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Texas Star Party 2011

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#1 LivingNDixie

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 09:22 PM

Well it is kinda getting that time to start seeing what everyone plans to do this next year. I will be there for sure. I have even decided to volunteer for the star party and was looking and some of the jobs have changed I think. Wasn't there a job for a couple of people to help run a weather computer? Well I am still going to volunteer for something, except the photographer since I don't have a camera up to the task.

#2 DeanS

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 09:36 AM

I worked the gate a couple years which was interesting, cowboy Jim is quite the character. Then they would let you in a day early in exchange for this, not sure if they do that anymore.

#3 LivingNDixie

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 09:53 AM

I worked the gate a couple years which was interesting, cowboy Jim is quite the character. Then they would let you in a day early in exchange for this, not sure if they do that anymore.


Yeah the front gate would be nice, only thing is it would be easy to get a really bad sunburn I would think. I got some time to think about it.

#4 FJA

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 11:26 AM

In wish I was going in 2011 but can't unfortunately.

#5 LivingNDixie

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 01:23 PM

In wish I was going in 2011 but can't unfortunately.


Sorry to hear that Faith, maybe in 2012!

#6 eric_zeiner

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 04:49 PM

Where and when will it be? I'd love to take a road trip.

#7 LivingNDixie

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 08:21 PM

Where and when will it be? I'd love to take a road trip.


May 29 - June 5 2011

They will put the forms up late November.

http://www.texasstarparty.org/

#8 bicparker

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 10:50 AM

Preston,

One of the big changes in volunteer staff is the Walk-Through Inspection Team. I'm not sure how totally set we are for that, but I would guess that Dave would welcome any additional volunteers and I think you would be a good person for that job. This is a really critical function that TSP is wanting to enlarge into a team (beyond the traditional walk-through group, which was primarily Dave and Steve, and as of late, myself). Lots of folks think that it is just sort of the "light police" duty, but it really involves a lot of other things that can make a big difference to the safety and comfort of the party. Plus you get to carry a radio!!! (woo hoo!).

Gate duty is always interesting because you get to meet a lot of the attendees, but, as you pointed out, there is a bit of sun factor. There are of course, the registration, dark out, power grid, and program teams. These are all pretty interesting jobs and will give you quite an insight as to what it takes to make a star party of this magnitude work.

Let me know offline if you have any specific questions. TSP is a big party and I am sure we could use your talents.

#9 LivingNDixie

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 12:20 PM

Yeah I saw that one about the walk through, maybe. Either way I am going to volunteer for something this year. I got to go in 2009 and enjoy it, feel like I should pitch in this coming time!

Do you have any idea how they decide the speakers? With all the recent science on exoplanets lately, it would be awesome to get someone with expertise in that field.

#10 bicparker

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 02:21 PM

I know they have had exoplanet speakers at past TSP's and I am sure they will have more in the future with Kepler's apparent successes.

Barbara Wilson has been the program chairperson for the evening feature speakers for several years now. She generally spends the prior year getting those people lined up (and in some cases, it takes more than a year to get them booked).

The afternoon speakers for Wednesday through Saturday are done through a separate group that:

1) Take program proposals from those who want to give a talk. As far as I know they generally are able to accommodate most speaker requests, but they do have time and scheduling constraints that may keep them from accepting all of them.
2) Schedule programs that may align with the evening programs
3) Feature certain guest speakers or programs that could not be in the evening programs
4) Schedule presentations that have to do with event activities such as Larry's Advanced Observing List, the ATM competition, et al.

As you might imagine, that makes for a pretty full schedule for the afternoon presentations.

Tuesday afternoon programs are dedicated to vendor presentations and the TSP Vendor Committee manages those presentations. They have had some highlights in the past, such as when Televue announced the Ethos (and gave it its first light under really dark skies!) and Obsession announced their ultra light dob.

#11 edwincjones

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 04:30 AM

I have never been to TSP-I think this may be the year to go.

edj

#12 LivingNDixie

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 12:07 PM

I know they have had exoplanet speakers at past TSP's and I am sure they will have more in the future with Kepler's apparent successes.

Barbara Wilson has been the program chairperson for the evening feature speakers for several years now. She generally spends the prior year getting those people lined up (and in some cases, it takes more than a year to get them booked).

The afternoon speakers for Wednesday through Saturday are done through a separate group that:

1) Take program proposals from those who want to give a talk. As far as I know they generally are able to accommodate most speaker requests, but they do have time and scheduling constraints that may keep them from accepting all of them.
2) Schedule programs that may align with the evening programs
3) Feature certain guest speakers or programs that could not be in the evening programs
4) Schedule presentations that have to do with event activities such as Larry's Advanced Observing List, the ATM competition, et al.

As you might imagine, that makes for a pretty full schedule for the afternoon presentations.

Tuesday afternoon programs are dedicated to vendor presentations and the TSP Vendor Committee manages those presentations. They have had some highlights in the past, such as when Televue announced the Ethos (and gave it its first light under really dark skies!) and Obsession announced their ultra light dob.


I will try and email Barbara tonight, I saw this awesome web presentation by a astronomer at MIT about exoplanets, it was part of a series on life in the universe. She did an awesome job of explaining much about the study of these objects, while keeping it understandable but packed with science.

#13 LivingNDixie

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 12:07 PM

I have never been to TSP-I think this may be the year to go.

edj


You should!!! :)

#14 eric_zeiner

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 05:29 PM

Where and when will it be? I'd love to take a road trip.


May 29 - June 5 2011

They will put the forms up late November.

http://www.texasstarparty.org/


You know this sounds really possible and as it is, my employer by then will owe me vacation for three years.

#15 DeanS

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 08:42 PM

It is a great star party, my favorite.

#16 Unknownastron

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 01:37 AM

Too soon to tell if we can make it this year. Finances better but still not stable. Possibility of attendance exists and we will do what we can to max out the chances.
One of the depressive thoughts I am fighting is that when I cancelled last year I believed I had seen Ft. Davis for the last time. I must convincve myself that is a depressive distortion and get rid of it. I'm working on it.

#17 FJA

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 09:30 AM

Too soon to tell if we can make it this year. Finances better but still not stable. Possibility of attendance exists and we will do what we can to max out the chances.
One of the depressive thoughts I am fighting is that when I cancelled last year I believed I had seen Ft. Davis for the last time. I must convincve myself that is a depressive distortion and get rid of it. I'm working on it.


Not wanting to go off topic too much, but that's a manifestation of depression, as you acknowledge, and not a psychic premonition. I'm no expert but I've 'been there' (and still 'am there' a bit, today is not a good day) and I know exactly how unpleasant, and downright frightening, thoughts like that are. I hope you feel better as soon as possible.

I hope you can attend, TSP isn't the same otherwise! :)

#18 LivingNDixie

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 10:42 AM

Too soon to tell if we can make it this year. Finances better but still not stable. Possibility of attendance exists and we will do what we can to max out the chances.
One of the depressive thoughts I am fighting is that when I cancelled last year I believed I had seen Ft. Davis for the last time. I must convincve myself that is a depressive distortion and get rid of it. I'm working on it.


Not wanting to go off topic too much, but that's a manifestation of depression, as you acknowledge, and not a psychic premonition. I'm no expert but I've 'been there' (and still 'am there' a bit, today is not a good day) and I know exactly how unpleasant, and downright frightening, thoughts like that are. I hope you feel better as soon as possible.

I hope you can attend, TSP isn't the same otherwise! :)


I agree with Faith, I have had a very up and down year. So for me focusing on TSP next year has been really helping. Another thing to consider, if finances are the concern... try cutting out small things in the day (like eating lunch out from work or sodas). I have sworn myself off of the vending machines here at work. When I feel like a soda I just transfer a dollar to my savings account. At this rate I will have TSP paid for sometime next year.

Just something to think about... Hope this helps.

#19 LivingNDixie

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 02:38 PM

I have been surfing around on wikipedia some, and well discovered this...
Marfa Parda

#20 stevecoe

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 08:11 PM

I sent an email to the TSP staff requesting to be a speaker for 2011.

Looking forward to it;
Steve Coe

#21 LivingNDixie

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 08:57 PM

I sent an email to the TSP staff requesting to be a speaker for 2011.

Looking forward to it;
Steve Coe


Cool I just sent a email for volunteering!

#22 Joe F Gafford

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 11:32 PM

I have been surfing around on wikipedia some, and well discovered this...
Marfa Parda

Um, try Marfa lights.
Joe.

#23 LivingNDixie

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 08:15 AM

I have been surfing around on wikipedia some, and well discovered this...
Marfa Parda

Um, try Marfa lights.
Joe.


Oh that is on my list too, probably go out there during the day. There is also an interesting art museum at what used to be a military base during World War II. Last time I went in 2009 I only did the McDonald Observatory tour. This year with taking the Prius I can justify exploring more. I also found this too, and plan on visiting it http://cdri.org/

I also found a website that a driving tour of the geology points of interest in the Fort Davis and area, that should also make a good project for one day as well!

#24 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 10:37 PM

[ This year with taking the Prius I can justify exploring more.


Are those allowed on the road in Texas? :lol: :tonofbricks:

#25 LivingNDixie

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 11:27 PM

[ This year with taking the Prius I can justify exploring more.


Are those allowed on the road in Texas? :lol: :tonofbricks:


Ya know I think in 2009 I saw one there. I probably will have to walk to the dish though since the low ground clearance of Sproul (sp?) Road that is just east of the Prude Ranch.

Right now on my list is:
Marfa Prada
Marfa Lights (viewing area-- probably go during the day)
Old USAAF airfield(s)--one is now an art museum
Driving geology trip-- I tried finding the link to this, but it seems to be gone
Desert Museum
McDonald Observatory--maybe went back in 2009
Gliding--not sure what that will cost, but if it isn't too costly.

I might sign up for one of those observing runs at McDonald if they offer that again.

I heard back on the volunteering, hopefully I can get an early arrival date. It would be nice coming from Alabama :)


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