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Logan Valley Star Party Oregon June 17 - June 21, 2020 - Free!

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#1 audioaficionado

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 07:08 PM

Logan Valley Star Party, Oregon
June 17 - June 21, 2020
Free!

 

https://sites.google...ystarparty/home

 

 

This one will bump into the beginning of the Golden State Star Party (6/20-24 2020) in Northern California. It's only a half day's drive away so you could make it into a full week's adventure and attend both.



#2 WadeH237

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 07:12 PM

It's kind of a bummer that Logan Valley is the same new moon as GSSP this year.

 

I was at both last year, and really enjoyed them,  Logan Valley is a great location, with better skies than GSSP.  But between the two, I will go to GSSP because I do like having a larger event with more people. Also, there will be vendors at GSSP (and my wife attends GSSP with me, and that's a big factor).

 

Going to both is a non-starter, because I really do not want to move my stuff that many times.  I do one session per new moon...

 

On edit:  I do want to add that if you have an interest in Logan Valley, you should really consider going.  The skies are excellent and it's a nice setup.  It is much more remote and primitive than GSSP.  You don't have easy access to facilities beyond the minimal stuff that the campground provides.  But that's part of the reason why the conditions are so great.  Also, GSSP has lots of daytime activities readily available,which is not the case for Logan Valley.


Edited by WadeH237, 12 December 2019 - 07:16 PM.

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#3 petert913

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 07:12 PM

Wow.  That is a gorgeous site.  I may need to attend this one !



#4 audioaficionado

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 07:37 PM

I was looking forward to both this year. However this one might work out better for people on a strict budget and who live closer to Logan Valley.



#5 vsteblina

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 09:11 PM

I was looking forward to both this year. However this one might work out better for people on a strict budget and who live closer to Logan Valley.

That statement is only correct if you live in John Day.  It is in the middle of somewhere.



#6 phonehome

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 04:31 PM

 

This one will bump into the beginning of the Golden State Star Party (6/20-24 2020) in Northern California. It's only a half day's drive away so you could make it into a full week's adventure and attend both.

 

That's what I'm thinking.  Since it's on my way maybe 3 or 4 days at LV and then on to the GSSP.   Shame it's not the other way around because LV would be a great place to relax and unwind after the hustle and bustle of GSSP.

 

Ed



#7 rosecityred

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Posted 15 March 2020 - 03:03 AM

Wow!  This looks, um.... heavenly.  (Outrageous pun most definitely intended.)  Its gorgeous.  Incredibly tempting.  Ohhhh.  I'm going to have to start trying to figure out how to make this work.   

 

Julia



#8 medderx

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 11:24 PM

For the time being its cancelled, I'm going to talk with John and Chuck to see what their plans are with it. With how relaxed of an event it is I imagine a reschedule is in consideration.  



#9 audioaficionado

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 11:10 PM

Keep us apprised of the situation. Looks like you could make it work as you don't have hundreds in attendance and it should be fairly easy to observe proper social distancing protocols. Depends on the local rules in effect at the time.



#10 DLuders

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Posted 13 June 2020 - 10:11 AM

The Logan Valley Star Party is ON for next week (17-21 June 2020 southeast of John Day, Oregon) --  https://sites.google...ystarparty/home     smile.gif


Edited by DLuders, 13 June 2020 - 10:12 AM.


#11 audioaficionado

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Posted 19 June 2020 - 05:26 PM

I hope it's a success.



#12 WadeH237

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Posted 23 June 2020 - 09:55 AM

I just got back yesterday.

 

After working from home and barely leaving my house for the last several months, I went early.  The campground where it's held is not used much, and I expected it to be a ghost town when I got there.  It wasn't.  There were 5 or so camp sites already set up, including some folks in the camp sites where most astronomers were set up last year.  I set my camper up across the street from the camp site on the edge of the prairie.  A few minutes after I put the camper down, someone from that camp site came across and made it pretty clear that I wasn't welcome and that my camper was ruining their enjoyment of the wildlife across the field (the Forest Service has said that camping on the prairie is fine).  I picked up the camper and moved it a bit down the road to compromise with them.  When I mentioned to them that there would be more astronomers arriving during the week, they were not happy and ended up leaving a few days earlier than they said that they planned.  At one point during the week, I think that the campground was mostly full.  This is really unusual, but I chalk it up to having everything closed in Oregon until June 1.  I suspect that lots of people just wanted out of the house.

 

Anyway, I ended up on site for 9 nights.  On Sunday the 14th, my second night (the first one with any clear skies), I removed the collimation screws from my EdgeHD 8 to replace them with socket head screws.  I did a rough collimation during the day with the intent to fine tuning it under the stars.  I ended up getting less than an hour of clear skies that night and didn't get everything done.  The next clear night was last Wednesday, by which time a couple other astronomers had made it.  I had both the imaging rig waiting to complete collimation and by that time, I'd set up the C14 for visual.  I was able to get everything on the imaging setup tuned up the way that I wanted and started an imaging run.  I didn't really stay out late, and the automation failed about an hour after I left it, so I only got partial data for that night.

 

Thursday night was glorious.  I got in a full night of imaging and a great observing session with the C14.  And then Friday and Saturday night were both clouded out.  I had decided to extend my stay through Sunday night to avoid Sunday traffic trying to get back into the Seattle area.  And it was a good thing, too, since Sunday night was clear all night.  During the day on Sunday, I had packed up everything but the bare minimum I needed to image through the night.  I got up just before dawn yesterday, packed the rest of the gear,  and left the site at about 6:30am.

 

So out of 9 nights, I got 2.5 nights of astronomy, lots and lots of rain early in the week, and was able to binge watch 4 seasons of a show that my kids have watched but I'd never seen.  But the time out of the house was priceless and I consider it all a success.  The solitary time was just what I needed.


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#13 Bill Jensen

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Posted 23 June 2020 - 06:13 PM

Were most of the folks at the mostly full campground just getting out for a vacation, or were they part of the Logan Valley SP? 



#14 WadeH237

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Posted 23 June 2020 - 08:04 PM

In the first part of the week, I was the only star partier there and there were 7 or 8 camp sites with vacationers.  We had 7 or 8 star party folks show up on Wednesday/Thursday, and there were a handful of vacationers through the end of the week.

 

The few observing nights that we had were great.  A few of us went out looking for some obscure objects.  John had his 14" LX200 and I had my C14, so we were pretty evenly matched.  He commented that he was looking for mag 14 galaxies, which led to a discussion of apparent magnitude and surface brightness, with my assertion that a 14" SCT would show 14th magnitude stars with no problem, but that 14th magnitude galaxies would be quite challenging.

 

A while later, I was working through Canes Venatici and noticed that the Whale (NGC 4631) and the Pup (NGC4627) made for a good demonstration of surface brightness.  The Pup is in Sky Safari as magnitude 12.36, with a magnitude 12.78 star almost directly between the Pup and the core of the Whale.  The star was clearly much brighter and easier than the Pup, even though it was half a magnitude dimmer.

 

The challenge objects were IC1296, a small spiral right next to the Ring Nebula, very dim at magnitude 15.34, and IC 1101 in Virgo at magnitude 14.14.  IC 1101 is an interesting object due to its size and distance - almost 4 million light years in diameter and 1.1 billion light years distant.  We both thought that the objects could be detected in the field, but only with averted vision and only as a subtle glow in the field (and IC1296 was kind of now-you-see-it-and-now-you-don't).  If I didn't know exactly where they were, I would not have seen anything.

 

While we were chatting across the field about distant objects, we took a detour to NGC 7006 ijust off the "nose" of Delphinus.  This one is a globular cluster associated with the Milky Way.  It's not a difficult object in a 14" scope and will resolve some stars, but it's quite distant at 130,000 light years.  As far as I know, it's the most distant Milky Way globular in the northern hemisphere's summer sky.

 

My one and only imaging target for the trip was NGC6888.  My wife is having me process some of my older images to make prints for our upstairs hallway.  I shot NGC6888 a few years ago at Table Mountain Star Party and was planning on doing a print.  But when I went to process it with printing in mind, I decided that the TMSP data was not going to work.  My EdgeHD 8 was brand new at the time and I had some star elongation due to primary mirror movement (which I later resolved with an OAG).  My intent was to re-do it at Logan Valley.  I have two more or less full nights of Ha and OIII from last week, plus 30 minutes of RGB for star colors.  I've yet to look closely at the data, so I'm not sure that I have enough yet.  I'll be out at a dark sky again next month, so I'll get more then if I need it.

 

For anyone considering Logan Valley, I would really recommend getting out there some time at new moon, even if it's not during the star party.  It's really a special location, with hundreds of acres of prairie that's almost completely flat, with some stands of trees scattered about.  There are a few nearby trees to the east, where the campground is, but the field is so large that you can get as much distance from it as you want to lower the horizon.  There is also a hill to the north, but probably only about 5 degrees high.  There are no light domes in any direction, and on clear nights you can see stars all the way down to the ground.

 

Oh, and I wanted to mention one more thing.  The vacationers did have some lights and campfires, but the trees between the prairie and the camp sites did an excellent job of isolating the stray light so that it was not a problem at all.  A few of us who didn't need camp site amenities set up our RVs and tents on the prairie, which is fine with the Forest Service.


Edited by WadeH237, 23 June 2020 - 08:08 PM.

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