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Messages - DDK

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Observing Reports / Re: OR: Dino Sat Jan 28 - A grouping of fellow TACOs
« on: February 08, 2017, 07:52:35 PM »
a) Happy Birthday Boxing Day, Marko. Cool that you posted your evocative OR right on your birthday. Your observing buddies adore you.

b) We had 4 Gatekeepers at Dino that night! George Feliz has been a Dinosaur Point gatekeeper for years, and Peter Natscher just got sworn in two nights earlier. We thankfully have an active crew for keeping Dino going. Oh and there were 8 people there, including Tony Hurtado's nice official gun moll, Lynn.

c) 2371-2, yesss the Peanut. Those wings are known as a challenge. Valentine's Night two years ago, I was up on the Peak with Uncle Albert, the mondo 16" Albertscope that is now Dan Wright's telescope. Went to catch 2371 on the prompt of a Steve Gottlieb article that month in S&T. Saw lots of detail there but wrote, "Didn’t catch the ethereal halo."

d) George gets credit for naming the Jamaican Triple, beta Mon. Still is a gorgeous triple, checked it this last New Moon.

Observing Reports / Re: Frosti
« on: February 05, 2017, 12:01:24 AM »
Glad you had fun and held down the Pinnacles, McCarthy. Your buddies were saying good things about you behind your back at Dinosaur Point. Delighted to report we had no freezing dew. Big boy work you did with all those relatively faint galaxy groups.

Here's to the coyotes!

Observing Reports / Re: OR: Dino - Sat 28Jan2017
« on: January 30, 2017, 11:07:46 PM »
There were 7 scopes there Saturday night, and 8 people. Tony got everyone but Dave Cooper who was on the far end of the row that night.

Thursday night there were 3 of us having a good time: George, Peter and myself. Good conditions that night as well. Peter Natscher got duly sworn in as a Dino Gatekeeper. George and I had a fun stereo shootout with our 13" Albert Highe design scopes, one George Feliz-made and one Albert Highe-made. George and Albert have spent a bunch of nights at that same spot with those same two telescopes. We compared views of the Flame Nebula; 2903, mondo galaxy in Leo; Hickson 44, the brightest Hickson cluster, also in Leo, on and on.

Saturday night I caught the Horsehead for the first time in my own scope. This again was with Johannes, 13" f/4.5 Albert Highe scope. Used a 24 Pan on the HH with an Ultrablock, for the sake of science. It was subtle. George loaned me his H-beta filter, which was already attached to his 24 ES eyepiece. The Horsehead jumped out, had the snout heading in the right direction too.

Tony's view of the Horsehead was as sharp as I've even seen it. Beautiful. And later, Peter was showing off Sirius B, the elusive Pup, in his 16. 100% direct vision. George and I had been looking earlier at 40 Eridani, with the only other white dwarf we see in our amateur scopes (endlessly fascinating triple, with a main sequence K-type star, a red dwarf and a white dwarf).

So yeah Dinosaur Point was good for serious fun this New Moon. Really good to see our old buddy Tony Hurtado. Figuring on inhabiting the place, if the weather is good, for February New Moon. By late March the winds will very likely have picked up in Pacheco Pass again.

TAC Visual / Re: Blast from the Past
« on: January 30, 2017, 03:32:50 PM »
Joe Bob, the Beastmaster, Wags and the Astro Animal. I suppose Kevin is represented by his scope.

continuing adventures at Lassen -

TACos still inhabit Lassen National Park every summer. A set of Montebellistas stay in Mineral every year and observe at Bumpass Lot - Wright, Turley, Kingsley, Larson, Cichanski, Fukuda. And another TACo gang stay at Summit Lake pretty much every year, including Natscher, Cooper and Cooper, Johnston, Scholz and me sometimes. One year, on 6 August, 2013, with no advanced planning, there were 10 TACos observing at Bumpass Lot, plus two buddies of mine from Salinas.

The night after that, all the Summit Lake gang had run off for various reasons. I went to Devastated Area that night, got to see their cool astro ranger do an interpretive talk (for the 2nd time, over years!). The lot got quiet and empty fast. That night will stick in memory because I got to see Cas A, a supernova remnant that had always been regarded as a radio source, not to be seen in visible light. Gottlieb had passed out dares for that object, and Carter Scholz handed me his excellent finderchart. Our hobby really does advance over years.

Lassen is amazing for many reasons, beautiful day and night.

Waited a bit to let someone else in on the yellow jacket question from Lassen - "Anyone remember the trip with all the Yellow Jackets?"

The reason the yellow jackets came out in force that one year, aside from it being their season, is that was the year we over-advertised the Lassen jaunt and filled up Lost Creek campground. There were many city people there who had no idea of camping - trash and food scattered around everywhere. Saw something unforgettable - one person hadn't liked their dinner, so dumped a potful of stew onto the drain rock under one of the water spigots. The yellow jackets went mad there.

Yes I cleaned that mess up; it might be just as well I never found out who was the culprit.
Under the genius label, that was the year I remembered everything else for a Lassen trip but my shoes. 2007.

Observing Intents / Re: Dinosaur Point Saturday night
« on: January 27, 2017, 07:19:45 PM »
We did in fact! George brought up R Leporus, Hind's Crimson Star. The color was stunning, shiiiny. Carbon stars are interesting.

Observing Intents / Re: Dinosaur Point Saturday night
« on: January 27, 2017, 02:54:06 PM »
Three of us had a fun night last night at Dino, lots of stars, stayed dry. 7 people have said they might just be there Saturday night, tomorrow. Definitely will have a quorum. C'mon and get bedarkened.

Observing Intents / Re: Dinosaur Point Thursday night, 26 January
« on: January 26, 2017, 03:11:56 PM »
Yowza Peter. To nab one of James Turley's phrases, DDK is ready to rumble. Yeah I'm dressing warm.

Observing Intents / Re: Dinosaur Point Saturday night
« on: January 25, 2017, 09:38:44 PM »
We can negotiate between us about when to leave. There are always factors like dew and cold and clouds, and yes on the other end spectacular skies. Seldom are we packing up before midnight.

Rants and Off Topic / Lassen stories, was Kuklewicz
« on: January 25, 2017, 08:16:26 PM »
On one of our first trips to Lassen, Liam and I were coming up the highway out of Shingletown, about 5 miles from the park gate, when Liam let out a yelp. A hornet had flown in the window and hit Liam on the shoulder at speed. One of the kid's first times getting stung, plus it was at 55 mph. He showed courage.

Rants and Off Topic / Re: GSSP Anniversary
« on: January 25, 2017, 04:34:01 PM »
Before you give the answer, wanna let on that I also thought of Crazy Ed Erbeck and Paul Sterngold, ancient and accepted TACos. Oh man and there's that other guy who moved to Arizona and wasn't so nice to women, have his name out of memory.

Rants and Off Topic / Re: GSSP Anniversary
« on: January 25, 2017, 04:14:29 PM »
Let him who is without error throw the next stone. I'm a backpacker, seriously, and that one Lassen trip I went without shoes. Food and camping and cooking gear for Liam and me, nighttime clothes, all the astro gear, just no shoes for DDK. The Astro Animal thankfully had an extra pair.

And I know what you're thinking about Kuklewicz and Devastated Area.

So who were the Lassen Six? Please let on.

Observing Intents / Dinosaur Point Saturday night
« on: January 24, 2017, 07:00:08 PM »
Two nights will be open at Dinosaur Point this week, Thursday the 26th as posted, and Saturday night the 28th as well.
You can see the regs on the Thursday post, if you're new to Dino. Beautiful spot, deep southern horizons, can have very dark skies.

Observing Intents / Dinosaur Point Thursday night, 26 January
« on: January 24, 2017, 06:57:31 PM »
New Moon is on Friday and the rain let up. I'll definitely be at Dinosaur Point well before sunset on Thursday and again on Saturday night. That's the 26th and the 29th of January. There are 2 others who are likely to be there on Thursday, and maybe 3 others on Saturday.

Here are the regs. They're actually simple and I'm guessing you have them memorized. The rangers ask us to post them:
Dinosaur Point is behind a locked gate. Access is only on announced nights. A Gatekeeper must make reservation, be present at all times, and escort observers through the gate.

Upon arriving at Dino's parking area, currently you arrive at another temporary gate at the bottom of the hill that's set up for the daytime boaters inspection. There, you will be asked by a CA Parks ranger to pay the $10 CA Parks use fee, or show your CA Parks annual pass in order to proceed to the parking area.
General rules for using Dinosaur Point
  1.. Pay the day-use fee.
   1a .. Please write "Stargazing" in big letters on the envelope we put in the iron ranger, to make sure the money goes to the right place.
  2.. Access to Dinosaur Point after dark is by reservation only. Only Gatekeepers can call the rangers and make reservations.
   a. Send observing requests and questions to DinoGatekeepers at yahoogroups dot com.
   b. Do not post OI's for Dinosaur Point until a Gatekeeper has announced it is available, and his arrival and departure times.

  3.. At least one Gatekeeper must always be present.
  4.. Everyone must be escorted out by a Gatekeeper.
  5.. Observers are not allowed to stay overnight.
  6.. Observers must arrive before sunset.
  7.. Locate the Gatekeeper(s) and introduce yourself when you arrive. Confirm your departure time.
  8.. Be prepared to leave on time or wait for the next scheduled escort to the gate.
         When you are ready to leave, proceed to the SW corner of the parking lot and wait there. At the scheduled time, a Gatekeeper will escort you out.
  9.. Leave the park as you found it. Make sure your area is clean.
 10.. Absolutely no boats allowed in the parking lot after dark.
 11.. No overnight camping.
 12.. Do not call the emergency number posted on the gate unless you are reporting an emergency. The ranger you get out of bed won't arrive for over an hour. Get a Gatekeeper to escort you out.
 13.. If you bring guests, you must ensure that they follow all these rules and procedures.

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