Green Lake Star Party

Default event

Open to Public

Type: Star Party

Held on: May 26, 2012 (Sat) at 10:00 PM to May 27, 2012 (Sun) at 12:00 AM

Sunset Times:

  • Official at 08:54 PM
  • Civil at 09:33 PM
  • Nautical at 10:25 PM
  • Astronomical at 11:36 PM

Location: 47.680880, -122.341411

Event Coordinator: Mary Anderson

Green Lake Star Party

Map

Latitude 47.68088, Longitude -122.341411

Notes

The Green Lake Star Party on Saturday, May 26, was quite a remarkable event in that it was the first star party during my tenure as coordinator that allowed actual observing for nearly two hours or more for those who arrived earlier than the scheduled 9:00 p.m. time.  I thank Mike and Peter for offering their time and telescopes to make the event successful.  Although the seeing was not good, at least we could indeed "see" many objects for the first time since March 3 when we were only able to observe for about an hour before the clouds moved in. At last Saturday's star party the clouds didn't start seriously taking over until around 10:30 p.m., and before that time we were able to offer good views of a number of objects to at least fifty people. (I lost count after getting involved in conversation with some enthusiastic observers.)

The star party began around 8:30 with good views of Venus through the trees. As darkness fell, we concentrated first on offering views of the nearly first quarter moon, which produced the usual ooh's and aah's. Many expressed fascination with the terminator line and with being able to see craters so distinctly. With three telescopes available, Mike, Peter, and I first focused our telescopes on the moon but soon decided to offer different views, mainly of Mars, Saturn, and the moon. Mars is not at its best and brightest right now, but Saturn and the moon were big hits with everyone, especially two little girls who viewed both Saturn and the moon through my 102 mm Meade refractor (for which I now have an English language computer controller instead of the original Spanish language controller). One little girl, who had to be lifted by her mom to reach the eyepiece, was especially excited about seeing Saturn and her loud vocal response was typical of many. Her older sister, a bit more jaded and subdued, announced proudly that she had already seen the moon and and Saturn before. But many adult viewers had never seen even the moon through a telescope and were as enthusiastic as the excited little girl.

Because the clouds began their takeover as the end of astronomical twilight approached around 10:30, we did not try for any deep space objects; but this star party which featured our solar system neighbors was great fun and very successful. When a very brisk and cold wind joined the party along with the clouds, we decided it was time to pack up. But we had enjoyed great fun and the reward of knowing that we had offered a large number of people an introduction to the beauty of the universe.

Mary Anderson

Summary

Number of Supporters: 3

Number of Attendees: 50

Number of Telescopes: 3

Duration (hours): 2.0

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