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Cherry Springs Star Party 2019 registration now open

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#51 MikeMiller

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 08:24 AM

This will be my first year also.

How it will compare will depend on your home conditions. If home is a dark sky area then you might not see much difference. If home is highly light polluted, like mine, then the difference should be significant.


Unless you live in the absolute middle of nowhere or out west, you will see a major difference. :)

The best thing at Cherry Springs is that there is no horizon light pollution, especially to the south. So things that are perpetually low, like most of Sagittarius, look great.

Late May/Early June is great because you get galaxies in Virgo early in the evening, and the Milky Way directly overhead as it gets later.
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#52 Lilypad

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 03:26 PM

Hi,

 

I got my passes but my coworker did not make it in time. So if there is someone who is selling their pass, please reach out to me.

 

Thank you and hoping for clear skies!



#53 digsetcrush

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 05:56 PM

i will also be in attendance and hope to meet you guys.  My primary target is the milky way.  question:  what would be easy targets for AP that time of year?  anything, DSOs, etc.  I will be using celestron c80ed on AVX mount using astropi3 software on raspberry pi3 board, with modified canon t3i.


Edited by digsetcrush, 11 April 2019 - 05:58 PM.


#54 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 09:49 PM

i will also be in attendance and hope to meet you guys.  My primary target is the milky way.  question:  what would be easy targets for AP that time of year?  anything, DSOs, etc.  I will be using celestron c80ed on AVX mount using astropi3 software on raspberry pi3 board, with modified canon t3i.

Well, the early part of the night is galaxy season: M51, M65 et al, M81, M82, M101, etc.

 

The summer Milky Way will be culminating around 2:30 a.m. so M8, M17, M20, M22, and so on will be good targets.

Be sure to maintain proper lighting etiquette.

 

Dave Mitsky

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#55 scottmm2012

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 05:37 AM

I'll be there as well...Hope to introduce myself.



#56 digsetcrush

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 02:00 PM

thanks.  will do about lighting.



#57 George N

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 10:19 AM

Thanks Ed, should be pretty epic then. Looks like I waited too long for this one - the registration is closed. I live in PA so I'll try and get out there later in the summer. Enjoy!

 

There's always May!!!  I've had at least two years with a better 'run' of good nights in May that at CSSP the next month (those years).

 

May at Cherry Springs features: galaxies stay up even longer!! Nights are longer. Only a third as many people.

 

On the other hand, on my May trips to the park I've found - the grass is often un-cut, clear nights could get down into the low 40's or upper 30's, no food, vendors, presentations.... the bears are hungrier ;)

 

One nice thing about 'off-times' visits to Cherry Springs - you are free to pick your own time (who cares if the moon comes up at 3:30?? Or goes down at 11) and if the weather looks really bad - you don't feel bad about not going.

 

BTW, I've had some very fine observing runs at Cherry Springs in October - at least two epic trips featured 4 clear nights in a row!

 

Alas, I've come down with some sort of upper respiratory infection and probably won't be up to going two months in a row..... but I'm still thinking of it.



#58 George N

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 10:26 AM

Hi all! Thinking about making the trek to CSSP for my first star party, but I've got a noob question. I gather from earlier in this thread that galaxies are a real draw for the Spring star party. I've got a 100mm achromat and a 90mm Mak; how is the viewing with smaller scopes?

Become friends with the owner of a 30-inch Dob!  ;)

 

Actually, you should be able to see plenty of galaxies in a 100mm and 90mm - that's about the size Messier was using. Stay up late and see the Milky Way 'gems'.

 

But still - people are pretty friendly at CSSP and will certainly be willing to let you look at what they are seeing.



#59 George N

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 10:34 AM

i will also be in attendance and hope to meet you guys.  My primary target is the milky way.  question:  what would be easy targets for AP that time of year?  anything, DSOs, etc.  I will be using celestron c80ed on AVX mount using astropi3 software on raspberry pi3 board, with modified canon t3i.

"Galaxy Season" imaging with an 80mm 'fractor???

 

Look no further than Markarian's Chain - a stretch of 9th magnitude galaxies that forms part of the Virgo Cluster - you might even need a mosaic to get the whole thing! Or just point to the center of the Virgo Cluster -- and you will have a field full of galaxies to identify.

 

M-101 should be a good target (with other galaxies in the image), and maybe even M-51 - or groups of bright galaxies - like M81/82, the Leo Triplet, and others in Leo.

 

Thanks to the great CSSP skies - you can image quite low in the South.


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#60 aeajr

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 10:50 AM

I will be car camping. Have figured out my sleeping arrangement and working out how to cover the lights on the car so they don't disturb anyone.

Now figuring out food, refrigeration and other camping stuff.

I will be upgrading from an 8" Dob to a 12" Dob before the trip.

I am PUMPED UP! hamsterdance.gif
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#61 Poochpa

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 04:51 PM

I will be car camping. Have figured out my sleeping arrangement and working out how to cover the lights on the car so they don't disturb anyone.

Now figuring out food, refrigeration and other camping stuff.

I will be upgrading from an 8" Dob to a 12" Dob before the trip.

I am PUMPED UP! hamsterdance.gif

You don’t need to worry about food/refrigeration—the star party food vendor has it covered. Unless, maybe, you have dietary restrictions.

Mike



#62 aeajr

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 04:54 PM

Is he there for breakfast, lunch and dinner?  Or is this a hotdog stand?  Prices reasonable?

 

I will bring some food but if he has a pretty broad menu across three meals then maybe I don't need as much.  I just don't want to eat hamburgers for breakfast or pay $10 for a hotdog. 



#63 sbradley07

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 10:13 PM

... working out how to cover the lights on the car so they don't disturb anyone.

 

Pull the fuses.



#64 aeajr

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 10:55 PM

Pull the fuses.

Now, there's an idea.  Thanks!



#65 Hbgdispatcher

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 07:42 AM

Is he there for breakfast, lunch and dinner?  Or is this a hotdog stand?  Prices reasonable?

 

I will bring some food but if he has a pretty broad menu across three meals then maybe I don't need as much.  I just don't want to eat hamburgers for breakfast or pay $10 for a hotdog. 

Ed

 

The food vendor is on the field for the duration of the party, from Thursday at lunch until Sunday morning. Some years - if the weather is nice and if they have the people to man it they have been known to come up a day before the party begins, but don't count on this in your planning. They do have breakfast foods in the morning, for the rest of the day they offer stuff like BBQ sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, pizza, snacks, etc. They will usually make a bigger meal for dinner, this usually sells out by early in the evening. They will serve food and coffee late into the evening and, if it is clear at night and people keep buying stuff they will be open until after midnight. My personal favorite is the soft pretzel late at night as a nice break from observing.

 

Eric


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#66 George N

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 10:22 AM

…….. They will usually make a bigger meal for dinner, this usually sells out by early in the evening. They will serve food and coffee late into the evening and, if it is clear at night and people keep buying stuff they will be open until after midnight. …..

Two or three years ago the 1,200 people who showed up for the Park's Saturday Evening "Public Event" (held in the short-term stargazing area North of the road, not the main astronomy field) -- spied the food vendor on "our side" and a huge crowd of them walked across the road and hit the place. Talking to the vendor the next morning -- they had no expectation of feeding over twice as many people - and complained that the Park Rangers had not informed them of the possibility. They had to scramble to try and get enough food.

 

The Park now tries to limit these free Public Programs to 400 participants - and they no longer (at least officially) allow them to wonder around on the Astronomy Field after the program up until 11pm. The new Park Management became worried about 1,000+ people wondering across a State Highway (55mph) in the dark, without safety guards. Some long-time CSSP attendees have celebrated and some have bemoaned the end of the "Saturday Evening Public" session.

 

Note that there are something like 30 primitive campsites on the North side - and many of those folks 'wonder' over to the Astronomy Field after dark. Most are 'young folks' -- in their 20's. Those 30 sites were often empty during the week, and had maybe 2 or 3 filled on weekends -- before all the NY Times, etc, articles about Cherry Springs. In recent years - they are 100% filled most of the Summer - and it is a 'fight' to get a reservation. Funny Antidote: One Park Ranger told me "We always get complaints from people camping under the full moon! Why can't I see the Milky Way? The news paper said I could see it!!"

 

Getting back to food: If you drive West out of the park, there is a nice dinner in Sweden Valley that has very good breakfasts -- and there is "Bar" a little further that has an excellent 'fish special' on Friday night. You will see both places full of CSSP attendees - and astronomers in general at other times. Figure on an hour and a half round trip (including eating time) - and a very pretty ride. Just cover your stuff (don't leave out any eyepieces or DSLRs) and drive out - and back before dark.


Edited by George N, 15 April 2019 - 10:28 AM.


#67 aeajr

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 10:34 AM

OK, now I have a better grasp on the food situation.  That really helped a LOT!

 

My wife finds this all very amusing.  laugh.png  Me going car camping with my telescope?  Boys and their toys.  ;)


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#68 mjw

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 10:48 AM

Is he there for breakfast, lunch and dinner?  Or is this a hotdog stand?  Prices reasonable?

 

I will bring some food but if he has a pretty broad menu across three meals then maybe I don't need as much.  I just don't want to eat hamburgers for breakfast or pay $10 for a hotdog. 

I haven't been there in a number of years (maybe 6), and can't speak for more current offerings, but back then for breakfast there was eggs, bacon, homefries, pancakes, breakfast sandwitches. Lunch was burgers, hot dogs, pizza, pulled pork, sloppy joes, fries, soft pretzels. Dinner: spaghetti & meatballs, chicken & bisquets, meatball sandwich (not all in same night). Maybe others can chime in and tell you if they are still offering that much. I hope so, as I anticipate finally getting back there this year.

 

I hope people continue to patronize the food vendor or he/she may stop coming.



#69 Ladyhawke

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 10:54 AM

If anyone is thinking about bringing their drones, I don't think flying over the field, day or night is allowed anymore (if I remember well from a couple of years ago).

 

Coal grills are also not permitted (or any kind of fire). What I've been doing the last few years is bringing a little air fryer and that gets the job done with pretty much anything I want to eat. Fries, burgers, steaks, hot dogs, etc.



#70 Hbgdispatcher

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 11:51 AM

If anyone is thinking about bringing their drones, I don't think flying over the field, day or night is allowed anymore (if I remember well from a couple of years ago).

 

Coal grills are also not permitted (or any kind of fire). What I've been doing the last few years is bringing a little air fryer and that gets the job done with pretty much anything I want to eat. Fries, burgers, steaks, hot dogs, etc.

Yes - drones are banned - that is a PA State Park regulation.


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#71 erikt

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 12:01 PM

There's always May!!!  I've had at least two years with a better 'run' of good nights in May that at CSSP the next month (those years).

 

May at Cherry Springs features: galaxies stay up even longer!! Nights are longer. Only a third as many people.

 

On the other hand, on my May trips to the park I've found - the grass is often un-cut, clear nights could get down into the low 40's or upper 30's, no food, vendors, presentations.... the bears are hungrier wink.gif

 

One nice thing about 'off-times' visits to Cherry Springs - you are free to pick your own time (who cares if the moon comes up at 3:30?? Or goes down at 11) and if the weather looks really bad - you don't feel bad about not going.

 

BTW, I've had some very fine observing runs at Cherry Springs in October - at least two epic trips featured 4 clear nights in a row!

 

Alas, I've come down with some sort of upper respiratory infection and probably won't be up to going two months in a row..... but I'm still thinking of it.

I'm going to try making it out at least once between May and Sept. I think my camping gear can handle the low 40's, but 30's maybe not so much. Is the observation field open to camping during non-star party times?

 

Become friends with the owner of a 30-inch Dob!  wink.gif

 

Actually, you should be able to see plenty of galaxies in a 100mm and 90mm - that's about the size Messier was using. Stay up late and see the Milky Way 'gems'.

 

But still - people are pretty friendly at CSSP and will certainly be willing to let you look at what they are seeing.

Hah! I'm afraid if I start looking through Dobs that'll only start the gears going about where I can fit one in the apartment. It sounds like newcomers are welcome, though, and I look forward to my first CSSP.



#72 aeajr

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 12:05 PM

Yes - drones are banned - that is a PA State Park regulation.

Thank goodness!

 

+1 for the state of PA.



#73 Ladyhawke

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 12:17 PM

Yes - drones are banned - that is a PA State Park regulation.

Thank goodness I've been going there long enough to have seen what the park looks from the top (it wasn't my drone but it was so cool).

 

Even if it wasn't a state park regulation I'd still understand the ban for obvious reasons.



#74 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 01:47 PM

Some of the restaurants in Coudersport are listed at https://visitpottert...ity=coudersport

 

The Sweden Valley Inn and Fezz's Diner are on the park side of Coudersport.

 

Galeton is a bit closer to the park.  There's a pizza shop and a few restaurants there.

 

Some tourist attractions in Potter and Tioga Counties are listed at https://visitpottert...gory=attraction

 

Showers are available at Lyman Run State Park and the Potter County Family Campground on Route 6.

 

Dave Mitsky


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#75 caheaton

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 02:59 PM

Just thought I'd also add, in addition to food, the food vendor also offers a dining area...picnic tables enclosed within large (carnival style) wall tents.  These offer a nice break from the weather and a comfortable arrangement for eating.  I'd hoped to make CSSP this year, but sadly I have to bring my wife to the airport on the day the party begins bawling.gif .  

 

Make sure to pack warm clothes...it's a rare night (at least when I've been there) when it doesn't feel downright cold (and damp!) at night.  I've taken to wearing an insulated motorcycle one piece rain suit (and the days can range from cool to downright hot!).

 

One more tip...place a marker around or inside your tent (I use a dim under one lumen red light hanging either inside the tent or from the top of the door...if you ever return from the bathroom and are trying to find your tent on a pitch black (aka cloudy night) you'll understand why you need this!  lol.gif  

 

One final tip....if you wake up during the night (after retiring early due to clouds or bad weather), check to see if it's cleared or is partly to mostly clear.  I've been able to get some extra observing in that way!

 

Just thought I'd add, here's proper packing for a star party wink.gif

 

 

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  • packed.jpg

Edited by caheaton, 15 April 2019 - 03:19 PM.

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