Green Lake Star Party

Default event

Open to Public

Type: Star Party

Keywords: Star Party Outreach Public

Held on: Aug 22, 2015 (Sat) at 08:00 PM to Aug 22, 2015 (Sat) at 11:00 PM

Sunset Times:

  • Official at 08:09 PM
  • Civil at 08:42 PM
  • Nautical at 09:23 PM
  • Astronomical at 10:07 PM

Location: 47.680880, -122.341411

Event Coordinator: Mary Anderson

Join us at Green Lake on Saturday, August 22, 2015, at 8:00 p.m. for an evening of public observing and learning about the universe.

Map

Latitude 47.68136, Longitude -122.3408605

Notes

Despite the unpromising beginning of tonight's star party under smoke-filled skies, the event turned out to be a very rewarding and worthwhile star party!  As strong east winds blew smoke from eastern Washington wildfires into the Seattle area, the possibility of successful observing seemed increasingly remote.  However, the trusty moon, dressed in an unfamiliar brownish-yellow hue imparted by the smoke-filled atmosphere,  put in a fabulous appearance through the murk of smoke and particulate matter and really stole the show. The lunar craters and maria were still prominent, and the moon's apparition was striking enough to elicit the familiar ooh's and aah's from first-time lunar viewers. 

In contrast to the moon's dominance, Saturn's role was considerably more reclusive than usual.  Because some of the six telescopes available at the star party had apertures as large as 8" or 10", some viewing of Saturn was possible.  But a basic problem arose from the fact that Saturn was uncharacteristically invisible to most naked eyes most of the time due to the vagaries of wafting smoke.  It was  consequently very difficult to capture Saturn with a finder scope and telescope.  But some attendees, particularly children, reported the typical aaah(!) experience at first seeing Saturn.

Although the ubiquitous smoke obscured virtually every star that normally appears in the sky over Green Lake, the star party offered, in addition to good lunar viewing, the opportunity for education of the public, especially children, about the summer sky.  Because of the scarcity of objects available for viewing, the focus shifted to discussion of a variety of astronomical topics from minor planets and Pluto's planetary demise, to the future "collision" of the Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way Galaxy.  And the stars in the summer triangle have never been so easy to point out to star party attendees since those three stars were virtually the only ones visible to the naked eye. But even those three bright stars drifted in and out of visibility on the whims of wafting smoke.  However, that smoke utterly failed to dim the sparkle in the eyes of children and adults who were thrilled by their first telescopic view of the moon or Saturn! 

Mary

 

 

Summary

Number of Supporters: 7

Number of Attendees: 100

Number of Telescopes: 6

Duration (hours): 3.0

Announcements

posted over 2 years ago

Reminder

This is just a friendly reminder that the Green Lake Star Party (star party event) is scheduled for Aug 22, 2015, 08:00 PM. Please come out and join us!

Comments

Please sign up to see member comments.