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"No Frills" Star Party - May 14th to May 16th

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#1 BarrySimon615

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Posted 01 May 2004 - 09:09 AM

Weather permitting, a few of us from the New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas will be heading up to the Kisatchie Forest for a weekend under the stars. The location is deep within the Kisatchie Forest, about 25 miles south southwest of Natchitoches, LA, about 50 miles northwest of Alexandria, LA and about 30 miles north northeast of Leesville, LA. It is about 270 miles from home.

This is the location of the relatively new Kisatchie Star Party which is held in March. Unfortunately the Kisatchie Star Party seems to coincide with a typically very heavy pollen drop. That was particularly bad a year ago and pretty bad this year. While it was clear this year, the pollen was everywhere and it's impact upon nighttime observation could be seen. Mid-May, on the other hand is after the pollen drop and any impact of any remaining pollen should be minimal.

Having attended the Texas Star Party on 7 separate occasions, I can say that the skies in west Texas are outstanding given good weather. The skies from the Kisatchie location are outstanding too given good weather and no pollen. Back in 2000 we visited this site in late September, a year that was also very good at the Texas Star Party. The Kisatchie location was outstanding and my deep sky shots prove it. This past March, while the pollen was evident, the Flame Nebula in Orion was an easy binocular object. That is something we cannot see from our club site 60 miles north of New Orleans.

So for any of you within about a 400 mile radius of central Louisiana, you may consider taking a vacation day on Friday, May 14th and joining us for a "No-Frills" Weekend under the stars!

(No frills because there is absolutely no ammenities. You have to be totally self sufficient.)

Questions? Need directions? Let me know.

Barry Simon

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#2 Bill Grass

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Posted 01 May 2004 - 10:42 AM

I may just do that, Barry! I'll have to ask for my wife's permission, though! :lol:

#3 BarrySimon615

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Posted 01 May 2004 - 04:20 PM

Good, glad to have you along. One bonus we will have, weather permitting, is a very favorably placed Comet NEAT
(C/2001 Q4). Magnitude is predicted to be between magnitude 1.3 and 1.5 between 5/14 and 5/16 with the comet's tail superimposed over M-44, the Beehive Cluster between 5/15 and 5/16. It should be a spectacular sight in either of your 15x70 binoculars.

Barry Simon


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