Good night on Mount Tam 9/27/03

by Jane Houston Jones

Inversion layer night on Mt. Tam (elevation 1976) tonight for the last Tam star party of the year. Sweatshirts for us, but shorts for others. 30 or so telescopes including our AP180EDT set up tonight.

Excellent Mars views to 300x - that's what we stuck to in our 7-inch AP refractor. I sketched Mars with bright polar cap and Solis Lacus, the eye of Mars at 10:30 p.m. A couple people near us did Jay Freeman's Cassiopeia open cluster project from Oct S&T - a good one night project for a 15-inch Litebox and an 8-inch LX10. And an excellent project for a not-too-dark but close-to-home site like Mt. Tam.

All around us, people were swapping views, swapping eyepieces, sharing cookies. We had people from Tennessee, Arizona and Washington DC and Vancouver BC there tonight, plus a nice talk on the Hubble Heritage Project before the star party. Next year Mt. Tam public nights will be on first quarter moon nights.

Cool and foggy below the Rock Springs parking lot all the way home 15 miles away.