[AZ-Observing] Estrella Star Party

  • From: Jeff Hopkins <phxjeff@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 21 Feb 2009 08:56:17 -0700

Last night (Friday) I set up for the Estrella Mountain Regional Park 
Star Party. At sunset the sky was pretty clouded over, but Venus was 
showing through nicely. About 40 hikers made the night hike and 
arrived around 7:45. The sky had cleared nicely. Venus was brilliant 
in a 12 mm eyepiece with a moon filter and showed a big crescent. 
What stole the show was M42. With a 17 mm eyepiece in my 13.1" dob it 
knocked our socks off. I have never seen it so bright and clear. The 
nebula was extremely bright and the 4 stars of the Trapezium were 
rock steady and easily seen. The night sky in that area was the best 
I have ever seen, extremely transparent and steady.

I later swung to the NW to look at M31. It was rather disappointing. 
There was a huge difference in sky quality from that around Orion.

All in all it was a great night and very successful star party.

Jeff Hopkins
Counting Photons
Hopkins Phoenix Observatory
7812 West Clayton Drive
Phoenix, Arizona 85033-2439 U.S.A.
(623) 247-1190 (Fax)
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