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Golden State Star Party (California) GSSP 2019

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#51 BradFran

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 05:33 PM

Thanks! Keep us updated. Wishing we were there!



#52 GilATM

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 11:30 AM

Just returned from our first time at GSSP.   A well organized event, great site, will be back! 

 

Good viewing every night.   My recently acquired meter showed 21.7 on the first, third and fourth nights.  But the show stopper was the 21.9 on the second night (I spent my time happily viewing all those dim little chart objects that are usually invisible).   Seeing was good every night (surprisingly, looking at Jupiter, it was best during early twilight, then worsened, then improved late at night).    On the last night saw dim evidence of the bubble nebula but clearly saw the crescent nebula in Cygnus - a first for me.

 

Very polite crowd, some interesting scopes (a huge 22" (24"?) on a german eq. mount!)

 

Great neighbors (Dave and Jim) made me, my wife Lisa, and Clyde the "good dog" welcome and entertained!

 

Thanks to all the organizers for creating such a great star party!

 

Gil


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#53 WadeH237

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 11:32 AM

Well, we got home from GSSP last night.

 

I didn't give a report for Monday night because I ended up going to bed early.  Shortly after dusk, I got really tired and went in to take a 1 hour nap.  I got up again around midnight and was still pretty tired.  I did step out and walk around for a bit.  The sky was clear, but grey, so it seemed like there was some sky glow.

 

We leave early in the morning on after the last night, so I spent Tuesday slowly packing up everything but the imaging tent.  Unless the last night is the only clear night (which is was not), I plan on getting to sleep early and letting the automation run the imaging stuff.

 

So out of 4 nights, I got in one good, long night of observing on Sunday.  In that time, I alternated between the 4" refractor, the two 14" scopes, and binoculars.  It was a great night for me, and I feel like I did what I wanted to do visually.

 

As for imaging, the first night was all test, tune and take calibration frames.  I collected 3 full nights of data on Sunday through Tuesday nights.  I didn't have a plan going into the star party, but the Cocoon Nebula was in the neighborhood when I started looking around on Sunday night, so that was this year's target.  Sunday night was 50% Ha and 50% OIII.  After looking at the OIII data on Monday, it looked that there isn't anything significant in the area in the way of OIII, so Monday night was 100% Ha all night.  And then on Tuesday night, I spent the night collecting RGB data.  The final image is going to be an HaRGB.

 

My wife and I had lunch at the Frosty on Sunday, but otherwise hung around the camp site.  It was pretty windy each afternoon, but always calmed down (stopped pretty suddenly) each night near dusk.  I think that next year, I'll have my wife plan some day trips.

 

All in all, it was a great event.



#54 Mr. Bill

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 01:14 PM

Some suggestions for day trips....

 

Lava Bed Nat'l Monument

 

Hat Creek SETI 

 

Lunch/dinner at Antonio's in Alturas



#55 adamland

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 02:38 PM

Just returned from our first time at GSSP.   A well organized event, great site, will be back! 

 

Good viewing every night.   My recently acquired meter showed 21.7 on the first, third and fourth nights.  But the show stopper was the 21.9 on the second night (I spent my time happily viewing all those dim little chart objects that are usually invisible).   Seeing was good every night (surprisingly, looking at Jupiter, it was best during early twilight, then worsened, then improved late at night).    On the last night saw dim evidence of the bubble nebula but clearly saw the crescent nebula in Cygnus - a first for me.

 

Very polite crowd, some interesting scopes (a huge 22" (24"?) on a german eq. mount!)

 

Great neighbors (Dave and Jim) made me, my wife Lisa, and Clyde the "good dog" welcome and entertained!

 

Thanks to all the organizers for creating such a great star party!

 

Gil

Hey Gil, I was next to Dave; was nice to meet you, Lisa, and Clyde! 


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#56 Solar Ken

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 10:05 PM

It was pretty windy each afternoon, but always calmed down (stopped pretty suddenly) each night near dusk.  

 

Windy afternoons are to be expected, but my wife and I thought the wind on Monday afternoon was stronger than what we've experienced before. Amazing though, how quickly to dies down in the evening. I had a great time trying out my new Lumicon "Gen 3" OIII filter. It really brought out detail in the Veil. I was able to see parts of the Veil that were not visible when comparing it to my older Orion OIII filter. Already looking forward to next year.


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#57 GilATM

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 02:15 AM

Hey Gil, I was next to Dave; was nice to meet you, Lisa, and Clyde! 

You too!  And thanks for loaning me the 2x barlow!   (The central star of m57 was still hiding!)

Gil



#58 WadeH237

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 10:39 AM

I had a great time trying out my new Lumicon "Gen 3" OIII filter. It really brought out detail in the Veil. I was able to see parts of the Veil that were not visible when comparing it to my older Orion OIII filter.

My gear purchase at the star party this year was a TeleVue 2x PowerMate.

 

Most of my telescopes over the years have been long focal length, so I have a great collection of long focal length eyepieces.  I've been wanting to get a bit more out of my 4" refractor.  With my eyepiece collection, it's been great as a wide field instrument, but I wanted to try doing some more serious planetary observing and double star splitting.  I went back and forth between getting some short focal length eyepieces or getting a good barlow.  From a price/quality standpoint, the PowerMate seemed to make the most sense.  My shortest eyepiece, is a Pentax 7mm, so now with the PowerMate, I can get an effective 3.5mm eyepiece.

 

The refractor gave nice views of Saturn (for some reason, even though it was lower than Jupiter on the horizon, it seemed more stable).  It split the Double-Double nicely - and with perfect diffraction rings that I don't see in my bigger scopes.

 

I am pretty happy with it.

 

I find it interesting that you are seeing more details with the Lumicon OIII filter than the Orion.  Most of my visual filters are Lumicon, but the exception is my OIII, which is an Orion (it was a gift from my wife).  I may see if I can get Oregon Observatory to bring up a Gen 3 Lumicon OIII to OSP so that I can try one out.



#59 Solar Ken

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 02:15 PM

Wade:

Hopefully Oregon Observatory will have a Gen 3 Lumicon OIII in stock. I checked a number of online vendors (forgot to check Oregon Observatory), and found most were back ordered or out of stock. Finally found one at Agena Astro. They had two, but a couple days later they were also out of stock.

 

If you're able to try one out, please post your thoughts.



#60 Stardust Dave

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 02:40 PM

Really had a good experience this year.  

Didn't last till dawn like previous years- the cold was unexpected , but welcomed the cooler days. 

 

Learned placement on the field was the reason the harvesters had affected my sessions other years. 

Vehicles tents and crown of the field blocked most all the lights out this year. I observed with a hood anyways. smile.gif

 

Most the better seeing seemed earlier in the evening . Despite the poor seeing after hours through the night/AM I was able to share some high power views of Neptune's tiny disk.

Although I didn't leave my spot much I ended up sharing many a view with people walking the field at night.

Was fun to share the spiral arms of M51, M101 and the edge on 5907 and 4565 4565A its fainter companion.  

And sooo many globulars every size and brightness . Many came back to thank me the next day for the views .

Many came back for seconds other nights . Good feeling to know you've made an impression on the drop-in observers.  

Met lots of people just getting into Astronomy and saw even more young people than previous years.

 

Neighbor had a 25" - interesting to compare the 20" and 25" views.  

Surprised to see the strobe the third night (?) apparently there is a small airport in Fall River Mills.  

Only stayed for 3 nights , and intend to return next year.  What did you all think of that incredibly bright meteor , who saw it?

 

I was focused on Saturn and when the meteor lit up the sky - thought it was headlights and pinched my eyes closed. 

Was too late by the time I looked over my right shoulder. I do know it lit up the filed like daylight.


Edited by Stardust Dave, 05 July 2019 - 02:42 PM.

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#61 WadeH237

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 05:54 PM

Learned placement on the field was the reason the harvesters had affected my sessions other years.

The harvesters were not out this year.
 

What did you all think of that incredibly bright meteor , who saw it?
 
I was focused on Saturn and when the meteor lit up the sky - thought it was headlights and pinched my eyes closed. 
Was too late by the time I looked over my right shoulder. I do know it lit up the filed like daylight.

I was looking away when it started, but by the way the field brightened, I knew that it wasn't headlights and immediately looked up (I've seen a few of these before).  I was wearing reading glasses at the time, so my view was a bit blurry.  It was very bright and crossed the sky from the south to the northwest.  It crossed probably 60 or 80 degrees of sky and broke up into small, bright pieces at the end.  Spectacular.


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#62 Stardust Dave

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 06:20 PM


"I was looking away when it started, but by the way the field brightened, I knew that it wasn't headlights and immediately looked up (I've seen a few of these before).  I was wearing reading glasses at the time, so my view was a bit blurry.  It was very bright and crossed the sky from the south to the northwest.  It crossed probably 60 or 80 degrees of sky and broke up into small, bright pieces at the end.  Spectacular."

 

your description is great. Thanks!

 

Thats what I thought I saw corner of eye , a couple 2-3 pieces .Did I imagine a smoke train ?

Although I would argue the harvesters were out . 



#63 WadeH237

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 11:22 PM

A smoke train is certainly possible.

 

As for the harvesters, I saw cars with high beams coming down highway 299, shining on the west side of the site (this is typical).  I did not see harvesters out in the fields between the site and Bieber.  When the harvesters are there, they are much, much brighter than anything that I saw this year, and they can be clearly heard as well.  The only night that I was out late was Sunday, so if they were out on one of the other nights, I might have missed them.



#64 Cowtau

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 01:18 AM

This was my first year at GSSP, and I want to thank each and every one of you for making it a great experience.  Everyone was very friendly and helpful.  I lost my hat on Sunday after dinner, and a bright young couple told me they thought they had seen it at the Pancake breakfast on Tuesday in the main tent (I had met them at the dinner in Bieber on Tuesday night).  On my way back to the camp, there it was at the main tent.  Now a hat might not seem like much, but this had a 1930's Buck Roger's Solar Space Cadet's pin on the crown.  I had my nine year old grand daughter with me, and to all of you who took the time to talk to her like an adult, asking her about her interests in astronomy, a double thank you, it really made it a great time for her.


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#65 JMW

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 08:57 PM

This is my first year since 2008 that I never even turned on a fan to stay cool. We loved the temps and just wore a little more at night to stay warm.

 

We just got back today. We went directly to Lassen Volcanic NP right after and spent another 3 nights there. Still lot of higher elevation snow but we managed to hike over 20 miles on three days.


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#66 BradFran

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 03:21 PM

Anyone have photos or video from GSSP 2019?



#67 BradFran

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 12:27 PM

Found nice drone footage here:

https://www.youtube....h?v=pbImsGubuIE


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#68 Mikefp

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 04:07 PM

Found nice drone footage here:

https://www.youtube....h?v=pbImsGubuIE

Very nice video.    Documentation that I was there!


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#69 Stardust Dave

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 12:22 PM

Was fun to pick out my camp and friends camps.  The big dobs just look like toys .

Nice drone footage.

 

Any data on number of attendees?

Sure filled up quick Saturday afternoon.

 

 

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#70 WadeH237

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 07:25 PM

Sure filled up quick Saturday afternoon.

And it emptied out pretty early in the week in our area at the south end of the field.

 

I suspect that there were a fair amount of people who were just there for the weekend.  It's a far enough drive for me, that even 4 nights is pretty short for the work involved.  I'd love to see GSSP add a 5th night.


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#71 CA Curtis 17

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 11:32 PM

Wade,

 

I agree.  Given the fact that we cannot count on the skies cooperating every night, a 5th night might give us a better shot for at least 3 good nights.  Then I wouldn't feel so bad getting to bed early on an iffy night to catch up on my rest for a longer night the next day.  

 

Regards,

Curtis


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#72 audioaficionado

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 06:08 PM

A 5th night has been asked for repeatedly over the years they've had it. The committee just won't have it. The Albaughs are up for it, but it seems it's a non starter .

#73 chakel

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 06:46 PM

I'm sure that if a poll was sent to the email list of registered attendees from this years event many would opt to extend the event for an extra observing night. For many, this has become an annual event and the possibility of an extra night, given the effort to arrive, set up and break down your home/observing site on a patch of the Frosty Acres ranch, is too good to pass up. As we saw again this year, the seeing varied each evening.

 

I would vote for a 5th night.

 

John


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#74 Solar Ken

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 11:39 PM

A 5th night has been asked for repeatedly over the years they've had it. The committee just won't have it. The Albaughs are up for it, but it seems it's a non starter .

There have been a few other suggestions over the years but they fall on deaf ears.


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#75 Solar Ken

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 01:24 AM

Have the official 2020 dates for GSSP been announced?




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