" 18 and 22" Dobs. Did some AP with my own gear. Wife did some bird-watching. Met Joe Mize. Still not sure what his connection to the XB-70 is though?
Beautiful aircraft. Got to see it. But, I digress . . .

#9 scopefreak

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:35 PM

Sadly I will not be able to attend :bawling:. I paid my registration fees and my RV spot but my doctor told me I should not attempt that long of a drive by myself. John Novak has been nice enough to mail my t-shirts to me though so at least i will have those. :smirk:

I first went down in 2005 and had a blast. The skies were glorious and very dark. The people there were just fantastic. I will be wishing all who attend clear dark skies all week long.

Have a good party. :jump:

#10 DeanS

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 08:03 AM

Sorry to hear that Kevin, would like to meet. Perhaps at another one someday.

#11 scopefreak

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 11:57 AM

Sorry to hear that Kevin, would like to meet. Perhaps at another one someday.


Thanks for the kind words. I have been to many star party's and IMHO the Chiefland party is the best I've ever been to. Back in 2005 the field was smaller and they had not yet built the new club house facility. But it was still a fantastic time. The outdoor showers were really great. I remember watching the sunset while getting cleaned up and preparing for another night under those great skies. It's just such a shame it's so far away from where I live in eastern KY. Oh well. Maybe next year I can hitch a ride with someone and split the gas cost and share in the driving. :grin:

#12 DeanS

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 12:20 PM

I just did a week at the Peach State Star gaze which is closer. My drive is about 500 miles where Chiefland is 730. You might consider that next year also as that is any easy 1 day drive, and the skies are just as nice. But no outdoor showers, got to admit I like those too hahaha.

#13 scopefreak

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 12:38 PM

I just did a week at the Peach State Star gaze which is closer. My drive is about 500 miles where Chiefland is 730. You might consider that next year also as that is any easy 1 day drive, and the skies are just as nice. But no outdoor showers, got to admit I like those too hahaha.


I was looking at that from one of Rod Molises blog posts. Maybe that's an option. Never been to that one but there's always a first for everything. :grin:

#14 DeanS

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 09:34 AM

Hi guys,

Weather forecast is looking very nice so far. Nights only into the upper 40's and low 50's. Days around 80 is about perfect.

Dean

#15 Rusty

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 02:32 PM

The Chiefland Fall Star Party is wrapping up tonight. We had one decent night for viewing (Monday); although tonight is predicted to be clean and clear, a lot of folks have left. Once again I missed Sergio...DeanS collected his usual imaging prize and left early.

#16 crazyqban

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 02:54 PM

Geez Rusty, we are like two ships passing in the night. I arrived late Monday (10pm) and left mid afternoon on Wednesday. I thought Wednesday night might not be too good so I left because if I waited for Thursday, my Thursday was going to be pretty crazy. I had a bunch of stuff that I had to take care of in Miami so I decided to just leave and deal with Thursday more efficiently. Anyways, I had a great time those two nights and I will probably be back in Chiefland on the first weekend in December, but in the front field with the rest of the Starstructure folk. See you soon.

#17 Rusty

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 03:37 PM

You're elusive, but we'll catch up sometime!

#18 Cotts

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 09:48 PM

The Chiefland Fall Star Party is wrapping up tonight. We had one decent night for viewing (Monday); although tonight is predicted to be clean and clear, a lot of folks have left. Once again I missed Sergio...DeanS collected his usual imaging prize and left early.


I've been to chiefland FSP three times now. The first time, about three years ago, had 2/6 clear nights. My second trip, last year had 0/6 clear nights and this year it was, generously, 1.5/6 clear nights.

Is this level of cloudiness typical? I will be most reluctant to attend in the future....

Dave

#19 Rusty

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 11:02 PM

This was my 11th (although awaiting a part for my motorhome delayed my arrival last year until Friday). More typical has been one or two nights of overcast, and 4-5 good to very good nights.

The Peach State Star Gaze (a month earlier, and for you 300+ miles closer) has had 4-5 good nights about every year except '06, when it was still in Tennessee. Since moving to Deerlick Astronomy Village, the weather's been decent.

#20 Mike Harvey

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 01:58 AM

I've been to chiefland FSP three times now. The first time, about three years ago, had 2/6 clear nights. My second trip, last year had 0/6 clear nights and this year it was, generously, 1.5/6 clear nights.

Is this level of cloudiness typical? I will be most reluctant to attend in the future....

Dave


As a Chiefland "regular" for more than 20 years, I'd have to say that the last two years have been rather atypical. Maybe it's just chance, or the jetstream might have moved over us and is bringing more cloudiness with it.
On top of everything else, it's been warmer than in the past (keep in mind, we weren't wearing jackets, and it was the end of October! ).
That warmth is conducive to the formation of low-level cloud cover.

This past summer was an almost complete loss. I think we had ONE even half-way decent new moon weekend between Memorial Day and Labor Day!

Perhaps, being so near the Gulf, the skies are very changeable, very quickly.
We locals have learned that a washed-out sky can be near-pristine an hour later! And unless we've got a really dynamic weather system flowing through, it almost always clears up in the "wee hours".

I set up on the front field, but the sky was so transparent after midnight Wednesday (early Thursday), that I walked back to the 'star party' field to see how John Novak's 150mm Nikon binocs compared to my lowly 100mm's. Although the skies were beautiful, I only saw a handful (literally) of observers out at their scopes...seemed everyone else had gone to bed!

Too bad - they missed a couple of hours that were magical. In the 28", the view of the Veil was probably the second-best I've ever seen at the site, even though Cygnus was getting a bit low (the all-time best was several years ago, when the skies were much darker and Cygnus was nearly overhead)!

Chiefland rule of thumb: check the skies every hour or so throughout the night.

Finally, the winter months are much more reliable. It's a wet cold and can be daunting when temps get below 40 (for us Floridians that's COLD!).
Bob Schilling, Jack Huercamp and I once did an all-nighter when it was 17 degrees...we had ice on the scopes!
But, if you can handle the temps, the nights can be wonderfully dark and transparent and you understand why we keep coming back.

#21 JimMo

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 10:24 AM

Bob Schilling, Jack Huercamp and I once did an all-nighter when it was 17 degrees...we had ice on the scopes!



Only 17ยบ? This is a regular occurrence if you observe in winter in Michigan. :coldday: If you can stand the numbing cold the skies can be very transparent here, too. Much better than in the summer.

#22 Tom Clark

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 11:09 AM


As a Chiefland "regular" for more than 20 years, I'd have to say that the last two years have been rather atypical. Maybe it's just chance, or the jetstream might have moved over us and is bringing more cloudiness with it.
On top of everything else, it's been warmer than in the past (keep in mind, we weren't wearing jackets, and it was the end of October! ).
That warmth is conducive to the formation of low-level cloud cover.


As another Chiefland regular since it's founding 1985 (and I actually lived on the observing field for 14 years) Mike is not wrong. The summer skies usually clear after midnight, and the winter skies are clear far more often than not. Our old rule of thumb is in the summer we would have 1 clear night out of 3, and the fall-spring nights were 2 out of 3 clear. Almost every morning of the year I would let the dog out right before dawn, and the milky way was blazing across the sky. It sounds to me like the last couple of years were not normal. Best of luck in the future.

#23 turtle86

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 01:10 PM

On the whole, the last couple of years have had more than their share of cloudy nights, but it looks like things are starting to get back to normal at Chiefland. The last two Saturday nights on new moon weekend (October and November) were clear when we were on the field. This past Saturday was clear all night long, even though things got a bit dewy with the 90% humidity. Looking forward to those clear winter nights looming on the horizon!






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