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9th Annual Fox Park Star Party

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#1 Jason B

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 08:50 PM

The 9th Annual Fox Park Star Party is being held August 1st - August 4th at Fox Memorial Park near Potterville, Michigan, SW of Lansing. All but $5 of every registration fee goes directly into the Observatory's fund that is used for upgrading, maintaining and operating this fantastic public observatory.

Registration fees include all camping and entrance fees to the park for the entire weekend. Power for any and all astronomical equipment is available at no charge. There is a nice beach, walking trails, decent restrooms (sorry, only an outside beach shower), playgrounds and plenty of room for tents and RV's. If you don't like to camp, there are hotels available within 5-15 miles in Lansing and Charlotte.

 

Registration will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 1st and feel free to show up anytime on Friday or Saturday as well.  Our Star Party is pretty informal so all you need to do is check in with Jason when you arrive or after you set up.  The chain restricting access to the observatory road will be put up at sundown.  If you are not staying the night, you will need to park in the lot at the bottom of the hill.

 

While Fox Park doesn't offer the pristine skies of northern Michigan, the skies are still more than dark enough for serious observing and imaging. Limiting Magnitude at Zenith is approx 5.5 to 5.7. The location is close to Interstate's 69 and 96 so it is easily accessible for all the major cities of southern Michigan and beyond. The main purpose of the event is to give all of us obsessed astrophotographers and observers a long weekend to hang out and observe/image our night skies while at the same time helping a great facility continue to introduce our great hobby of amateur astronomy to hundreds of new people every year. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions.

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#2 marco_liu

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 01:12 AM

Jason - Thanks for posting. I live in Chicago, just got started in AP. I'm thinking to attend. How many attendees will typically show up at this event?

Marco.


Edited by marco_liu, 18 July 2019 - 01:12 AM.


#3 oshimitsu

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 10:04 PM

I wanted to come to this so bad but now I have friends coming in from out of town : (


Edited by oshimitsu, 18 July 2019 - 10:04 PM.


#4 marco_liu

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 10:05 PM

I wanted to come to this so bad but now I have friends coming in from out of town : (

Bring them all to the party! 



#5 oshimitsu

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 10:09 PM

Bring them all to the party! 

They probably would but they have family here so I doubt they'd be able to make the drive while they're in Ohio.



#6 tvoydan

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Posted 24 July 2019 - 03:12 PM

 

How many attendees will typically show up at this event?

This is a small star party, no frills. Usually around 20-25 max attendees. Skies aren't the darkest, but it's still a lot of fun and I always try to attend if I can. Quite a number of imagers also attend.

 

Tom



#7 marco_liu

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Posted 24 July 2019 - 03:15 PM

This is a small star party, no frills. Usually around 20-25 max attendees. Skies aren't the darkest, but it's still a lot of fun and I always try to attend if I can. Quite a number of imagers also attend.

 

Tom

Good to know Tom. My gf and I plan to be there Friday night and stay for two days, leaving Sunday. This is my first time going to a star party. What do people do during the day time? Do you pack your rig and drive around the town?



#8 tvoydan

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 07:24 AM

Yes, I leave my scope setup and covered if I go into town for food or coffee. Just don't leave small things like eyepieces out. I lock those things in the car during the day.

 

If observing was good that night, I usually try to sleep as long as possible in the AM and cat nap during the day if it's not too hot. Once the sun comes, up a tent can start to get real hot after 10am.

 

Pottersville is the nearest town. Very small, but they have a McDonald's. Then there's Charlotte or Lansing nearby. Lansing is a big college town (MSU). That might be worth looking around campus.

 

When you get to the gate to the park, just tell them you're there for the start party and drive all the way back to the observatory. The park also has a small pond for swimming and bathrooms.

 

Tom


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#9 marco_liu

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 02:35 PM

Thanks Tom. Very helpful advises. Looks like the sky is clear most of the days. 



#10 Jason B

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Posted 30 July 2019 - 10:15 AM

We also do some solar observing during the day if there's any interesting features on the sun.

If we do go anywhere we can lock stuff in the observatory if need be but for the most part the park personnel keep an eye on our area. We are far enough from the beach and the hiking trails that we get very little if any foot traffic other than Star party traffic.

Looking forward to meeting you guys.
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#11 marco_liu

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Posted 30 July 2019 - 10:18 AM

We also do some solar observing during the day if there's any interesting features on the sun.

If we do go anywhere we can lock stuff in the observatory if need be but for the most part the park personnel keep an eye on our area. We are far enough from the beach and the hiking trails that we get very little if any foot traffic other than Star party traffic.

Looking forward to meeting you guys.

Thanks Jason. One questions - will we have access to power outlet? I have a small battery tank, but with computer and other stuff, it may not last long. 



#12 Jason B

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Posted 30 July 2019 - 03:21 PM

Yes, you will have access to power but keep in mind if you need any extension cords you need to bring them along. We have an area designated for telescopes next to the observatory if you want to set up your scope there that has outlets and would be a short extension run.

#13 marco_liu

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 12:34 AM

Just finished processing a few photos I took at this star party. I really need critics...pls. 

 

I'm most happy with the Andromeda. I think the pleiades need more exposure time to pull out more of the blue nebulasity . This one was taken with 55s before star trails. 

The veil is the worst - my camera isn't mod, so it's less sensitive to the red. I stretched it a lot for the red to show up, but the nearby stars also turned red due to stretching. Not sure if my understanding is correct. 

 

Great event, thanks for all your help! 

Marco. 

Attached Thumbnails

  • M31 - final - small.jpg
  • Pleiades Final - small.jpg
  • Veil Neb Final - Small.jpg

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#14 Jason B

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 08:57 PM

Marco, not a bad start to your astro imaging adventure. 

 

M31 looks really good for such short exposures in alt-az, nice detail.  M45 looks overstretched.  Your right about needing more exposure.  You should re-visit when you get your wedge set up working.

 

The Veil is much better than you give your self credit.   Another one I would save for EQ mode.

 

Thanks for coming!




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