Don't forget that we have a club breakfast tomorrow, Sept 27 at 8am - Humble Joe's
and a Star Party (weather permitting) up at Whiskeytown tomorrow night.
Still not burned out?
How about Sidewalk Astronomy at Turtle Bay on Monday? Well that's what we're doing then!
See you there,
A question: Randy Reed at Shasta College as part of his Planetary Geology class, and as one of the options of fullfilling the four required fieldtrips for the class, has the SAC star parties listed... my question is: does one just show up? The 630 start time at least currently seems to be before or at sunset - is part of the etiquette in attending such is to arrive before sunset and during telescope setup time, thereby hopefully avoiding showing up with car headlights on and blasting everyone's night vision? Also, if a half-dozen to dozen of us show up, would that be a problem? I know from star parties from the early '70s (john dobson, SFSA) that with only a single scope, such a crowd might be a bit much... any thoughts?
We try to get there right before sunset simply to set up while we can still see without using red lights. As a club, we are very low key when it comes to white lights and the occasional set of headlights is just par for the course when we do public events like the star parties.
As far as crowds, we accommodated 50 or so with two scopes during our Friday Night Astronomy events at Whiskeytown Lake over the summer. The scope operator might talk a little bit about the specific target they are on or give a sky tour using a laser pointer for those folks waiting to get a view. In general, we have three to five scopes out at these events so the wait time is fairly minimal and the crowds at the Paige Bar Rd. site are usually less than 20 guests during the winter observing season.
Question: how does one deal with rain or cloud outs... my question has to do with how is it made known that telescopes will be set up or not set up at the Mine Loop parking lot. A couple weekends ago, when we (SC planetary geology class) thought we'd join you there, it was pretty obvious by 4pm that nobody was going to be seeing anything, so we cancelled from our end... but like this coming Saturday: the official weather speculators are suggesting partially cloudy, which can mean holes in a general overcast, or can mean clouds one hour and clear the next... is there anything posted anywhere by 6pm-ish if the telescopes will even be transported out there?... it's one thing to get out there only to surmise that the decision was taken to not even bother, when all we find out at the parking lot are other students from the class and no body else; it's entirely something else to get there, and at least be able to talk to others that enjoy the view through the eyepiece, waiting for the clouds to part.... some of the people for the class will be driving up from Corning or down from Burney, and it would be disappointing to send them back home from our meet-up spot of Shasta College; but even more so if we all got up there (mine loop parking lot), to find we had it to ourselves. ...
Is there a coordinator for each observing event, that we could leave a phone number with and say: if you totally cancel, could you please call or text that fact? [I don't want to post a phone number here, but if that were a possible, could someone in the know email me (at my club registered email address), and I'll happily give them one or two cell numbers].
as always: many thanks,
greg m (as to distinguish from the longtime club member Greg)
In the past, it's pretty much been if the sky is cloudy then don't bother setting up. I think that may have to change and something put in place to let folks know what's going on. I'm going to try to be diligent about posting here as well as on our Facebook and our @ShastaAstronomy Twitter account. This Saturday is going to be a real problem because I'm not going to make the party due to a last minute trip out of town. In general though, you can get a hold of me at Greg95111[at]Gmail.com, ShastaAstronomy[at]Gmail.com or via land-line at (530)243-6423. I also get emails when posts are made to these forums and I can, usually, respond even if I'm up at any of our sites provided I remember to check my iPad.
Short answer though, at least for this Saturday, if it's cloudy then don't make the trip.
Many thanks for the prompt reply. ... but yes, if someone could post something to SAC's facebook account by 5ish, that would allow those that would be driving from afar to decide to or not make the drive. And I apologize for imposing on your club, in that we're merely a SC class that has the requirement to make four observing trips during the semester (and the semester and probably the clear weather are running out, or has the potential to do such). ... though on the otherhand, when we tried to meet up with the group back in September (and failed to find you - suspect because you were up at Lost Mine and we were down at the lake) - we did bring a 12.5" dob with us, and even without charts or a finder were able to drop jaw many by showing them m31, 32 ngc205; m57 (that impressed the most); the Lagoon and Trifid; plus M7 (by Antares sp??); plus a blue-white diamond dust on black velvet background tour by cruising up the MW from well below vega up toward the pole - most students couldn't believe the "littering" of stars... so bottom line: even though the class is over in December, SAC might end up with some new members. :-) ... so the imposition could prove to be mutually beneficial :-)
I'll have to get a hold of our VP and get him onto Facebook so he can post...of course he hasn't signed into these forums yet but he's spent the last month in Alaska so I'll cut him a bit of a break for now. Worst case, we can set up other dates in order to help out any students needing to get there observing times done. I can pretty much set my own schedule as can a couple other club members so can sure do stuff during the week.
I'll make sure to duct tape a reminder to my forehead so we can get the information out to folks.
This is Al S (the vp on a month long vacation). I will post a message here by 4pm Sat if we will be cancelling this event. I don't have a FB account yet but that may be the next thing on my list. Even if it is partly cloudy I will show up with my DOB, star charts, etc. Hopefully the weather will cooperate!!
It's coming up on 2pm, I don't see a cloud in the sky, not a one; and when I look at the satellite images, I don't see any that could be here by this evening (though Murphy does have his way of making such happen) - but I'm guessing tonight's going to be a go, ie, lots of eye candy for the astronomically bent :-) . I'll keep an eye here, but will head out about 6:30pm if I don't see anything to the contrary.
I agree with you!!! I plan on being there this evening and I will try to bring 2 DOBs, one a 13.1 and the other a 16. I have never tried to bring both to a viewing but I will see if they will fit! The 13.1 will be available to students that know how to use a DOB. I have a limited number of eyepieces as I typically run with a 2" focusers on both DOBs. See you this evening at the Mine Trail Head site.
Wondering if the partial eclipse will be had in Redding... the official weather speculators seem to be suggesting anything from rain, to showers, to at least cloud cover on Thursday, interfering with seeing such... I'm look at a quick road trip to Winnemucca or Elko on Thursday morning so as to be able to photograph it unencumbered/unimpeded. [insider for Al S. ie, do a move corresponding to Winnemucca ;-) ]
Just a heads up: this weekend SAC (Star Party, 15th) might be having some more of Randy Reed's SC students looking to get a observation event signed off on... so: if there is any chance of getting a thumbs up or thumbs down w/re being clouded out or good to go posted here before the event, such I strongly suspect will be much appreciated.
I'll set up a reminder on my calendar to post a weather update by 4pm on Saturday. As an aside, we'll be at Turtle Bay from 11-2 doing some solar observing along with a Coronado Solar Scope that's on loan from Whiskeytown.
I think we're going to cancel tonight's Star Party. With the dew problems we had last Saturday and the high humidity level even with the rain showers moving through the area, i think the viewing will be pretty poor. Does anybody have an opinion one way or the other?