[AZ-Observing] Thunderbird Star Party

  • From: phxjeffx@xxxxxxx
  • To: az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 19 May 2013 12:44:24 -0400 (EDT)

Last night was the big Thunderbird Park Star Party in North Phoenix. What a 
grand night. Everything was just about perfect. A big thank you  and hats off 
to Jack Jones for arranging this! The weather was perfect and the skies great. 
About a dozen and half telescopes were set up and as darkness fell the crowds 
arrived. It was hard to tell how many people were there, but it was surely in 
hte hundreds. 

While the Sun was up my assistant Leah Hopkins (granddaughter) helped me set up 
my 8" LX90 telescope and view some Sunspots. This was her first star party and 
she had a great time. The Moon was nearly overhead and half illuminated (I know 
it was half, but called a quarter Moon, dumb). As most know, this is an 
excellent time to view the Moon as the craters along the terminator have lots 
of contrast. We could even see illuminated mountain tops in the dark area of 
the Moon. This was good even while the Sun was up. The ISS was supposed to make 
an appearance, but it looks like it was either too bright out or too far South 
behind a big hill. As the Sun dimmed Venus and Jupiter popped out. Mercury was 
supposed to be there too, but it was probably too low behind some objects. 
Jupiter was a bit fuzzy due to the low position and great amount of atmosphere 
the light was traveling through. Even so the bands could be easily seen and 
there were three moons visible. For the grand finale Saturn made an appearance 
to the East. Titan was just above the planet and the scene wowed many 
observers. I think the Star Party was a huge success.


Again, THANKS JACK!


Jeff

Hopkins Phoenix Observatory
(187283)
Counting Photons
Phoenix, Arizona
www.hposoft.com/Astro/astro.html


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