by Craig Colvin
CalStar was great! Thanks to all those who organized it.
The sky didn't seem quite as dark as Shingletown this summer but it was
still dark enough and offered some great views. I saw a lot of objects
through a lot of different scopes, meet some new people, caught up with a
couple of old friends. Just what a star party should be.
I won't go into detail on all of the objects I observed but here were a few
- The absolute best highlight of the trip was looking at the Veil
through Carl Larsen's 18" Obsession. It was almost a life alternating
experience. There was so much detail that I had never seen before. There
were a group of us looking at it and I think James Turley summed it up best
when he said, "it's the breath of god". Speaking of James he had a
wide-field view of the Veil in his scope that showed the whole complex in
the same FOV, which was equally amazing.
- Seeing Uranus naked eye. I don't know who it was that pointed it
out to me but whoever it was thanks.
- I bagged the last 5 objects needed to complete the AL Messier
observing list, I got the last object M79 at 3am on Saturday morning just
after it got above the gunk at the horizon.
- At one point on Friday night there were 5 different scopes pointed
at the Sculptor galaxy (NGC253). It was interesting to compare the views
through the various scopes in such a short timeframe. It was a very good
example of the differences between aperture and focal length
- The seeing on Saturday morning was great and it fun to have my
first view of the Orion Nebula (M42) since spring with such great seeing.
The six stars in the Trapezium where obvious even at fairly low power and
the nebula was showing some detail around the edges that I've never seen
I ended up observing 35 Herchel objects for the first time, bringing my
total to 214 for the H400 list.
NGC5866, 5907, 5982, 7635, 651, 7814, 7448, 7479, 7217, 7331, 185, 278, 404,
205, 7662, 7686, 891, 752, 253, 288, 613, 2024, 1788, 1999, 7000, 7293,
6451, 6712, 6664, 3147, 598, 524, 247, 772, 488
Five Messiers to complete the AL Messier List : M77, M1, M30, M45, and M79
First time view of Uranus
The end result was a great trip.
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