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wyundiv
member


Reged: 01/24/08

Texas Star Party
      #5571700 - 12/14/12 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


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poodle
sage
*****

Reged: 01/21/05

Loc: Breckenridge, Texas
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: wyundiv]
      #5571847 - 12/15/12 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.

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Unknownastron
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 04/06/05

Loc: CatsEye Observatory,Rural Sout...
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: poodle]
      #5571960 - 12/15/12 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


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: wyundiv]
      #5572345 - 12/15/12 10:52 AM

Quote:

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.


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wyundiv
member


Reged: 01/24/08

Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: rmollise]
      #5573260 - 12/15/12 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


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Alex McConahay
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/11/08

Loc: Moreno Valley, CA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Unknownastron]
      #5574774 - 12/16/12 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


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DeanS
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Alex McConahay]
      #5574859 - 12/16/12 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!

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



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Phillip Easton
sage


Reged: 12/24/10

Loc: DFW
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5587331 - 12/24/12 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.

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GaryJCarter
sage
*****

Reged: 06/06/09

Loc: Fairview, Texas
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Phillip Easton]
      #5588852 - 12/25/12 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,


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Joe F Gafford
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/15/06

Loc: Denver, Colorado, US
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: GaryJCarter]
      #5590372 - 12/26/12 09:58 PM

Here's an image of the upper field at night

Joe


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Bob Moore
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/07/06

Loc: New York
Re: Texas Star Party and Texas Imaging Symposium new [Re: Joe F Gafford]
      #5596474 - 12/30/12 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://texasstarparty.org/forums/forum/texas-imaging-symposium-forum/


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Lane
Post Laureate


Reged: 11/19/07

Loc: Frisco, Texas
Re: Texas Star Party and Texas Imaging Symposium new [Re: Bob Moore]
      #5604912 - 01/04/13 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.

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Charles Laird
super member
*****

Reged: 08/24/07

Loc: Kerrville, Texas
Re: Texas Star Party and Texas Imaging Symposium new [Re: Lane]
      #5629659 - 01/18/13 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.

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LivingNDixie
TSP Chowhound
*****

Reged: 04/23/03

Loc: Trussville, AL
Re: Texas Star Party and Texas Imaging Symposium new [Re: Charles Laird]
      #5652549 - 01/30/13 03:31 PM

Quote:

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.


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jmartin
super member


Reged: 08/25/08

Loc: Corpus Christi, TX
Re: Texas Star Party and Texas Imaging Symposium new [Re: LivingNDixie]
      #5673058 - 02/10/13 08:58 PM

confirmations are out...

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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party and Texas Imaging Symposium new [Re: jmartin]
      #5673142 - 02/10/13 09:51 PM

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

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

Edited by rockethead26 (02/11/13 08:11 AM)


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Steve Daniel
super member


Reged: 06/03/12

Loc: Austin, TX
Re: Texas Star Party and Texas Imaging Symposium new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5673162 - 02/10/13 10:02 PM

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

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ErixAdministrator
Toad Lily
*****

Reged: 12/25/04

Loc: Texas, USA
Re: Texas Star Party and Texas Imaging Symposium new [Re: Steve Daniel]
      #5673374 - 02/11/13 12:33 AM

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

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DeanS
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Texas Star Party and Texas Imaging Symposium new [Re: Erix]
      #5673598 - 02/11/13 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


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Unknownastron
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 04/06/05

Loc: CatsEye Observatory,Rural Sout...
Re: Texas Star Party and Texas Imaging Symposium new [Re: DeanS]
      #5674673 - 02/11/13 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


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Cotts
Just Wondering
*****

Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: Texas Star Party and Texas Imaging Symposium new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5674927 - 02/11/13 10:32 PM

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


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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party and Texas Imaging Symposium new [Re: Cotts]
      #5675398 - 02/12/13 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.

Edited by rockethead26 (02/12/13 08:37 AM)


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bicparker
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/07/05

Loc: Texas Hill Country
Re: Texas Star Party and Texas Imaging Symposium new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5675645 - 02/12/13 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!

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StephAdministrator
Texas Wildflower
*****

Reged: 06/11/05

Loc: North Texas
Re: Texas Star Party and Texas Imaging Symposium new [Re: bicparker]
      #5676597 - 02/12/13 09:01 PM

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

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Cotts
Just Wondering
*****

Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: Texas Star Party and Texas Imaging Symposium new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5677667 - 02/13/13 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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bob71741
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 02/16/08

Re: Texas Star Party and Texas Imaging Symposium new [Re: Cotts]
      #5677779 - 02/13/13 02:26 PM

" I have to find a small cargo trailer for it"

Cotts-How do you bring that scope back and forth across the border; that is, what kind of paperwork is required? Have you done this before?

I've always had problems bringing stuff back and forth during my business trips. Of course it was in 1980 to 1989, so maybe things have changed. I remember being detained in the the Toronto airport for four hours one night over a $20 tool kit (small hand tools and soldering iron). I've been carrying this tool kit back and forth for four years already and then they changed the entry questionnaire and asked about small hand tools. I answered that I had small tools and they detained me suggesting that I was bringing the tools in to sell on the black market. The resolve was having the company purchase a permit for $100 to allow me to bring it back and forth.
Coming back into the states was not easy as well; it all depended on the personality of the customs inspector. Leaving Montreal was never a problem, but Toronto was always a bear.


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DeanS
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Texas Star Party and Texas Imaging Symposium new [Re: bob71741]
      #5677796 - 02/13/13 02:38 PM

Dave, I will be bringing my 18" and may possibly need help looking thru it

Think I will be on the upper field for the first time as well.

Dean


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Cotts
Just Wondering
*****

Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: Texas Star Party and Texas Imaging Symposium new [Re: bob71741]
      #5677954 - 02/13/13 04:22 PM

My Astro equipment passes across the border both ways with little fanfare. I have 'Temporary Export' cards* for most of my expensive gear which gets it back into Canada, if challenged. I have never been challenged about my equipment by either side apart from a brief "What's all that stuff in the back?" to which I reply, "My telescopes, cameras and camping gear.". I support myself by having a photocopy of the webpage or invitation letter to the Star Party I am attending (it is this strategy that, I think, is the one which satisfies the customs officer).

Almost invariably the customs folks seem to be more interested in tobacco, alcohol and firearms.

*I obtain these green cards every time I import some gear from abroad by going to customs with the bill of sale, shipping info etc., and pay the Sales Tax on the items.

Also, I believe that when the customs folks enter my license plate into their system at the border there is a detailed record of all my past journeys to the USA and I have a consistent track record of saying that I am attending a Star Party.

Dave


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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party and Texas Imaging Symposium new [Re: Cotts]
      #5678915 - 02/14/13 07:54 AM

Quote:

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




Hope you can find a trailer. Since I'm not sleeping in the back of my Jeep Grand Cherokee like last time, I'm planning on going in the Prius that goes 3x as far on a gallon of gas. I haven't tried loading my Teeter into it yet, so I'm not sure if it's a go. The EON 120 ED will be the backup.


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LivingNDixie
TSP Chowhound
*****

Reged: 04/23/03

Loc: Trussville, AL
Re: Texas Star Party and Texas Imaging Symposium new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5679217 - 02/14/13 11:17 AM

FYI. If this is your first year and you have not visited the Radio Telescope that is just east of the Prude Ranch, you should go visit it. It is one of the observatories/facilities that could be slated for closure with the coming budgets that have been proposed via NSF/NOAO/NRAO etc.

You get to it by taking the road on the east side of the ranch... Sproul Rd. I made it up to th dish with my Prius back in 2011. I missed the workers but they have given free tours if you can catch them.


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Bill Kocken
sage


Reged: 08/07/04

Loc: Coon Rapids, MN
Re: Texas Star Party and Texas Imaging Symposium new [Re: LivingNDixie]
      #5688618 - 02/19/13 10:28 AM

Quote:

FYI. If this is your first year and you have not visited the Radio Telescope that is just east of the Prude Ranch, you should go visit it. It is one of the observatories/facilities that could be slated for closure with the coming budgets that have been proposed via NSF/NOAO/NRAO etc.

You get to it by taking the road on the east side of the ranch... Sproul Rd. I made it up to th dish with my Prius back in 2011. I missed the workers but they have given free tours if you can catch them.



I got the free tour one time. The guy working there was installing a car stereo on the golf cart they use, so obviously he wasn't very busy. He took 2 of us through the control room, and since the scope was not in use at the moment, we got to climb up inside and see the receivers and then we got to climb up inside of the dish! Very cool.
I'm excited about going to TSP again, my 3rd visit.


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Joe F Gafford
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/15/06

Loc: Denver, Colorado, US
Re: Texas Star Party and Texas Imaging Symposium new [Re: Bill Kocken]
      #5690178 - 02/20/13 04:16 AM Attachment (20 downloads)

Here's what It looks like on the dish.

Joe


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Doc Willie
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 03/31/10

Loc: Mid-Hudson Valley, NY, USA
Re: Texas Star Party and Texas Imaging Symposium new [Re: Joe F Gafford]
      #5691109 - 02/20/13 03:06 PM

I'm going, too!!! Looking forward to my first TSP !!

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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party and Texas Imaging Symposium new [Re: Doc Willie]
      #5691326 - 02/20/13 04:53 PM

Looks like we have the makings of a Teeter's Row!

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Tom Laskowski
super member


Reged: 04/28/08

Loc: South Bend, Indiana, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5693575 - 02/21/13 09:11 PM

Just made my TSP registration payment today, requested my vacation time, and am getting busy preparing my observing program for this year. This will be my 22nd TSP. I've missed only one since 1991, that being 1992. How time flies. See y'all there!

Edited by Tom Laskowski (02/21/13 09:16 PM)


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DeanS
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Tom Laskowski]
      #5693613 - 02/21/13 09:37 PM

I have always done mostly imaging with only some casual viewing. Well this year since I will be bringing my new starmaster I want to try some real observing, with a plan. I will still image, and once they are set up and running I will have a several hours in between objects to work with the dob.

So having never worked with a plan, can someone suggest a good way to start? I do have Sky Commander and ServoCat so I suppose that is sort of cheating but.....love my gadgets

I plan to set up in the upper field for the first time so will be around more visual obserers than we normally had in the lower field.

Suggestions welcome.

Thanks
Dean


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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5694082 - 02/22/13 06:45 AM

Dean,

I'll be working on my Herschel 400 list, which I can't do too well from my yard. The TSP always has a list or three offered to attendees, and usually CN member Alvin provides a good one, too.

If you have any of the major observing books like the Night Sky Observer's Guide or any of Steve O'Meara's books, you can pick a prominent constellation and try to bag all the objects within.

A lot of us observers have a planning software like SkyTools 3 which will allow you to put a program together for each night based on very specific requirements.

You can let The Sky Commander take you on a tour or a short list of well known objects the first night or two before you get serious.

See you there!


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bicparker
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/07/05

Loc: Texas Hill Country
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5694489 - 02/22/13 11:26 AM

Quote:

I have always done mostly imaging with only some casual viewing. Well this year since I will be bringing my new starmaster I want to try some real observing, with a plan. I will still image, and once they are set up and running I will have a several hours in between objects to work with the dob.

So having never worked with a plan, can someone suggest a good way to start? I do have Sky Commander and ServoCat so I suppose that is sort of cheating but.....love my gadgets

I plan to set up in the upper field for the first time so will be around more visual obserers than we normally had in the lower field.

Suggestions welcome.

Thanks
Dean




Dean, I would certainly start with John Wagoner's TSP observing lists. You can not only do this year's list, but also previous years. Additionally, if he has pin's available for the prior years, you can earn a pin, too! (it is all about the pins!).

Seriously, he has some great lists that give a good overview of the sky. He usually pulls from the the Herschel I and sometimes the Herschel II lists, though there are also some varietal objects he sometimes throws in.

Here is the observing program archive for TSP that includes many of the previous observing programs going back over 12 years:
https://texasstarparty.org/activities/tsp-observing-programs/tsp-observing-pr...

You should be able to get a plan from that somehow.


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DeanS
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: bicparker]
      #5694549 - 02/22/13 11:58 AM

Thanks Bic, Jim,

I will print out some and give them a try.

Thanks
Dean


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LivingNDixie
TSP Chowhound
*****

Reged: 04/23/03

Loc: Trussville, AL
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5694586 - 02/22/13 12:17 PM

I am pin addict. I have a cap covered in AL and TSP pins.

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Ed Jones
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 04/06/04

Loc: Sin-sin-atti
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: LivingNDixie]
      #5700676 - 02/25/13 10:17 PM

I was thinking of attending the Texas Star Party but I didn't even get a reply to my email. I guess I'll find another star party.

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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Ed Jones]
      #5703879 - 02/27/13 05:19 PM

I just received an email from the Prude Ranch stating that they had mistakenly listed the Prude Ranch deposit deadline on everyone's "Confirmed" emails as April 1st instead of the correct March 1st. Because of their error, they have extended the deadline to March 10th.

I had, indeed, put the payment on my calendar based on the April date, so mine is going in the mail tomorrow.

If you haven't sent in the Prude Ranch portion of your TSP fees, then you need to do so immediately.

Edited by rockethead26 (02/27/13 05:19 PM)


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Steve Daniel
super member


Reged: 06/03/12

Loc: Austin, TX
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5703925 - 02/27/13 05:46 PM

Jim, thanks for the heads up!

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Bob Moore
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/07/06

Loc: New York
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Steve Daniel]
      #5704586 - 02/28/13 12:29 AM

Here is the link to the form too mail. https://texasstarparty.org/tsprncpk.pdf

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Bill Kocken
sage


Reged: 08/07/04

Loc: Coon Rapids, MN
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Bob Moore]
      #5705626 - 02/28/13 03:55 PM

Go into Google maps and look at the overhead image of the Prude Ranch. The current image was taken at last year's event. Try to spot your set-up.
I am trying to figure out when they took the picture. It doesn't look as crowded as I recall it being.


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bicparker
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/07/05

Loc: Texas Hill Country
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Bill Kocken]
      #5705662 - 02/28/13 04:15 PM

Some of us on staff saw that Google image when it first went up and I recall that we determined it was taken late in the week, probably Saturday, based upon a lot of different elements in the image. Very cool image in any case.

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Alvin Huey
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/18/05

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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: bicparker]
      #5707632 - 03/01/13 06:50 PM

According to Google Earth it was taken on April 20, 2012. I agree that it was a bit more sparse than I remember it to be. Perhaps some were airbrushed off as in general Google maps does not include people...so they may have been airbrushed off...along with nearby setups. The east upper field is really empty.

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bicparker
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/07/05

Loc: Texas Hill Country
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5708968 - 03/02/13 03:04 PM

Alvin,
I didn't think to check Google Earth. April 20th sounds about right, especially if it was going into the afternoon. A couple of reasons Saturday was suspected was because of the empty set ups in the front and where certain cars were parked as we remembered (for instance, you can easily see both Keith Venables's red convertible and my SUV on the upper field. We didn't park in those spaces until the last day or so.)


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Alvin Huey
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/18/05

Loc: NorCal
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: bicparker]
      #5714617 - 03/05/13 02:45 PM

I regret to say that I will not be able to attend TSP this year.

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bicparker
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/07/05

Loc: Texas Hill Country
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5714652 - 03/05/13 03:01 PM

Alvin,
I am so very sorry to hear that. You will be missed. I hope things are okay.
David


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Svezda
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/01/07

Loc: Texas
Re: Texas Star Party and Texas Imaging Symposium new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5715039 - 03/05/13 06:23 PM

Quote:

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

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



I was so lucky to get selected to attend TSP, and not only that, also to get a bunkhouse slot. I didn't get the initial email notification due to my inbox being full and then totally forgot to check later...but was able to send it in late and due to cancellations I got in.

This will be my 26th TSP and it would have been 27 years of continuous attendance since I was 25 years old in May 1987, but I missed 1993 due to ex not allowing it (won't happen again!).
TSP is awwwwwesome.


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Svezda
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/01/07

Loc: Texas
Re: Texas Star Party and Texas Imaging Symposium new [Re: LivingNDixie]
      #5715048 - 03/05/13 06:28 PM

Quote:

FYI. If this is your first year and you have not visited the Radio Telescope that is just east of the Prude Ranch, you should go visit it. It is one of the observatories/facilities that could be slated for closure with the coming budgets that have been proposed via NSF/NOAO/NRAO etc.

You get to it by taking the road on the east side of the ranch... Sproul Rd. I made it up to th dish with my Prius back in 2011. I missed the workers but they have given free tours if you can catch them.



Wow, you are so right about recommending this. Talk about free tours! This was not a tour, but rather a complete inside and outside look and explanation of the whole thing. John Wagoner, Mike Planchon, Chaz Hafey, and I hiked over there one morning a few TSPs ago and they let us climb wayyyyyy up in that baby. It is not for the squeamish about heights (which I am a little bit but I was too stoked to think about not goimg up). The old guy that ran the scope singlehandedly had to climb up into the dish to work on it regularly, which really amazed me (like being a trapeze performer almost). It was an amazing experience and I will always remember it even though I'm not particularly into radio astronomy. EDIT - after I saw the photo of the engineers in the dish, which was awesome, I wanted to say that I think that they sometimes have to go in there when the dish is tilted at a sharp angle, not horizontal as in the photo - thus my amazement at the 60-something dude going in there regularly, incl. when the dish has ice on it.


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Alvin Huey
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/18/05

Loc: NorCal
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: bicparker]
      #5715183 - 03/05/13 07:27 PM

Quote:

Alvin,
I am so very sorry to hear that. You will be missed. I hope things are okay.
David




Yeah, things are fine. Just my schedule is aligned such a way where I can not be at two places at the same time.


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StephAdministrator
Texas Wildflower
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Reged: 06/11/05

Loc: North Texas
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5717036 - 03/06/13 06:44 PM

Awwwww, Alvin. I was so looking forward to seeing you again!

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Unknownastron
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 04/06/05

Loc: CatsEye Observatory,Rural Sout...
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5718491 - 03/07/13 01:54 PM

Sorry you won't make it Alvin. Looks like we WILL make it and I was thinking I never have took a night and spent some time with you really observing with your main scope. I resolved to do so but, alas. . .
Hope you are doing well,
Clear skies and clean glass,
Mike


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Alvin Huey
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/18/05

Loc: NorCal
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Steph]
      #5718535 - 03/07/13 02:16 PM

I was looking forward to seeing you again and meeting Erika for the first time. I'll make it next year.

Been too long...6 years


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ErixAdministrator
Toad Lily
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Reged: 12/25/04

Loc: Texas, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5718975 - 03/07/13 06:07 PM

I'm sorry you can't swing it this year, Alvin. Darrell can't make it either. We've got to try to make time to meet up when you're in Austin next.

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Alvin Huey
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/18/05

Loc: NorCal
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Erix]
      #5719140 - 03/07/13 07:27 PM

Quote:

I'm sorry you can't swing it this year, Alvin. Darrell can't make it either. We've got to try to make time to meet up when you're in Austin next.




Hi Erika,

That might be soon as I'm looking in possibly relocating to Austin or San Antonio.

PS: I went to Austin twice for interviews late last year. The 2nd was so last minute, I had literally no chance to prepare...they bought the ticket and told me to get on the plane...and I left later that day. That interview went great, but it was too high of a level for me.

I'm looking now in Pharma/Medical device firms in quality. Sr. Manager to Sr. Director levels.



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bicparker
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/07/05

Loc: Texas Hill Country
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5719603 - 03/07/13 11:09 PM

Alvin,
That would put you closer indeed! I now live north of San Antonio in the Hill Country. It is great out here. I hope the possible move comes to whatever terms that are best for you and yours. If it means moving out here, though, that would be great!


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ErixAdministrator
Toad Lily
*****

Reged: 12/25/04

Loc: Texas, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: bicparker]
      #5720361 - 03/08/13 11:46 AM

Yes, it would be great! The Austin Astronomical Society is a pretty good club with a terrific outreach program and member activities. Plus, well, I'd get to see you!

David, your new location should put us only about 2 hours away from each other now. I was just down in the San Antonio area a couple days ago.


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bicparker
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/07/05

Loc: Texas Hill Country
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Erix]
      #5720642 - 03/08/13 02:17 PM

Erika,
Maybe even a bit closer since I am about a half hour or more north of San Antonio.


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ErixAdministrator
Toad Lily
*****

Reged: 12/25/04

Loc: Texas, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: bicparker]
      #5720667 - 03/08/13 02:30 PM



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ausastronomer
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/30/03

Loc: Kiama NSW (Australia)
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: bicparker]
      #5725461 - 03/11/13 09:48 AM

Quote:

Alvin,

I now live north of San Antonio in the Hill Country. It is great out here.




Hi David,

Hopefully you and Beth can leave the hills of San Antonio behind for a couple of weeks in March next year and make another trip downunda. Of course you already know we offer a major serious photon fix down here, as this would be your 4th or 5th observing trip to OZ?.

I hope TSP goes well for you guys this year. I would love to return for another TSP, but unfortunately my family situation will preclude that for the next couple of years.

Cheers,


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Sirius76
Vendor-Dark Skies Apparel
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Reged: 05/11/07

Loc: Chicago, Il
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: bicparker]
      #5742101 - 03/19/13 12:22 AM

Just wanted to announce to the board that Dark Skies Apparel/Deep Sky Forum will be attending this years TSP!

See you all in May!


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Lane
Post Laureate


Reged: 11/19/07

Loc: Frisco, Texas
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Sirius76]
      #5759253 - 03/26/13 09:48 PM

That Deep Sky Forum is nice, I did not know it existed.

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Alvin Huey
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/18/05

Loc: NorCal
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Lane]
      #5759556 - 03/27/13 04:07 AM

Quote:

That Deep Sky Forum is nice, I did not know it existed.




Now you do.


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Tom Laskowski
super member


Reged: 04/28/08

Loc: South Bend, Indiana, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5789952 - 04/10/13 10:37 AM

We have snow in the forecast. I can't wait to get out of here. I leave for TSP three weeks from tomorrow!!!!

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DeanS
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Tom Laskowski]
      #5790435 - 04/10/13 02:10 PM

Glad you have it and not us finally. I am heading to NEAF next weekend, then leave for TSP the Friday before.

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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5790692 - 04/10/13 04:44 PM

Yeah, it's sneaking up on us. I'm trying to see what I can fit in the Prius this year. No more Jeep. For the 2800 mile round trip gas will cost about $218 for the Prius as compared to about $650 for the Jeep.

I'll find out this weekend when we pack for a weekend camping trip to a green zone.

I'm going to set up in the middle field again this year.


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DeanS
Post Laureate
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Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5792034 - 04/11/13 10:03 AM

Wow that is a big difference. My older larger travel trailer took me about 265 gals of diesel. Got a newer smaller Casita/egg camper and expect it to run me >only< 200 gals this time

Still worth it compared to our skies at home.

Jim, have you ever gone to Deerlick for Peach State star gaze? I am going there this year instead of Okietex since it is about 1/3rd the distance for me. Should be an easy drive from Ind too?

Dean


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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5792101 - 04/11/13 10:53 AM

Quote:

Wow that is a big difference. My older larger travel trailer took me about 265 gals of diesel. Got a newer smaller Casita/egg camper and expect it to run me >only< 200 gals this time

Still worth it compared to our skies at home.

Jim, have you ever gone to Deerlick for Peach State star gaze? I am going there this year instead of Okietex since it is about 1/3rd the distance for me. Should be an easy drive from Ind too?

Dean




Dean,

Yeah, ouch on the gas cost.

I haven't tried either of those two gatherings. I'll look into them and see if I can fit them in. Do you have a favorite between the two?

Jim


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DeanS
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5792195 - 04/11/13 11:53 AM

OkieTex is darker but that is a long drive. And it gets me no further south so the late summer southern objects are still a bit low. At least at Deerlick they are higher. Not as dark but in a dark blue zone.

They both have nice arrangements with showers and hooks up. Okie has some great meal plans where PSSG is more limted.

When I was at Okie 2 years ago the dust was extreme. TSP can be bad but Okie was like 2" deep of powder on the roads. They had had no rain in a year they said.

PSSG is on nice green grass, but that also means more moisture in the air too. For me it is only a 7-8 hour drive so a 1 day driver verse 2 full 11+ hour days going out west.

My other closer one I really enjoy is the Chiefland Star Party in November. It is about 11 hours for me and again has great amenities around the field.

So many choices but with the higher fuel prices I am likely to stay closer in the next few years with WSP and TSP as my only long trips.

Dean


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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5792598 - 04/11/13 03:20 PM

Quote:

OkieTex is darker but that is a long drive. And it gets me no further south so the late summer southern objects are still a bit low. At least at Deerlick they are higher. Not as dark but in a dark blue zone.

They both have nice arrangements with showers and hooks up. Okie has some great meal plans where PSSG is more limted.

When I was at Okie 2 years ago the dust was extreme. TSP can be bad but Okie was like 2" deep of powder on the roads. They had had no rain in a year they said.

PSSG is on nice green grass, but that also means more moisture in the air too. For me it is only a 7-8 hour drive so a 1 day driver verse 2 full 11+ hour days going out west.

My other closer one I really enjoy is the Chiefland Star Party in November. It is about 11 hours for me and again has great amenities around the field.

So many choices but with the higher fuel prices I am likely to stay closer in the next few years with WSP and TSP as my only long trips.

Dean




Thanks, Dean. I've considered OkieTex, but agree that it's another very long drive. The PSSG is about 11 hours for me, a little too long for a one day's drive for me alone, but I still may consider it this fall.

See you in a few weeks!

Jim


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Unknownastron
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 04/06/05

Loc: CatsEye Observatory,Rural Sout...
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5813288 - 04/21/13 03:00 PM

Not as much chatter here about TSP as in the past several years. Maybe thats due to several Standard Bearers not able to attend this year, or maybe it's been sneaking up on us. But I'm looking forward to it if nothing else as a proof of life. Last year the April date made it too early for me. I had bypass surgery in January 2012 and April was a little too soon for such an undertaking. I anticipate problems with the altitude adjustment so we will take it in steps. We will stay in Balmorhea on Friday, Alpine on Saturday and have a short drive to the Prude Ranch on Sunday. I will set up on the Northeast corner of the upper field along Dave Moody and Bob Summerfield. I will just adjust my observing agenda to my endurance. I do hope we can do a Cloudy Nights get together.
Clear skies and clean glass,
Mike


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Alvin Huey
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/18/05

Loc: NorCal
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Unknownastron]
      #5813581 - 04/21/13 05:28 PM

Hey all,

Those of you who are interested in pursuing the TSP Advanced Observing list, you can download the list from here and my observing guide from here (scroll to bottom)


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Tom Laskowski
super member


Reged: 04/28/08

Loc: South Bend, Indiana, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5813891 - 04/21/13 07:45 PM

I think I've bitten off more than I can chew as I have printed many Megastar charts, and have a huge observing agenda for this year. I hope the weather cooperates so I can get it all accomplished.

I did volunteer for Power Crew so hopefully I will get to the Ranch a bit earlier than anticipated. Maybe I'll get in a few extra nights this year.

Alvin, your Observing Guide is excellent. I wasn't planning on doing this year's Advanced List but after printing off yours I have decided to go for it. Thanks a ton. Your guides are fantastic.


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StephAdministrator
Texas Wildflower
*****

Reged: 06/11/05

Loc: North Texas
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Tom Laskowski]
      #5813990 - 04/21/13 08:34 PM

Unfortunately, I'm not going to make it this year after all. I was looking forward to renewing acquaintances and meeting new CN'ers but alas, it's not to be.

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HeyJP
sage


Reged: 12/11/10

Loc: Boulder, CO
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Steph]
      #5814428 - 04/21/13 11:49 PM

Well, I'm a semi-newbie that's going to join and try as hard as I can to make up for the ones that can't make it this year.

I lived in Dallas (actually Richardson) for all the 90's and made it to TSP in 97 and 98 I believe (went to the one-time displacement from Prude Ranch to Alto Frio.

But, since moving to Boulder, Colorado in 2001, I haven't made it back... until this year!!! Got a new 'scope, The Beast (Celestron CPC-1100), and loading into the Tiguan for a road trip back to the Prude.

Very excited to spend a week under the stars in perfect weather!! :-)

Planning on returning to the Upper Field where I was 15 years ago.

See y'all there!

Jim from Boulder


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Dr Benway
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 03/27/08

Loc: Abilene, TX
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: HeyJP]
      #5814688 - 04/22/13 06:51 AM

I just finished four intense days at NEAIC and NEAF and am looking forward to the week at TSP. I am still in Suffern, NY, and will be flying from Newark to DFW this afternoon. I was a speaker at NEAIC, an exhibitor with QHY and Astrofactors at NEAF, and will be a Red Cap at TSP. Staying busy! The Texas Imaging Symposium should be a lot of fun. Look forward to seeing everyone again. I will be set up with three imaging rigs in the lower field and will be running one of the Celestron demo rigs at least one night, too.

John


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ErixAdministrator
Toad Lily
*****

Reged: 12/25/04

Loc: Texas, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Dr Benway]
      #5817383 - 04/23/13 12:46 PM

There's been a slight last minute change with my accommodations. Does anyone want/need to upgrade to a cabin? It's just going to be me now and there's a king sized bed and a set of bunk beds. I only need a bunk bed so if anyone's interested in sharing the cabin, please let me know ASAP.

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jerry10137
sage
*****

Reged: 01/26/13

Loc: Texas, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Erix]
      #5818918 - 04/23/13 11:24 PM

Erix PM sent

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Cotts
Just Wondering
*****

Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Steph]
      #5819398 - 04/24/13 09:49 AM

Oh, dear! Who will lead us on the Ice Cream Road Trip?

Dave


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Steve Daniel
super member


Reged: 06/03/12

Loc: Austin, TX
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Cotts]
      #5820271 - 04/24/13 05:08 PM

I'm heading out to TSP for my first time this year. I'll be tent camping, and will have my C8. Do any of you old timers have any advice about Upper vs Central vs Lower field?

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DeanS
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Steve Daniel]
      #5820353 - 04/24/13 05:51 PM

Set your tent up under a tree

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RGWOOD
member


Reged: 05/17/10

Loc: Lake Jackson, Tx
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Steve Daniel]
      #5820761 - 04/24/13 08:31 PM

Quote:

I'm heading out to TSP for my first time this year. I'll be tent camping, and will have my C8. Do any of you old timers have any advice about Upper vs Central vs Lower field?



The Upper Field is by far the most popular and the largest. The largest scopes are usually there as well as a lot of AP set ups. The central and lower fields will have a lot lower density of scopes. The lower field is next to the highway and though I have never set up there, I would worry about car headlights.
My preference is the upper field, but it does have the drawback of being a little less protected from the wind. For me the middle field is a good compromise if the conditions are going to be really windy.
There's my $0.02.


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Dr Benway
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 03/27/08

Loc: Abilene, TX
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: RGWOOD]
      #5820865 - 04/24/13 09:19 PM

I have always set up in the lower field. The fear of headlights is exaggerated. There is a little traffic when the McDonald crowd leaves, then hardly any vehicles the rest of the night. The restrooms, RV area and snackbar are very convenient from the lower field. Contrary to popular opinion, Omega Centauri is easily visible from the lower field. I image it from there each year.

John


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RGWOOD
member


Reged: 05/17/10

Loc: Lake Jackson, Tx
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Dr Benway]
      #5820929 - 04/24/13 09:58 PM

Quote:

I have always set up in the lower field. The fear of headlights is exaggerated. There is a little traffic when the McDonald crowd leaves, then hardly any vehicles the rest of the night. The restrooms, RV area and snackbar are very convenient from the lower field. Contrary to popular opinion, Omega Centauri is easily visible from the lower field. I image it from there each year.

John



Ahhh yes those brisket burritos....could be reason enough to set up close to the snack bar.....
Good thing to know about the headlights not being an issue though.


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Unknownastron
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 04/06/05

Loc: CatsEye Observatory,Rural Sout...
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: RGWOOD]
      #5820946 - 04/24/13 10:07 PM

Set up your tent in the shade and not right by any road. Dust can become a real problem. Watch out for sunburn if you burn easily, one can forget we are at the same altitude as Denver and more ultraviolet. Watch out for dehydration, no matter the temperature. I will sit up on the upper field in the NE corner and be one of the people making all the noise. I am proud to say this will be TSP number 25 for me!
Clear skies and clean glass,
Mike


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DeanS
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: RGWOOD]
      #5820950 - 04/24/13 10:07 PM

I have set up with John for all my TSP's so far, however this year a couple of us have RV sites next to the upper field so we will give it a try. Again the lights are gone after midnight and even the few that come by can be seen with enough time to cover your scope if you are imaging, or just look away.

I have visited the upper field before but it will be nice to try it for the entire week.

Dean


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Cotts
Just Wondering
*****

Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Steve Daniel]
      #5821135 - 04/25/13 12:20 AM

Prepare for wind. Stake and rope your mount/scope so that it cannot blow over. There can be serious wind and prodigious thunderstorms at the TSP.
i use the middle field because it is closer to my bunkhouse...

dave


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DeanS
Post Laureate
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Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Cotts]
      #5821562 - 04/25/13 09:20 AM

Hi Dave,

Rob told me you are keeping your scope, will you bring it to TSP?


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ErixAdministrator
Toad Lily
*****

Reged: 12/25/04

Loc: Texas, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5821574 - 04/25/13 09:22 AM

Would someone mind posting a picture of roping/staking their Dob so I can get a better idea of how to do it and what to bring?

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Steve Daniel
super member


Reged: 06/03/12

Loc: Austin, TX
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Erix]
      #5821702 - 04/25/13 10:04 AM

Wow, very nice advice from all of you, I appreciate it! I'll be bringing more guy lines/stakes for the tent and scope now

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Tom Laskowski
super member


Reged: 04/28/08

Loc: South Bend, Indiana, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Steve Daniel]
      #5821846 - 04/25/13 11:32 AM

It's really not so much the wind as it is the dust devils that can and will knock over scopes. Every year I have seen at least one scope knocked over by a dust devil, and damage will occur. I don't have any pictures to post regarding how to stake the scope down, but hopefully someone will post. There is a nice hardware store in town in case you forget to bring stakes and or rope.

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bicparker
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/07/05

Loc: Texas Hill Country
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Tom Laskowski]
      #5821958 - 04/25/13 12:28 PM

Dust devils can be bad, but there are also the times of straight high winds. These can go to and exceed 35mph. While these winds may or may not knock down a scope, and they can, they will also pick up and blow away anything that gains an aerodynamic profile, such as a scope cover, a table, a chair, and anything else that presents a flat, angled surface (or a wind sock in the case of a scope cover).

So:

At the end of each observing session:
- Fold up ladders and chairs and lay them flat on the ground.
- Either secure table feet to the ground or fold them up and lay them flat.
- Make certain your scope cover is strapped in multiple places around the scope from top to bottom.
- Secure all lose items (books, papers, cameras, binoculars pencils, etc.) into cases and store them inside something, if possible.
- Secure any loose wires, cords, and ropes. In a 40 mph wind, the flapping of these things can tear up anything they are against.
- Make certain your ground cloth/carpet is secured down on the corners and possibly the center of the edges, too.
- Make a final check of all ground stakes securing your scope and other equipment.

For tripod mounted scopes:
- If it is a small scope that can be easily broken down at the end of the night and re-alignment is not an issue - Take down the scope and tripod and pack them away.
- Larger scopes - stake down each leg. You can also stake down or weight the center, but once a scope starts to tip, that reinforcement will not provide any benefit.
- Make sure the scope is in a parked position that presents the most balanced profile and lowest center of gravity (hopefully, that will be the same thing for most scopes).

For dobs:

There are two schools of thought: 1) Securing down the whole scope stem to stern, and 2) Securing the base and letting it "weathervane" in the wind. Both have their benefits and weaknesses:

1) If you secure the whole scope, secure it well, because if any securing line or strap comes loose, the whole system will become compromised in a high wind and unexpected and undesirable flight patterns may result.

2) Weathervane - This is not a bad strategy because it allows the scope to work with the wind for the most part. We don't know from what directions the winds will come (and a dust devil comes from all directions at once), so this gives some tolerance to the design. However, this also creates more stress on whatever is securing the base (remember, you have a >5:1 weight ratio from the cage to the base on most dobs). So make those base securing mechanisms stout. Additionally, you should have some sort of altitude locking pin in place to keep the front and the whole OTA from taking flight from the rocker box (I have had that happen at TSP when the gusts were hitting 50mph).

I am sure I missed a few things, but these are some highlights of my limited experience.


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Alvin Huey
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/18/05

Loc: NorCal
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: bicparker]
      #5822006 - 04/25/13 12:49 PM

And in 2006 - an 18" dob was lifted airborne and dumped. The mirror was cracked and the UTA was destroyed. The sad thing was that the scope had a for sale sign affixed to it.

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DeanS
Post Laureate
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Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5822187 - 04/25/13 01:36 PM Attachment (19 downloads)

This is how I secured mine during a very strong constant wind out of the west. But for dust devils you should have straps or rope on at least 3 sides since they don't really have a direction.

Notice the destroyed tent in the background. 2010 was a brutal year.

Dean

PS, my 12" lightbridge got blown over and damaged the focuser. Lesson learned.


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DeanS
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Reged: 07/12/05

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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5822201 - 04/25/13 01:39 PM Attachment (12 downloads)

oops

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galaxy_jason
Vendor


Reged: 05/22/07

Loc: Texas
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5822270 - 04/25/13 02:04 PM

Lets hope for some daytime thunderstorms (OK no hail). No really, the best ever starparty was '93 (or maybe '94). I line of t-storms moved through and settled all the dust in the area. Next night was the darkest sky and the snapiest milky way I have ever seen...and I haven't see better since.

Edited by galaxy_jason (04/25/13 02:06 PM)


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Cotts
Just Wondering
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Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5822492 - 04/25/13 04:14 PM

Quote:

Hi Dave,

Rob told me you are keeping your scope, will you bring it to TSP?




Hi, Dean. I have every intention of doing so IF I can fit it in my car (Chrysler 200) . I have been looking high and low for a single-purpose trailer that suits the scope and the modest towing ability of my car. No luck here in Canada (we like our trailers Beefy apparently...) I have seen some nifty ones from various manufacturers in the USA - they do not deliver to Canada. I may stop in at a couple of dealers on the way home and if they have the right one I'll buy it and drag it home! At least then I will have it for all subsequent star parties.

My fall-back position isn't exactly shabby - TEC 200 mm f/15.5 Mak/Cass on AP Mach 1.....

See you soon!

Dave


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jerry10137
sage
*****

Reged: 01/26/13

Loc: Texas, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: galaxy_jason]
      #5823334 - 04/25/13 10:59 PM

Quote:

Lets hope for some daytime thunderstorms (OK no hail). No really, the best ever starparty was '93 (or maybe '94). I line of t-storms moved through and settled all the dust in the area. Next night was the darkest sky and the snapiest milky way I have ever seen...and I haven't see better since.




That was 1993. I was there for that one and remember seeing everyone cleaning up their gear after the storm. And yes, the sky opened up like something from star wars!


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snorkler
Aperture Aficionado
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Reged: 10/11/04

Loc: Bay Area, California
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: jerry10137]
      #5823503 - 04/26/13 01:58 AM

Erika,

We use nails that are ~10" long, with ~2" diameter washers slid up to the nail heads, to stake down our indoor-outdoor carpeting, tents, etc. You want a 2 lb. hammer, or a sledge to drive the nails, and a pair of vice grips to twist the nails out of the ground for removal.

You want to cover your Dob and stake it down well. I saw that 17-1/2" Dob flying, and posted the photo of the cracked mirror in the TSP thread that year.

Sorry I won't be there to organize the annual CN ice cream social this year. A bunch of us NPS volunteers are having our own star party in SE UT conflicting with TSP.


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ErixAdministrator
Toad Lily
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Reged: 12/25/04

Loc: Texas, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: snorkler]
      #5824029 - 04/26/13 10:31 AM

Thanks for the great advice, guys. It's really helpful.

Darrell, I'm really sorry you can't make it this year.

I've got a scope cover for my Dob that I was planning on strapping down and staking. I assume that's sufficient or are you suggesting that I cover it with a tarp that's staked to the ground as well?


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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Erix]
      #5824078 - 04/26/13 10:48 AM

Erika,

My 14.5" Teeter survived the bad blow in 2010 on the middle field with my Telegizmos cover (made to be used in the horizontal position) and two long bungee cords stretched over and staked to the ground. I had pointed my scope in the direction of the prevailing winds before staking down.

I left just enough slack in the bungee cords to let the telescope swing maybe five degrees in either direction so it wouldn't be quite so rigid.


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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: snorkler]
      #5824085 - 04/26/13 10:51 AM

Quote:


Sorry I won't be there to organize the annual CN ice cream social this year. A bunch of us NPS volunteers are having our own star party in SE UT conflicting with TSP.




Sorry to miss you this year.


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Cotts
Just Wondering
*****

Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5827234 - 04/27/13 08:06 PM

Quote:

Hi Dave,

Rob told me you are keeping your scope, will you bring it to TSP?




Hi, Dean. Despite my best intentions I will not be able to bring the 16" Zambuto to the TSP this year. A test fitting in my car failed this morning so I will be forced into Plan B - the TEC 200mm f/15.6 Mak/Cass on the AP Mach 1.

I really need a small trailer for the Dob. I may have found something, too. There is a welder here in Toronto who will build a box of whatever size on a frame with the wheels, lights etc. I will make a diagram to see what size I need and find out the price. The good news is that he can put one together in a couple of weeks so I'll have it for the majority of the Star Party season....

Dave


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DeanS
Post Laureate
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Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Cotts]
      #5827321 - 04/27/13 08:56 PM

Too bad as it would be a treat under those dark skies. But again you are welcome to use my 18" anytime, although we will be set up on the upper field. Maybe you can give me a quick lesson with the servocat and Sky Commander too. I have not used it much yet.

I have all my imaging gear packed and sitting by the truck ready to be loaded up. Dang I bring too much stuff!


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Cotts
Just Wondering
*****

Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5829643 - 04/29/13 07:53 AM

Quote:

Too bad as it would be a treat under those dark skies. But again you are welcome to use my 18" anytime, although we will be set up on the upper field. I will find you. Maybe you can give me a quick lesson with the servocat and Sky Commander too. I would be happy to do so. I have not used it much yet.

I have all my imaging gear packed and sitting by the truck ready to be loaded up. Dang I bring too much stuff!




Dave


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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Cotts]
      #5832747 - 04/30/13 04:52 PM

Does the 10 day forecast for Fort Davis always look this cloudy a few days out? If not, this doesn't look promising.

Fort Davis 10 Day Forecast


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bicparker
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/07/05

Loc: Texas Hill Country
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5832927 - 04/30/13 06:16 PM

I would be careful trying to read too much into that. Davis Mountain forecasts are very volatile. What is probably more important to watch is what is being driven up to Fort Davis from the Baja Peninsula. That is where a lot of the bad weather comes from, if it arrives. Right now, the radar and satellite pictures show the water vapor flow from there is pretty far south of Fort Davis, which is good (though it is probably also causing a lot of late snow up north). If the jet stream stays south, we may have some low fluffy clouds during the day, but pretty clear nights.

But things change... often.


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bicparker
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/07/05

Loc: Texas Hill Country
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: bicparker]
      #5832930 - 04/30/13 06:17 PM

By the way, last year, which was spectacularly good, looked anything but good about this time before the star party. It is just very hard to tell what will happen, sometimes.

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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: bicparker]
      #5833018 - 04/30/13 07:02 PM

Thanks, David, that's good news. Last time I attended was 2010 and I couldn't remember what the long range forecast looked like at this stage. I'll stay positive.

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DeanS
Post Laureate
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Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5833280 - 04/30/13 09:46 PM

Weather can change so quick, for the better, or worse. I just go and am prepared for either. As in lots of cloudy night refreshments if needed. A good star party means I bring home most of what I brought too

Dean


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jerry10137
sage
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Reged: 01/26/13

Loc: Texas, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5833359 - 04/30/13 10:36 PM

I'm mostly packed and ready. This gravy train is heading west come Saturday. Rain, Sleet, Clouds.....I don't care. Just get me out of the big city garbage for some peace and quiet

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Unknownastron
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 04/06/05

Loc: CatsEye Observatory,Rural Sout...
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: jerry10137]
      #5834363 - 05/01/13 01:09 PM

Almost ready to leave. Since this is my first trip out in 2 years and post heart surgery I'm a little fearful of the altitude so we are taking it in steps. From home to Abilene, then tomorrow Abilene to Balmorhea State Park. This will be TSP #30 for me, as well as a couple of other star parties at Ft. Davis plus a half-dozen trips to view at McDonalds and we have always driven past Balmorhea! We have a cabin reserved for Thursday. Friday evening on to Alpine to spend Saturday doing Alpine things (museums, shops, restaurants)then an easy drive back to Ft. Davis on Sunday to arrive about 2:00 pm. No reason to arrive before we can check into the room. Unload to the room then set up on the field well before dark. The last according to weather, of course.
Regarding the weather discussion, I agree it is difficult to predictr even a few days in advance. Except under two conditions. One is the previously mentioned subtropical jet. It is now south of Texas. If it moves North, trouble. The other is if a storm system moves in from the West or Northwest and then stalls, with the dryline either just West of the Davis mountains or, worse, right overhead.
The best bet for observing at TSP is to stay all week. From my experience there is less than 5% chance for weather to be bad all week. I think this year will have 3 or 4 food nights, a couple of partly clear and 1 or 2 total cloud outs. I will have a good time whatever. See you there.
Clear skies and clean glass,
Mike


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Dave Mitsky
Postmaster
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Reged: 04/08/02

Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Unknownastron]
      #5835613 - 05/02/13 02:51 AM

Robert Werkman and I will be departing for TSP early this afternoon.

Dave Mitsky


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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #5835678 - 05/02/13 06:12 AM

Have a safe trip everyone! I pack up today and leave Friday morning.
Looking forward to a great event.


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Cotts
Just Wondering
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Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5835728 - 05/02/13 07:31 AM

I left Wednesday morning. Stayed with friends near Fort Wayne IN last night. Today a 10-hour sprint to somewhere around Springfield MO. Friday to Norman OK where I will inspect 'ground zero' of Cloudy Nights, Astronomics!(Pics coming! Stay tuned)
Saturday, a long drive to the Prude Ranch....

Dave


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MikeBOKC
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Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Cotts]
      #5835865 - 05/02/13 09:31 AM

Dave forecast is pretty good for tomorrow here in Astronomicsland . . . clearing, 50s, into 60s and up over the weekend. Enjoy your stop in Norman!

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DeanS
Post Laureate
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Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5835908 - 05/02/13 09:57 AM

Yep I leave early am tomorrow and drive to Abilene and camp out in front of Dr Benway's house. Long drive of 1075 miles. Then the two of us drive onto the State park for Sat night. If anyone else is at the park look for us, I will be in a small white Casita travel trailer, John has an Edge Trailer.

Everyone be careful.

Dean


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Dave Mitsky
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Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5835966 - 05/02/13 10:25 AM

It's a drive of almost 2000 miles for me.

Dave Mitsky


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Dr Benway
professor emeritus
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Reged: 03/27/08

Loc: Abilene, TX
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5836046 - 05/02/13 11:10 AM

Dean, I crawled under my RV yesterday afternoon and was appalled at the terrible state of my tires! Yikes!!! Got on the phone this morning with my tire guy. Ordered a fresh pair. They will be installed tomorrow along with repacking the wheel bearings. I don't want any roadside drama on the way to Fort Davis!

John


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StephAdministrator
Texas Wildflower
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Reged: 06/11/05

Loc: North Texas
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Dr Benway]
      #5836187 - 05/02/13 12:29 PM

Drive careful, everyone, and have a great time!! We who cannot attend demand lots of pictures *during* the week.

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ErixAdministrator
Toad Lily
*****

Reged: 12/25/04

Loc: Texas, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Dr Benway]
      #5836326 - 05/02/13 01:34 PM

Quote:

Dean, I crawled under my RV yesterday afternoon and was appalled at the terrible state of my tires! Yikes!!! Got on the phone this morning with my tire guy. Ordered a fresh pair. They will be installed tomorrow along with repacking the wheel bearings. I don't want any roadside drama on the way to Fort Davis!

John




I hear you! I just had a tire repaired yesterday on my CRV.

Steph, will be thinking of you while I'm there.


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Steve Daniel
super member


Reged: 06/03/12

Loc: Austin, TX
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Erix]
      #5836513 - 05/02/13 02:49 PM

I'm heading out from Austin Saturday, should be at the state park around 5 or 6. Then on Sunday into the ranch for my first TSP ... woohoo!

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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Steve Daniel]
      #5836547 - 05/02/13 03:07 PM

Quote:

I'm heading out from Austin Saturday, should be at the state park around 5 or 6. Then on Sunday into the ranch for my first TSP ... woohoo!




Nice short drive, Steve! I'll have my Teeter on the middle field next to Dave Cotts with his 8" TEC Maksutov. Maybe we'll see you.


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Steve Daniel
super member


Reged: 06/03/12

Loc: Austin, TX
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5836704 - 05/02/13 04:38 PM

Thanks, Jim, I'll look for you guys. Not sure where I'll be set up exactly. I'll have my CPC8 out there.

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Steve Daniel
super member


Reged: 06/03/12

Loc: Austin, TX
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: bicparker]
      #5836706 - 05/02/13 04:40 PM

Does anyone know how cell coverage is around Prude Ranch and Ft. Davis?

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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Steve Daniel]
      #5836781 - 05/02/13 05:20 PM

Quote:

Does anyone know how cell coverage is around Prude Ranch and Ft. Davis?




What I remember from 2010 is that next to a certain rock outside one of the bunkhouses I (and almost everybody else) could make a cell phone call, most of the time. It was the only magic spot. I don't know if things have improved any in three years.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Steph]
      #5836830 - 05/02/13 05:44 PM

Steph, I thought you & Erika were going together?

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StephAdministrator
Texas Wildflower
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Reged: 06/11/05

Loc: North Texas
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5837088 - 05/02/13 07:25 PM

That was the original plan, but I had to drop out due to health and work issues.

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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Steph]
      #5837103 - 05/02/13 07:37 PM

Really sorry to hear that Steph. Hopefully next year!

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DeanS
Post Laureate
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Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5837145 - 05/02/13 08:05 PM Attachment (9 downloads)

Had to do one final thing to be ready to leave in the morning......

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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5837165 - 05/02/13 08:18 PM

Nice touch, Dean! I'll be heading out in the AM, too.

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Cotts
Just Wondering
*****

Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5837219 - 05/02/13 08:55 PM

Quote:

Dave forecast is pretty good for tomorrow here in Astronomicsland . . . clearing, 50s, into 60s and up over the weekend. Enjoy your stop in Norman!




Hi Mike. Your weather report is encouraging. I'm in a motel in Miami, OK. It has been raining hevily since St. Louis. The temperature is 33F and there is now wet snow mixed with the rain. What the heck???

I'll see you in the store after lunch tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing the place and meeting the staff....

Dave


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MikeBOKC
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Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Cotts]
      #5837230 - 05/02/13 09:02 PM

I'm not in the store, just up the road in OKC. Mike Bieler is the guy you will see . . . he owns the place, I just give them most of my available cash.

This cruddy late spring cold front is moving out east so your drive tomorrow should be good. Lots of good places for lunch in downtown Norman near the store. Just don't buy too much!


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bicparker
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/07/05

Loc: Texas Hill Country
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5837354 - 05/02/13 10:17 PM

Leaving tomorrow morning for a long (just kidding) 6 hour drive. There are some final bits of work to get the site ready, and we have a lot of great volunteers getting things together. I, on the other hand, am the guy who everyone is trying to figure out what I actually do (if you find out, please let me know).

For all of you traveling long distances, safe travels and godspeed. I hope to see you at the line or gate on Sunday morning in good shape.


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Cotts
Just Wondering
*****

Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5837355 - 05/02/13 10:17 PM

OOPS! Wrong guy.

In my defense, how many guys named Mike B. who are into Astronomy and live in Norman can there be??

2, at least, apparently....

Dave


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galaxy_jason
Vendor


Reged: 05/22/07

Loc: Texas
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Cotts]
      #5837478 - 05/02/13 11:44 PM

Stand on the magic tree stump outside of "cherry" for cell reception. I'm actually not kidding

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bicparker
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/07/05

Loc: Texas Hill Country
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Steve Daniel]
      #5837652 - 05/03/13 04:43 AM

Quote:

Does anyone know how cell coverage is around Prude Ranch and Ft. Davis?




Steve,
The short story is that the cell reception around the Prude Ranch is terrible and unreliable unless you stand on a stump (as Jason suggested), and even then it is sketchy. We're in the mountains and it is a remote area. Additionally, because one of the VLBA scopes is near the Prude, the ambient RF, especially in the high UHF and higher regions is kept, by law, fairly low (the onsite scope manager monitors for this and there are FCC regulations protecting the VLBA, apparently, there, which is good). So, the likelihood that a cell tower is installed there anytime soon is probably low.

On the other hand, AT&T service in Fort Davis itself is actually quite good along State Street (the main highway through the center of town), especially on its stretch before you get into downtown Fort Davis. When you get just off of State Street, the coverage will drop again at different spots rather quickly.

So, if you need to make calls back in for work, home, etc., I would schedule them for times you can run into town. Just park on the shoulder of the road and have a big time.

I saw where this is your first time at TSP. That is great and we look forward to seeing you there. On a related note and just so you know, there are several TSP staff members who are also Ham operators. The Sr. staff members and radio crew have on-hand radio capability to directly call emergency services dispatch through an emergency frequency in the event of an emergency on the ranch where we can't otherwise get to one of the ranch telephones quickly. Plus, we can also easily tie into the linked repeaters in the region.

The TSP radio crew also operates on HF, VHF, and UHF amateur bands from the TSP radio shack onsite (W5TSP) throughout the week. If you are ever interested, you should stop by the shack. They work contacts from all around the world there.

Also, during the week of TSP, the ranch campus becomes the largest Internet Cafe in West Texas! We do provide campus wide wi-fi throughout the ranch during TSP week. TSP has been continually investing in and upgrading this service over the years and it is pretty decent now.

So, while cell phones are a bit sketchy to use on the ranch, that doesn't mean we are out of touch. We are actually plugged in quite well, you just have to know the frequency to use.


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MikeBOKC
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Cotts]
      #5837838 - 05/03/13 08:55 AM

Well here in the OKC club alone there is a Mike M, who is club treasurer, and Mike D. who oversees the Okie tex Star Party, and me . . . we are going for a dozen!

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Cotts
Just Wondering
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Reged: 10/10/05

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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5837849 - 05/03/13 09:04 AM

Only a dozen? Up in Canada we have the R.A.S.D.......

RASD

Dave XXVI


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MikeBOKC
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Cotts]
      #5837939 - 05/03/13 09:51 AM

I bow in humble awe . . .
I'm in downtown OKC this morning so wave as you go by headed down to Norman!


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bicparker
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/07/05

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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Cotts]
      #5838086 - 05/03/13 10:53 AM

Quote:

Only a dozen? Up in Canada we have the R.A.S.D.......

RASD

Dave XXVI




LOL... Thanks for reminding me of this one.
Safe travels.


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FJA
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: bicparker]
      #5838402 - 05/03/13 01:31 PM

Safe travels and clear skies everyone! As Steph says, those of us who can't be there want loads of photos!

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Dr Benway
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: FJA]
      #5838561 - 05/03/13 03:05 PM

New tires and freshly packed wheel bearings on the RV. It is hooked up to the truck and awaiting an 0700 roll-out in the morning. Destination: Davis Mountain State Park!

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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Dr Benway]
      #5838821 - 05/03/13 05:49 PM

What the...! Just arrived in Joplin, MO a few minutes ago. It was snowing for an hour or so west of Springfield. What month is this?

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Joe C
sage
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Re: Texas Star Party and Texas Imaging Symposium new [Re: Unknownastron]
      #5838969 - 05/03/13 07:52 PM Attachment (19 downloads)

Here is one overlooking the upper field.

Edited by Joe C (05/04/13 07:05 PM)


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jerry10137
sage
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: bicparker]
      #5839067 - 05/03/13 09:08 PM

What if we wish to arrive before Sunday? Can an arrangement be made to come onsite or will I have to stay away until 2pm Sunday?

I don't have to have my room.....I can sleep in my truck


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bicparker
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/07/05

Loc: Texas Hill Country
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: jerry10137]
      #5839120 - 05/03/13 09:42 PM

Jerry,
For a whole lot of reasons, we have a restricted list of who can be on the ranch prior to TSP. These are primarily senior staff and other key volunteers who are involved in the specific preparation tasks before the star party.

So you will have to make arrangements elsewhere. You don't have to stay away till 2pm on Sunday. We open the gate at Noon and by 12:30, it is pretty easy to go check in. I try to advise people just to wait till 12:30 or 1:00pm instead of waiting in line on the highway before Noon.

Like I said, there are several reasons for restricting who can be on the ranch (and yes, we have a list and someone who goes around making sure only the people on the list are there). One of the biggest reasons is because we are trying to get the ranch ready and everyone there has their assigned tasks for that project. Having others underfoot would make things very difficult (i.e. laying over a mile of power lines, setting up weather stations, antennae, chalk marking, prepping registration, vendor and meeting areas, etc. etc.).

There is also a security issue. Believe it or not, people try to crash the party, which isn't fair at all to the folks who have paid their registration. When we open the gates at noon, we are checking in, marking off, and tagging every person and vehicle going onto the property. This brings in the people who paid to be there and keeps out those who won't. It's a system that has ended up working pretty well over the years.

Look forward to seeing you there!


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jerry10137
sage
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: bicparker]
      #5839197 - 05/03/13 10:20 PM

It's no biggie. I was just curious if the ranch was accessible before hand. I'm a little anxious for a trip I've been planning for a while. Thanks for the input.

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Howie Glatter
Vendor


Reged: 07/04/06

Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Cotts]
      #5839295 - 05/03/13 11:09 PM

"The society dedicated to advancing the astronomical persuits of those whose given name is Dave or David . ."

Donald Trump's team of detectives wants to see a birth certificate for you, "Dave".


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HeyJP
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Loc: Boulder, CO
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: bicparker]
      #5839371 - 05/04/13 12:06 AM

Heading out from Boulder tomorrow (Saturday) morning and aiming for a 12:30 Sunday arrival. Leaving blue skies here... Hoping it will be even better in Texas. Looking forward to alien encounter in Roswell New Mexico enroute.

See y'all in Texas.

Jim in Boulder

Edited by HeyJP (05/04/13 12:09 AM)


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okieav8r
I'd rather be flying!
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Loc: Oklahoma!
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Cotts]
      #5839415 - 05/04/13 12:46 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Dave forecast is pretty good for tomorrow here in Astronomicsland . . . clearing, 50s, into 60s and up over the weekend. Enjoy your stop in Norman!




Hi Mike. Your weather report is encouraging. I'm in a motel in Miami, OK. It has been raining hevily since St. Louis. The temperature is 33F and there is now wet snow mixed with the rain. What the heck???

I'll see you in the store after lunch tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing the place and meeting the staff....

Dave




Dave, I wish I'd known you were going to be in town today. I'd have bought you dinner.


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Dave Mitsky
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: okieav8r]
      #5839437 - 05/04/13 01:27 AM

My friend "Gastronaut" and I are also staying in Miami. We spent a large part of the day driving through rain and later through wet snow.

Dave Mitsky


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djpontone
member


Reged: 04/27/08

Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #5842219 - 05/05/13 06:41 PM

Dave: tony d and myself had 2 great nites at cherry springs ! Have a great TSP clear skies dan .

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Dave Mitsky
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: djpontone]
      #5843250 - 05/06/13 10:50 AM

Thanks, Dan.

The skies were so-so at the Prude Ranch last night until clouds finally did us in around 2:00 a.m. However, Bob Werkman and I got some reasonably good views of dozens of objects, including OMG Centauri and Centaurus A.

Dave Mitsky


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Cotts
Just Wondering
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Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: okieav8r]
      #5843316 - 05/06/13 11:22 AM

Thanks, Rex. I appreciate the offer. Next time? And if you ever 'take a wrong turn at Albuquerque' and end up in the Toronto area same offer applies from me.

see you at OkieTex at any rate

Dave


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Unknownastron
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: djpontone]
      #5843357 - 05/06/13 11:47 AM

First night report: Clouds started moving in about 12:30, most people shutting down by 1 am. But biggest problem is dust in the air, evidently high in the atmosphere, very tiny particles which don't fall out if there is any wind, they just stay suspended. Transparency was not good tonight, so nobody doing much serious work.
Now to bed.
Clear skies and clea glass,
Mike


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Svezda
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/01/07

Loc: Texas
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Unknownastron]
      #5844162 - 05/06/13 06:29 PM

If anyone is familiar with the extremely irritating Megastar issue where you can't install it on modern computers, I could really use some help. My brother used some hints from CN people and some other emails I'd saved and was able to get it to work - for two days! it worked great then suddenly when I click on the desktop shortcut - nothing. I haven't changed anything at all.

If anyone would be willing to take a look and help me out, I would be very grateful and will make it up to you (say, dinner in town for you and friend, spouse, etc.).

I used Megastar 'religiously' when I could install it on an older computer and relied on it a lot...really need it this week while at TSP. I'm in Harmony 3 bunkhouse - pls ask for Jason or leave a note how to find you (can leave note on bunkhouse door or on the bulletin boards outside the main ranch building). I've got a Sony Vaio laptop with Vista (yes, I hate it also!)... thanks in advance!


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Smittty692k4
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/05/11

Loc: East Bernard, TX
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Svezda]
      #5845254 - 05/07/13 10:21 AM

Darnit, I really need to get out there one of these years. So hard to do with an almost 6 month old son at home and work work work all the time.

For those of you from other States, I live in Texas and it would still be about a 9 hour drive. El Paso is halfway from my neck of the woods to San Diego. Think about that.

Anywho, PLEASE take lots of pictures!!!

Be safe and Clear Skies.


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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Svezda]
      #5845373 - 05/07/13 11:39 AM

Monday night started out looking not so pretty, but after midnight, turned out quite nice. Still average seeing, but the transparency went up to 4 out of 5 and it was a great night for hunting down galaxies on my Herschel list.

Beautiful Milky Way rising last night. After a quick look as some of my favorites in Sagittarius, I called it quits around 3 am.

That's it for now.


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Svezda
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/01/07

Loc: Texas
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5845383 - 05/07/13 11:49 AM

Quote:

Monday night started out looking not so pretty, but after midnight, turned out quite nice. Still average seeing, but the transparency went up to 4 out of 5 and it was a great night for hunting down galaxies on my Herschel list.

Beautiful Milky Way rising last night. After a quick look as some of my favorites in Sagittarius, I called it quits around 3 am.

That's it for now.



You are so right...I was really worried about prospects for last night but it was great! 53F at 2:30am when I quit seemed so cold last night, somehow...but it sure beat 24-25F last year in late April for morning lows the first couple of nights.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Svezda]
      #5845423 - 05/07/13 12:20 PM

We need photos!

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StephAdministrator
Texas Wildflower
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Reged: 06/11/05

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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5845480 - 05/07/13 12:48 PM




And I'm talkin' people pics, not just field set-up pics....


I *am* glad y'all got some sky last night; when I saw posts on FB and some of you online here around 10-11-12 last night, I was worried y'all had gotten totally clouded out. Happy to hear it cleared up!


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FJA
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Steph]
      #5845524 - 05/07/13 01:02 PM

Quote:




And I'm talkin' people pics, not just field set-up pics....


I *am* glad y'all got some sky last night; when I saw posts on FB and some of you online here around 10-11-12 last night, I was worried y'all had gotten totally clouded out. Happy to hear it cleared up!




YES! We want pictures!


Please.


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Steve Daniel
super member


Reged: 06/03/12

Loc: Austin, TX
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: FJA]
      #5845578 - 05/07/13 01:20 PM

Hello all, seems like I remember hearing something about a Cloudynights social or happy hour or something out here at TSP. When and where is it?

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Alvin Huey
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/18/05

Loc: NorCal
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Steve Daniel]
      #5846045 - 05/07/13 04:38 PM

Quote:

Hello all, seems like I remember hearing something about a Cloudynights social or happy hour or something out here at TSP. When and where is it?




Two hours ago...if it was held at the same time and day as usual. Darrell (snorkler) usually heads it. Most who attended the CN malt run last year didn't make it this year, including me, Faith, Len and Darrell.


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Svezda
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/01/07

Loc: Texas
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5847001 - 05/08/13 01:20 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Hello all, seems like I remember hearing something about a Cloudynights social or happy hour or something out here at TSP. When and where is it?




Two hours ago...if it was held at the same time and day as usual. Darrell (snorkler) usually heads it. Most who attended the CN malt run last year didn't make it this year, including me, Faith, Len and Darrell.



I made the 'malt run' myself in the afternoon and it was lonely without all of you but it still tasted verrrrry good.


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Svezda
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/01/07

Loc: Texas
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Svezda]
      #5847016 - 05/08/13 01:32 AM

if anyone is at TSP who knows a little about simple computer issues, I could really use some help with my Megastar issue mentioned a page back or so...am staying in Harmony 3 not far from the upper field middle stairs. Thanks if you could help...

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Alvin Huey
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/18/05

Loc: NorCal
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Svezda]
      #5847072 - 05/08/13 02:53 AM

Jason...what I did was copy the executable from my old machine. Now I keep that executable on my "NAS" box. I don't install anymore, but just copy the whole folder now, including the executable.

Oh, I'm not sure if you knew that there was an updated exe file on Willman Bell. Or go see Remekulus (owner of Willman Bell) at AstroCards table...he usually hangs out there...he is the short white haired dude with glasses...someone who is obviously not Kepple or Sanner...but he hangs out there ...very often.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5847440 - 05/08/13 10:05 AM

Sigh..........

still no photos. How do we know anyone's there without pics?


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Svezda
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/01/07

Loc: Texas
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5847549 - 05/08/13 11:05 AM

Quote:

Jason...what I did was copy the executable from my old machine. Now I keep that executable on my "NAS" box. I don't install anymore, but just copy the whole folder now, including the executable.

Oh, I'm not sure if you knew that there was an updated exe file on Willman Bell. Or go see Remekulus (owner of Willman Bell) at AstroCards table...he usually hangs out there...he is the short white haired dude with glasses...someone who is obviously not Kepple or Sanner...but he hangs out there ...very often.



Alvin, THANKS! I tried to call Willmann-Bell to see if I could get them to overnight me a replacement disk, which I found out through searching CN archived posts has been updated and the program will install on newer machines.

...BUT, when I called I found that they have a message on their answering machine stating that they are closed and will be out of the office until the 13th. I thought, 'oh man, what a great week for them to be closed!' Little did I know that they are HERE!

I wish I'd have known that Monday at lunch and I'd have gotten some help. Maybe he can help me without the new disk. My brother did what you recommended (I'm not so savvy with these issues - I just use my computer and need to learn some basic repair and mtce skills...). However, the program stopped opening after two days. I have no idea what changed.

Anyway, thanks a lot for answering, Alvin.


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Svezda
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/01/07

Loc: Texas
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Svezda]
      #5847584 - 05/08/13 11:32 AM

Last night at TSP was fantastic. Yesterday was yet another day where I said to myself, 'oh well, at least I will be able to catch up on my sleep tonight...' (because it was so cloudy /all/ day, with more heavy clouds later in the day, not those nice puffy cumulus clouds that we are used to here on May afternoons that blow away after dark).

Well, lo and behold, again late in the evening it cleared up beautifully! It was around 50F by midnight, down to 42F when I stopped observing at 3:15am, and 37F was recorded as my minimum observed temp. It was not at all uncomfortable, there was absolutely no dew, and there was not even a light breeze all night. The Milky Way wasn't as detailed as I've seen on the best nights here but it was 3/4 as good as it gets here, anyway.

Seeing was 'so-so', however, as it was last night. Star images weren't the usual pinpoints that I often see with my 14.5-inch Zambuto glass and details on Saturn were very fleeting (hard to see because the lasted only tiny fractions of a second). I can only see 6th mag stars but people with better acuity I think could push 7th mag here for sure last night (BTW, I bought a pair of glass lens prescription lenses late last year with 0.5 diopter added correction and they worked wonders for seeing fainter, more pinpoint stars. This is the first TSP I've had them and wouldn't observe without them now. The crown glass + antireflective coatings won't scratch if normal care is taken while cleaning, and won't scratch easily if pressed up against eyepieces as will plastic lenses).


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Tom Laskowski
super member


Reged: 04/28/08

Loc: South Bend, Indiana, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Svezda]
      #5847634 - 05/08/13 12:05 PM

Last night = great night. I went all the way until dawn. I finished off two of Larry's older lists that I had been working on plus completed most of what I was planning to do for the entire week. Two more nights like this and I'll go home very happy.

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DeanS
Post Laureate
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Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Tom Laskowski]
      #5847759 - 05/08/13 01:21 PM Attachment (24 downloads)

Hi Jim,

Has been great so far, just got up myself after seeing the sun come up 2 mornings in a row.

Stop by and say hello. I am on the east side on the upper field near the center steps, right in front of a maroon van. And the Casita travel trailer under the wall.

Dean


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5847769 - 05/08/13 01:27 PM

Dean, thanks for the photo for those of us that are starving for photos!

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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5847853 - 05/08/13 02:08 PM

I'd love to post some pics, but I have no way to do it. I'm technologically challenged.

As Tom and Svezda already stated, last night was another good one. I didn't even pull the cover off my scope until about 11:15 when it started looking promising. Seeing average, but transparency was good all night with some fluctuations. At about 2 am the transparency got very good for almost an hour (I'd give it a 4+) so that I could plainly follow both spiral arms of M51 and actually see the granulation of the H-II regions. It was a sweet view.

I made it through another 20 Herschel objects and spent about 2 hours just enjoying old favorites. I hit the wall at 3:30.

Forecast questionable for tonight, but taken with a grain of salt.


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ErixAdministrator
Toad Lily
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Reged: 12/25/04

Loc: Texas, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5848115 - 05/08/13 04:16 PM

Would everyone like to get together tomorrow (Thursday) around 3:30 for ice cream at the drug store?

I've got stacks of photos but need to resize them for CN. I've gone two nights in a row until 6am. Skies have been clearing up pretty nice as the nights progress. Stacks of notes and a few sketches here and there. I'm having a fantastic time.

Right, time for a nap! Managed four hours sleep this morning. And about four hours total yesterday.


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Dave Mitsky
Postmaster
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Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Tom Laskowski]
      #5848295 - 05/08/13 05:40 PM

Gastronaut and I heard the roosters crowing long before we went to bed the past two nights. We saw great passes of the HST shortly before 6:00 a. m. each morning.

The Milky Way easily cast a shadow last night. Omega Centauri was magnificent through Gastronaut's 22" SDM Dob and a 10mm Ethos. The breadth of Comet PanSTARRS tail was striking. A number of Eta Aquarids were seen.

I took a tour of the McDonald Observatory yesterday. Not long ago Larry Mitchell gave a very interesting talk on the illusion of interacting galaxies.

Dave Mitsky


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Svezda
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/01/07

Loc: Texas
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5848505 - 05/08/13 07:17 PM

Quote:

I'd love to post some pics, but I have no way to do it. I'm technologically challenged.




This and always being incredibly busy at TSP is why I haven't posted pics. I've never done one before on CN and have too much to do just keeping up with observing, the ranch lunch and dinner schedule, afternoon talks, evening presentations, repair and mtce of various items, etc.

Thanks to those who take the time needed to save pics to computer, process as needed, then upload to the forum.


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Svezda
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/01/07

Loc: Texas
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Svezda]
      #5848512 - 05/08/13 07:21 PM

Thanks to Alvin and to Perry Remaklus of Willmann-Bell, I'm back in business with my beloved Megastar! It wasn't real easy to figure out, but unless it stops working again , it should be good to go.

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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5848810 - 05/08/13 09:36 PM

Quote:

Hi Jim,

Has been great so far, just got up myself after seeing the sun come up 2 mornings in a row.

Stop by and say hello. I am on the east side on the upper field near the center steps, right in front of a maroon van. And the Casita travel trailer under the wall.

Dean




Hi Dean,

Went looking for you after lunch, but you were out. I'll try to find you tomorrow.


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Alvin Huey
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Svezda]
      #5851136 - 05/09/13 11:21 PM

Quote:

Thanks to Alvin and to Perry Remaklus of Willmann-Bell, I'm back in business with my beloved Megastar! It wasn't real easy to figure out, but unless it stops working again , it should be good to go.




Glad that you able to track Perry down. Funny how you called his answering machine and he is probably only 100 feet away.



Hope for more clear nights. I really hope that TSP 2014 is not in May-June timeframe, if it is, I'm skipping it.

Alvin


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derangedhermit
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5851156 - 05/09/13 11:42 PM Attachment (32 downloads)

Here's a photo looking down (!) on Prude Ranch taken from about 5 miles away at the top of Skyline Drive in Davis Mtns State Park on Wed afternoon. Within the red loop you can see the upper and center field areas - the lower field is to the left, just hidden from view.

The Davis Mountains region is spectacular, rugged country. Volcanoes in Texas!


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derangedhermit
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: derangedhermit]
      #5851881 - 05/10/13 11:58 AM

I was surprised at the small vendor presence. BFSP, my only point of comparison, has 3-4x the vendor presence.

I read, maybe in this thread, maybe an older one, that traffic on 118 wasn't a problem on the lower field. Well, this week that becomes mostly true sometime between 12 and 1 am. Between 10 and 12, I felt at times I might as well have set up beside I-10.

The parking, tents, canopies, and equipment placement on the other two fields seemed well-planned and separated; the lower field arrangements are more open range - cars, trucks, tents, campers and equipment are thoroughly mixed across the field. It caused us no problems, though.

Everything we brought, including our skin, is saturated in fine dust and perforated by sandspurs.

Our thanks to Bob Logue for sharing his knowledge with a newbie couple on managing equipment and wind, dust, etc. It's embarrassing when your scope falls like a felled tree when the first gust of wind comes along. (Fortunately, it landed squarely on the Telrad, so no damage was done - the Telrad even held alignment:)


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galaxy_jason
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: derangedhermit]
      #5852067 - 05/10/13 01:45 PM

Capturing lots of time lapse video and will put together a movie when I get home. Here is a preview done before blackout so there are some ground lights...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZiZk3jX9Qo


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The Planetman
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: galaxy_jason]
      #5852869 - 05/10/13 10:20 PM

That is so cool Jason! Thanks for sharing!!

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David PavlichAdministrator
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: galaxy_jason]
      #5852879 - 05/10/13 10:23 PM

Cool video, Jason!

David


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Smittty692k4
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5852961 - 05/10/13 10:59 PM

Gorgeous Jason. Thank you.

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LivingNDixie
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Smittty692k4]
      #5854362 - 05/11/13 08:30 PM

Any news when TSP 2014 will be. The link to the New York Times article was cool on the main website.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/11/us/in-west-texas-a-gathering-to-consider-th...

Edited by LivingNDixie (05/11/13 08:32 PM)


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MDavid
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: LivingNDixie]
      #5854488 - 05/11/13 10:22 PM

Quote:

Any news when TSP 2014 will be. The link to the New York Times article was cool on the main website.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/11/us/in-west-texas-a-gathering-to-consider-th...




Not sure about TSP 2014, but Anne interviewed us (my son is Samuel and my wife is Kelly (a.k.a Mrs. David)...we were the people mentioned in her article and we had a great time)...our thanks go out to Orlando, Joe, the guy with the awesome huge 25 inch Obsession, and another guy with the equally awesome Astro-Physics refractor that were kind enough to share some amazing views with my family. Joe especially took hours with us giving us a tour of the sky using Orlando's Orion XT12g reflector. There were others there that also made for a wonderful and memorable first TSP and I want to say thank you to you all for being so gracious and kind to my family.

We are also greatful to the people of Prude Ranch for enabling such a wonderful gathering each year and I hope we can make it again next year.


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FJA
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: MDavid]
      #5854760 - 05/12/13 02:30 AM

TSP 2014 is May 25 to June 1, which might put some people off, I've already seen grumbles on Facebook about it.

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jerry10137
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: FJA]
      #5856216 - 05/12/13 07:52 PM

Had a great time and met some great new people. Hope everyone made it home safe. I have a few photos from the event but I need to process them so stay tuned.

I left on Friday, it appears, just as a storm was rolling thru. How was the weather/viewing Friday and Saturday evening?


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FJA
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: jerry10137]
      #5859242 - 05/14/13 07:22 AM

From what people said on Facebook, it was cloudy on Friday and Saturday. I think a couple of them packed up and left early because the forecast wasn't very promising.

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Tom Laskowski
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: FJA]
      #5859329 - 05/14/13 08:33 AM

I packed up and left Saturday afternoon because it wasn't looking very promising. But, it rained most of the day Friday with thunder, lightning and even some small hail but somehow miraculously cleared Friday night. So I was thinking about staying for Saturday night just in case it cleared again. I made it back very early Monday morning and am now back at work.

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Steve Daniel
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Tom Laskowski]
      #5859631 - 05/14/13 11:14 AM

Saturday night was totally cloudy, so it became a good night to have a beer, read a book, and get lots of sleep!

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csa/montana
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Steve Daniel]
      #5859635 - 05/14/13 11:18 AM

Quote:

so it became a good night to have a beer, read a book,




So where are all the photos everyone?


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FJA
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5859671 - 05/14/13 11:37 AM

Quote:

Quote:

so it became a good night to have a beer, read a book,




So where are all the photos everyone?




Yes, indeed, where are the photos? I refer you to Steph's post earlier in this thread

Quote:




And I'm talkin' people pics, not just field set-up pics....


I *am* glad y'all got some sky last night; when I saw posts on FB and some of you online here around 10-11-12 last night, I was worried y'all had gotten totally clouded out. Happy to hear it cleared up!




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Bill Kocken
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Reged: 08/07/04

Loc: Coon Rapids, MN
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5859758 - 05/14/13 12:17 PM

My summary...
This was my 3rd TSP, and probably the least productive. If I recall correctly, here is a night by night recap:

The first night (Sunday)was just OK. I worked on Wagner's 2013 list and got mostly through it until the skies deteriorated somewhere around 1 to 2AM.

Monday night was quite nice. I finished the Wagner list and resumed working on my Herschel II list. I think I quit at around 3AM ish.

Tuesday night was so-so. I started working on an older Wagner list and discovered that most of the objects were very low to the horizon in the south. I spent a lot of time sitting on the ground at my dob's eyepiece. I eventually gave up on that and resumed the Herschel II list. I was having very little luck. Transparency was just 3/5 and I was struggling with mag 12 to 13 galaxies in Hydra. When a mag 14 galaxy came up on my list, I knew it wasn't going to happen. The cold that I had picked up was winning. I gave up at about 1:30.

Wednesday night teased us, so we sat on the porch and had a few brews. I crashed at about 1:00, although some of the Minnesota contingent got in a couple of hours.

Thursday night was a bust.

Friday, was cloudy and drizzly and the Clear Sky Chart was hopeless and the forecast was for Saturday to be a no-go. We packed up our stuff and planned to leave at dawn on Saturday. After the Friday night talk and the give-away we discovered clear skies. It was chilly and very damp. Our astro stuff, including our warm clothes were inaccessible, so we retired early, convinced that the clear skies would not last long. When we arose at 5:30, 3 of the other Minnesota crew were just starting to shut down after having observed all night! It was chilly and the dew was heavy but they were prepared.

We left Saturday morning with hopes of doing some observing at our friend's place in SW Minnesota on Sunday night. The forecast for that was wrong, too!

All in all it was still a fun trip. We enjoyed our beer-30 Happy Hours and had some good viewing. We did the McDonald tour and another self-guided tour to Alpine and Marfa was fun. The drive to and from TSP was looong but safe and pleasant enough.

Next year's TSP is in late May and into June. That's too late and possibly too hot for this Minnesota boy.

Edited by Bill Kocken (05/14/13 12:27 PM)


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jerry10137
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Bill Kocken]
      #5861147 - 05/14/13 10:41 PM

Okay,

I didn't get out and take too many people shots or scenic shots, but here are the results of my trip. This was only my 4th or 5th night of imaging so go easy. I'm still a rookie. I had to trash 2 hours worth of data from Tuesday night because my focus was off. Yep my fault...rookie mistake.

Markarian's Chain - This is about 3.5 hours worth or data. I would have collected more but clouds got in the way.

Markarian's Chain

Omega Centauri - Again, not as much data as I would have liked but the power supply running the mount died in the middle of exposure. The next day I bought an AC adapter from a vendor.

Omega Centauri

NGC4565 - This is a single 60 second sub that was actually a test shot for centering. The only decent shot of this I got because clouds moved right in over it for the rest of the night =(

NGC4565


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Rusty
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: jerry10137]
      #5861236 - 05/14/13 11:34 PM

Very nice images! And we more-seasoned imagers never screw up focus, so you have that to look forward to...

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jerry10137
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Rusty]
      #5861251 - 05/14/13 11:44 PM

The weird part is I have no idea how it jumped. I focused on Sirius like I have been doing with the mask and locked it down. I should have re-checked right before I started exposure. Next time I will.

I bet what happened is I made a knucklehead move and grabbed the wrong knob when I was trying to get the guider focused in......we will just stick with that


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DeanS
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: jerry10137]
      #5862034 - 05/15/13 12:13 PM Attachment (19 downloads)

I have not had time to work on any of my images yet on my desktop at home. Here is M100 I processed on a laptop at the star party. Has some potential with all the smaller fainter galaxies in the back ground.

Taken with the AGO Newt and QSI640

Dean


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DeanS
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5862100 - 05/15/13 12:49 PM Attachment (13 downloads)

And another.......

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Dave Mitsky
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Bill Kocken]
      #5862122 - 05/15/13 12:55 PM

Quote:

My summary...
This was my 3rd TSP, and probably the least productive. If I recall correctly, here is a night by night recap:

EDIT

Tuesday night was so-so. I started working on an older Wagner list and discovered that most of the objects were very low to the horizon in the south. I spent a lot of time sitting on the ground at my dob's eyepiece. I eventually gave up on that and resumed the Herschel II list. I was having very little luck. Transparency was just 3/5 and I was struggling with mag 12 to 13 galaxies in Hydra. When a mag 14 galaxy came up on my list, I knew it wasn't going to happen. The cold that I had picked up was winning. I gave up at about 1:30.

Wednesday night teased us, so we sat on the porch and had a few brews. I crashed at about 1:00, although some of the Minnesota contingent got in a couple of hours.

Thursday night was a bust.

Friday, was cloudy and drizzly and the Clear Sky Chart was hopeless and the forecast was for Saturday to be a no-go. We packed up our stuff and planned to leave at dawn on Saturday. After the Friday night talk and the give-away we discovered clear skies. It was chilly and very damp. Our astro stuff, including our warm clothes were inaccessible, so we retired early, convinced that the clear skies would not last long. When we arose at 5:30, 3 of the other Minnesota crew were just starting to shut down after having observed all night! It was chilly and the dew was heavy but they were prepared.

EDIT

The drive to and from TSP was looong but safe and pleasant enough.

Next year's TSP is in late May and into June. That's too late and possibly too hot for this Minnesota boy.




Actually, Tuesday night/Wednesday morning offered the best transparency of the entire week. You quit too soon. The Milky Way really kicked in during the early morning.

Wednesday night was overcast.

There were fairly long patches of clear sky on Thursday night. My friend Robert and I observed off and on until nearly 3:00 a.m. Around that time, it began to sprinkle slightly.

Since Robert and I had packed everything up on Friday, we resorted to binocular observing and a few views through a nearby Dob on Friday night. I had already finished the binocular list on Tuesday but Robert was able to qualify for a TSP pin with his observations that night. He also received the Galaxy Illusions pin for his observations earlier in the week.

We drove over 1900 miles to get to the Prude Ranch so it was a long return trip for us too.

I'm afraid that next year's late May TSP may be too hot for me, as well.

Dave Mitsky


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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/21/09

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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #5862233 - 05/15/13 01:33 PM

Hi Dave,

Nice meeting you and Rob at the TSP. I thought my 1250 mile one-way rip was long, but 1900, ouch!

Next May I'll be moving back to Flagstaff, so I most likely will not return to the TSP again. I agree that late may will most likely be a hot one.

All the best!


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DeanS
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5862268 - 05/15/13 01:44 PM

Hi Jim,

Got your message, sorry we did not meet up, perhaps at another star party down the road.

Dean


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Smittty692k4
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5862458 - 05/15/13 03:28 PM

Dean, those are amazing pics.

And guys, y'all think May will be hot? come down here by Laredo in July/August. 95 degrees at 10PM some nights. haha


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DeanS
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Smittty692k4]
      #5863220 - 05/15/13 09:26 PM

Thanks guys,

Yes I will be on the fence if it is late next year. I remember a hot June several years ago when they had the fires, not comfortable at all.


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Bill Kocken
sage


Reged: 08/07/04

Loc: Coon Rapids, MN
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5863979 - 05/16/13 09:20 AM

Dave,

Your record of how the week played out is better than my faulty memory. The biggest disappointment is that we missed Friday night. The sucker hole over the Prude seemed to stay open all night. We left early Saturday morning with expectations of observing in MN on Sunday night. That got clouded out, and I'm now distrustful of the CSC. The cold that I picked up on the way down messed me up and stole my late night energy. I'm still recovering.

As for the late May date. I looked at the average temps for April 25 vs May 25. The average highs are about 10 degrees warmer (from 75 to 84) and the average lows are about 10 degrees warmer, too. According to the CSC, for the entire month of April the average percentage of cloudless nighttime sky drops from 66% for April to 55% for May.

Maybe I'll run into you at a TSP sometime, but it will not be in 2014.


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Tom Laskowski
super member


Reged: 04/28/08

Loc: South Bend, Indiana, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5864248 - 05/16/13 11:30 AM

Quote:

I have not had time to work on any of my images yet on my desktop at home. Here is M100 I processed on a laptop at the star party. Has some potential with all the smaller fainter galaxies in the back ground.

Taken with the AGO Newt and QSI640

Dean




Awesome shot, Dean. It was great getting to meet you and all the other CNers. I'm still feeling the effects of TSP and I've been back for 4 days now. I'm going to spend my weekend getting my car and my gear clean from all the Prude Ranch dust that I accumulated.


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The Planetman
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Tom Laskowski]
      #5864721 - 05/16/13 02:21 PM

I was in the Fort Davis/Alpine area a couple of summers ago in mid-June and it was hot! Late afternoon/early evening thunderstorms seem to be more common as well during that time of the year.
I was making plans to attend next year, but with it being late, now it's not going to happen.


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Unknownastron
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: The Planetman]
      #5866399 - 05/17/13 03:33 AM

I'm back home after spending 3 extra days in Ft. Davis. Made a couple of daytime trip to the observatory and my wife and I had a good afternoon and evening observing wildlife at the state park.
I was disappointed in the weather as were most people but for me just getting to go after missing last year while recovering from heart surgery made it a big success. When you have a chance you will never go to another TSP (or even see a night sky again), go through all the financial consequences of major surgery, disability and retirement for almost a year, then worry you may not be able to handle the altitude any kind of weather at the TSP is a success. By the way, I handled the thin air with no trouble. I missed some observing as I was a bit too tired to stay up all night waiting to see if it clears. But a little Sunday, a good Monday night, a little Tuesday late and unexpected Friday for observing I will take. This was a very strange weather pattern for the area. Even a guide at the observatory commented on how three weather patterns, from different directions, had dominated at different times during the past 10 days. But hey, weather patterns are weird everywhere. Baseball game called in Kansas City on may 1 due to SNOW?
I give up at predicting any weather until it is happening.
I will be at TSP next year and every year until my or my wife's health prevents it. I am renewed. I am confident again.
Clear skies and clean glass,
Mike


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droid
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5866459 - 05/17/13 05:47 AM

Quote:

Quote:

so it became a good night to have a beer, read a book,




So where are all the photos everyone?






Maybe they didn't have room for a camera? or just forgot one/ or maybe they're just keeping in suspense?


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FJA
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Unknownastron]
      #5866747 - 05/17/13 09:59 AM

Quote:

I'm back home after spending 3 extra days in Ft. Davis. Made a couple of daytime trip to the observatory and my wife and I had a good afternoon and evening observing wildlife at the state park.
I was disappointed in the weather as were most people but for me just getting to go after missing last year while recovering from heart surgery made it a big success. When you have a chance you will never go to another TSP (or even see a night sky again), go through all the financial consequences of major surgery, disability and retirement for almost a year, then worry you may not be able to handle the altitude any kind of weather at the TSP is a success. By the way, I handled the thin air with no trouble. I missed some observing as I was a bit too tired to stay up all night waiting to see if it clears. But a little Sunday, a good Monday night, a little Tuesday late and unexpected Friday for observing I will take. This was a very strange weather pattern for the area. Even a guide at the observatory commented on how three weather patterns, from different directions, had dominated at different times during the past 10 days. But hey, weather patterns are weird everywhere. Baseball game called in Kansas City on may 1 due to SNOW?
I give up at predicting any weather until it is happening.
I will be at TSP next year and every year until my or my wife's health prevents it. I am renewed. I am confident again.
Clear skies and clean glass,
Mike




That's good to hear, Mike.

I hope to catch up with you at TSP next year, I am hoping to be there.


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HeyJP
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: FJA]
      #5867258 - 05/17/13 01:57 PM Attachment (18 downloads)

I had a great time at The Party! Total immersion getting into astrophoto. Sat through the 5 hours of workshops each of the 5 days and did first-light on my Hyperstar on "the beast", my CPC 1100. Here's a shot of Comet PanSTARRS on the "unexpected clearing" on Friday night, as it recedes from the earth. This is 16 frames of 30 seconds (8 minutes total) at ISO 6400 with my Canon 6D and f/2.0 with Hyperstar.

Now this is fun!

Jim in Boulder


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DeanS
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: HeyJP]
      #5867813 - 05/17/13 05:46 PM

Great image Jim!

That alone was worth the trip.


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Dave Mitsky
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5868226 - 05/17/13 09:53 PM

I'll second that. Comet PanSTARRS was quite a sight during the star party. I've never before seen a comet look quite like PanSTARRS did.

Dave Mitsky


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StephAdministrator
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #5869245 - 05/18/13 12:28 PM

That's a lovely shot, Jim!

*sigh* You people just don't know how to take pics at a star party. Why, back in my TSP days, we had pages and pages of people doing stuff and having fun!


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FJA
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Steph]
      #5869250 - 05/18/13 12:32 PM

Quote:

That's a lovely shot, Jim!

*sigh* You people just don't know how to take pics at a star party. Why, back in my TSP days, we had pages and pages of people doing stuff and having fun!




I dunno. Just can't get the staff these days. *shakes head*


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Unknownastron
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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Steph]
      #5869562 - 05/18/13 03:26 PM

Jim, a gorgeious picture of Panstarrs!
Clear skies and clean glass,
Mike


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Svezda
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Reged: 06/01/07

Loc: Texas
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5871620 - 05/19/13 02:31 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Thanks to Alvin and to Perry Remaklus of Willmann-Bell, I'm back in business with my beloved Megastar! It wasn't real easy to figure out, but unless it stops working again , it should be good to go.




Glad that you able to track Perry down. Funny how you called his answering machine and he is probably only 100 feet away.



Hope for more clear nights. I really hope that TSP 2014 is not in May-June timeframe, if it is, I'm skipping it.

Alvin



Whenever it is in future years, we all hope to see you there! I've been 26 times now in the last 27 years and of course it is traditional that the star party is almost always in the month of May...and it is also traditional that mostly the weather is fantastic for astronomy then. There have been a number of TSP's in May with 7 for 7 wonderful, clear nights. I don't remember the couple that were in the first week of June very well (Mike Planchon is great for remembering which nights of which years were good or bad - he can recite long lists of them) but I recall that they were good but wayyy too hot for my taste. The ones that were in late April were by no means all good. April in much of Texas is known for stormy and even violent weather. I think that over the last 27 years I've had at least three quarters excellent conditions at TSP and maybe half of the remainder 'good' with maybe the other half of the rest of the years not good. Only two were 'washouts' - the one year in the early 90's where the winning astrophoto was a lightning photo and then in 2005 (IIRC) where it was cloudy/misty each and every awful day. We just don't have such consistent weather out there (like most locations) that you can predict that each and every year if TSP is held in week 'x' of month 'y' that conditions will be either mostly clear or mostly cloudy and stormy.


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Svezda
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/01/07

Loc: Texas
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: derangedhermit]
      #5871636 - 05/19/13 02:40 PM

Quote:

(edited)
Everything we brought, including our skin, is saturated in fine dust and perforated by sandspurs.




Join the club! You are now a TSP'er! I have 'Prude Dust' on each piece of eqpt I've ever brought out there, some of it from 1987, the first year I was there. I am convinced from experience that even hosing off stuff doesn't eliminate it. The best hope is firmly wiping with wet cloths, but small crevices which aren't easily accessible shall remain saturated with Prude Dust for future archaeologists to analyze.


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Svezda
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/01/07

Loc: Texas
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: galaxy_jason]
      #5871645 - 05/19/13 02:43 PM

Quote:

Capturing lots of time lapse video and will put together a movie when I get home. Here is a preview done before blackout so there are some ground lights...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZiZk3jX9Qo



Love it!! You got the camera moving horizontally like those incredible videos I've seen in the last year or so of the Milky Way rising from various midwestern plains locations (IIRC). I hope to see a longer video from you soon to show others who don't know much about astronomy or the TSP experience.


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FJA
Sketcher Extraordinaire
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Reged: 11/17/04

Loc: 50.65° N, 1.15° W
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Svezda]
      #5871729 - 05/19/13 03:25 PM

I've still got Prude Dust in my holdall from my visits. So, it's well-travelled Transatlantic Prude Dust...

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KenSikes
member


Reged: 01/17/10

Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: FJA]
      #5876870 - 05/21/13 08:24 PM

The TSP has been over for a wek and still no pictures ????????? Did everyone forget their cameras ?

Ken Sikes


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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: KenSikes]
      #5876954 - 05/21/13 09:14 PM

Quote:

The TSP has been over for a wek and still no pictures ????????? Did everyone forget their cameras ?

Ken Sikes




I just didn't take any. One star party looks like all the others to me.

The only thing I really wish I had a picture of is the upper field at night. I went up there for the first time at night to visit a friend and I thought I had walked onto the landing site set of "Close Encounters". Holy smokes, after I got to the west side of the field and turned around, all I saw was a couple of acres of red computer monitors and every color of flashing LEDs. It could have been a JPL or NASA control center. I have never seen anything like it before. Bizarre comes to mind.

I usually hang out down on the middle field where it's less crowded and where the "less serious" folks hang out.

I did take this picture on my way out of Fort Davis:

Hwy 17, West Texas



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DeanS
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Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5877574 - 05/22/13 09:05 AM Attachment (8 downloads)

Ok I will add a few iPhone pics.

1st in line.


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DeanS
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Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5877576 - 05/22/13 09:06 AM Attachment (15 downloads)

Drug store

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DeanS
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Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5877578 - 05/22/13 09:07 AM Attachment (9 downloads)

Best bar in town.

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DeanS
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Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5877581 - 05/22/13 09:08 AM Attachment (11 downloads)

gang of rough looking outlaws riding thru town.

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DeanS
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Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5877585 - 05/22/13 09:09 AM Attachment (10 downloads)

Wiping some Prude Ranch dust off the scope.

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DeanS
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Reged: 07/12/05

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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5877586 - 05/22/13 09:10 AM Attachment (12 downloads)

Old McDonald..........

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DeanS
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Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5877590 - 05/22/13 09:13 AM Attachment (11 downloads)

Rocks!

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DeanS
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Reged: 07/12/05

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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5877783 - 05/22/13 11:12 AM Attachment (12 downloads)

Here is an upper field pic a friend took.

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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5878078 - 05/22/13 01:39 PM

Quote:


The only thing I really wish I had a picture of is the upper field at night. I went up there for the first time at night to visit a friend and I thought I had walked onto the landing site set of "Close Encounters". Holy smokes, after I got to the west side of the field and turned around, all I saw was a couple of acres of red computer monitors and every color of flashing LEDs. It could have been a JPL or NASA control center. I have never seen anything like it before. Bizarre comes to mind.




There is a really good scene of this in Jason's video of the Texas Star Party on a separate thread starting at 3:27 on the timeline.


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Svezda
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/01/07

Loc: Texas
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5878180 - 05/22/13 02:26 PM

Quote:


I did take this picture on my way out of Fort Davis:

Hwy 17, West Texas





This is a wonderful photo! I wish I could save a copy, but it's restricted on Flickr. Is there any chance you'd let interested people have a copy? Thanks! I love Fort Davis and the Big Bend area in general and like to save my favorite photos from there.


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Svezda
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/01/07

Loc: Texas
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5878200 - 05/22/13 02:34 PM

Quote:

I have not had time to work on any of my images yet on my desktop at home. Here is M100 I processed on a laptop at the star party. Has some potential with all the smaller fainter galaxies in the back ground.

Taken with the AGO Newt and QSI640

Dean



Incredible image! Astronomy Picture of the Day material? Great job.


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Svezda
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/01/07

Loc: Texas
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5878218 - 05/22/13 02:39 PM

Quote:

Hi Dave,

Nice meeting you and Rob at the TSP. I thought my 1250 mile one-way rip was long, but 1900, ouch!

Next May I'll be moving back to Flagstaff, so I most likely will not return to the TSP again. I agree that late may will most likely be a hot one.

All the best!



I guess being from Texas I don't get the too hot thing, because Fort Davis was always an oasis /away from/ the hot weather in the rest of the state! It is so dry there that hot isn't as hot as elsewhere. Plus, the nights are /much more comfortable/ than the 24-25F I experienced last time in late April at TSP and even during this early May TSP I recorded temps around 35F for the low a couple early mornings. Also, a lot of people spend the days sleeping or attending indoor talks during the hottest part of the days. I would definitely not miss TSP due to thinking it was too hot unless one has health issues with it. I wouldn't miss due to the expected bad weather unless one is very good with a crystal ball!


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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Svezda]
      #5878227 - 05/22/13 02:42 PM

Quote:

Quote:


I did take this picture on my way out of Fort Davis:

Hwy 17, West Texas





This is a wonderful photo! I wish I could save a copy, but it's restricted on Flisckr. Is there any chance you'd let interested people have a copy? Thanks! I love Fort Davis and the Big Bend area in general and like to save my favorite photos from there.




PM sent


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Svezda
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/01/07

Loc: Texas
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #5878235 - 05/22/13 02:44 PM

Quote:

Quote:

My summary...
This was my 3rd TSP, and probably the least productive. If I recall correctly, here is a night by night recap:

EDIT

Tuesday night was so-so. I started working on an older Wagner list and discovered that most of the objects were very low to the horizon in the south. I spent a lot of time sitting on the ground at my dob's eyepiece. I eventually gave up on that and resumed the Herschel II list. I was having very little luck. Transparency was just 3/5 and I was struggling with mag 12 to 13 galaxies in Hydra. When a mag 14 galaxy came up on my list, I knew it wasn't going to happen. The cold that I had picked up was winning. I gave up at about 1:30.
[EDITED]
Actually, Tuesday night/Wednesday morning offered the best transparency of the entire week. You quit too soon. The Milky Way really kicked in during the early morning.

Wednesday night was overcast.

There were fairly long patches of clear sky on Thursday night. My friend Robert and I observed off and on until nearly 3:00 a.m. Around that time, it began to sprinkle slightly.

Since Robert and I had packed everything up on Friday, we resorted to binocular observing and a few views through a nearby Dob on Friday night. I had already finished the binocular list on Tuesday but Robert was able to qualify for a TSP pin with his observations that night. He also received the Galaxy Illusions pin for his observations earlier in the week.

We drove over 1900 miles to get to the Prude Ranch so it was a long return trip for us too.

I'm afraid that next year's late May TSP may be too hot for me, as well.

Dave Mitsky



Yes indeed - Tuesday night was classic TSP sky...it wasn't the best, but I ranked it as an 8 out of 10 for Milky Way detail, my way of getting a quick quantitative idea of how transparent a TSP night is. It wasn't just for a little while, either - it was for hours. You do have to stay up late, since the Milky Way doesn't get high until quite late and also you never know what will happen with the skies in the good number of hours from after midnight until twilight starts. I find it harder and harder to stay awake and alert for observing after 1am as I age, but I sure try since often the best conditions seem to happen after 1am or so.


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Svezda
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/01/07

Loc: Texas
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Unknownastron]
      #5878250 - 05/22/13 02:48 PM

Quote:

I'm back home after spending 3 extra days in Ft. Davis. Made a couple of daytime trip to the observatory and my wife and I had a good afternoon and evening observing wildlife at the state park.
I was disappointed in the weather as were most people but for me just getting to go after missing last year while recovering from heart surgery made it a big success. When you have a chance you will never go to another TSP (or even see a night sky again), go through all the financial consequences of major surgery, disability and retirement for almost a year, then worry you may not be able to handle the altitude any kind of weather at the TSP is a success. By the way, I handled the thin air with no trouble. I missed some observing as I was a bit too tired to stay up all night waiting to see if it clears. But a little Sunday, a good Monday night, a little Tuesday late and unexpected Friday for observing I will take. This was a very strange weather pattern for the area. Even a guide at the observatory commented on how three weather patterns, from different directions, had dominated at different times during the past 10 days. But hey, weather patterns are weird everywhere. Baseball game called in Kansas City on may 1 due to SNOW?
I give up at predicting any weather until it is happening.
I will be at TSP next year and every year until my or my wife's health prevents it. I am renewed. I am confident again.
Clear skies and clean glass,
Mike



It was so good to have you and Anna back again, Mike, and it's great to hear that you have plans to be back every year if at all possible, which has been my plan since my first year at TSP in 1987...one was enough to make TSP a permanent annual vacation for me.


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FJA
Sketcher Extraordinaire
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Reged: 11/17/04

Loc: 50.65° N, 1.15° W
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Svezda]
      #5878615 - 05/22/13 05:27 PM

Thanks for the photos, guys

I'm sorry the weather was poor in the second half of the week, that's the problem with star parties.


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DeanS
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Reged: 07/12/05

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Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: FJA]
      #6103802 - 09/27/13 10:03 AM Attachment (4 downloads)

I saw on the TSP website that Jim Trees has passed away. I think most everyone has had to pass the watchful eye of cowboy Jim as you come and go thru the gates over the many years. I imagine Jim is now doing guard duty at those pearly white gates.

RIP Jim.
http://texasstarparty.org/


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