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.