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Messages - DDK

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No such light. There's a light in the bathroom that's motion-sensitive but goes out after a few minutes. Better to stay away from the bathroom anyway.

Observing Reports / Re: Peak 18 June, outreach night, good and dark
« on: July 19, 2017, 05:37:55 PM »
Rumors of the demise of Fremont Peak as a quality observing site continue to be greatly exaggerated. Yes I'm stealing Twain's line. Seeing is often startingly good. A middling night like this one last June new moon shows up a 6.0 limiting magnitude, heaps of stars, excellent detail on all kinds of objects. It's from the Peak that I've caught 4 of the highly valued little dim dwarfs in our Local Group - the Fornax Dwarf, Leo I, IC 10 and the famously elusive WLM.

Too fine a local resource to miss. As Joe Bob would say, DDK sez check it out.

Annual Star Parties / Re: CalStar 2017 Registration is open
« on: July 12, 2017, 12:18:45 PM »
Here we can officially thank Charlie Wicks for all he's done to keep CalStar flourishing. And Beth Winters once again for finding Whiisssper Canyon for us.

Rants and Off Topic / Re: Welcome Back Brad Franzella!
« on: July 12, 2017, 12:14:09 PM »
I remember Brad from Lassen. He has several claims to fame.

Observing Intents / Re: TAC members in my area
« on: July 12, 2017, 12:13:16 PM »
Hey Dust. The TAC-SAC used to be really active, and a fun bunch. Most recently they were going to Blue Canyon, wherever that is.

Rants and Off Topic / Re: Welcome Back Brad Franzella!
« on: July 12, 2017, 11:54:47 AM »
Brad was a fun kid, betcha he's the same good guy now.

Observing Intents / Re: CalStar continues to ride again
« on: July 11, 2017, 07:31:07 PM »
Mark side sezzee, he who dabbles in imaging.
Bracewell is the 6th TACoMark I know of, the guitar maker and rocker who has gone by the moniker Spike.

Observing Intents / Re: CalStar continues to ride again
« on: July 11, 2017, 06:00:16 PM »
There are at least 6 TACoMarks now. Johnston and Wagner as above, with McCarthy, Brada, Buxbaum, and Spike the Guitar Maker What's His Last Name.

Observing Intents / Re: TAC members in my area
« on: July 10, 2017, 10:44:52 PM »
Here's a welcome to the gang, Stardust. Looks like there aren't any lurkers on around Clearlake. There are several people here who go to Lake Sonoma.

Observing Intents / CalStar continues to ride again
« on: July 10, 2017, 10:41:58 PM »
DDK will be there with bells on, Thursday to Sunday. All praise to our glorious and diplomatic Potentate.

Observing Reports / Re: Old Time Fun At Montebello.
« on: July 04, 2017, 04:59:08 PM »
Oh those Montebellistas. And Dan's 16", I know that scope, it's Uncle Albert!

Annual Star Parties / Re: CalStar 2017
« on: July 04, 2017, 04:55:19 PM »
The kitchen at Whiisssper Canyon is big. No need to bring a stove, there are burners galore. Big fridge. Anyone can cook anytime they like.

Observing Intents / Re: Santa Cruz Astronomy Club at Pinnacles West
« on: June 30, 2017, 01:40:42 PM »
a) I thought about mentioning the senior pass, didn't know if you were that old yet. 10 bucks once, for a lifetime, what a deal. You just have to be 62. I got mine up at Lassen, the year I hit eligibility.

b) yeah weird, starparties where you're forbidden to bring telescopes. Once again we're reminded why TAC has a place in the universe.

Observing Intents / Re: Santa Cruz Astronomy Club at Pinnacles West
« on: June 29, 2017, 10:09:20 PM »
Hey Wags. The west side of the Pinnacles is 45 minutes from Salinas, so you can do your arithmetic from there. Sure you pay the national parks entrance fee. No one is figuring on staying till morning. But you know, the rangers there are very relaxed.

That night you could go to the SJAA starparty on the east side of the park off of hwy 25, only they won't let you bring a telescope. It's a thing, will take me still longer to get my head around that.

Observing Reports / Peak 18 June, outreach night, good and dark
« on: June 28, 2017, 09:20:09 PM »
Sunday night the 18th was fun at the SW lot. Turned out to be primarily for outreach, in a good way. There were plenty of stars, around 6.0 LM thru most of the night, with seeing at least good, 4/5, occasionally going to excellent.

Just after sunset, the two other cars in the lot had their occupants amble down off the Peak, a couple and a family. They were all thrilled and intrigued to be looking at Saturn and Jupiter and their moons. Just can’t miss with Saturn.

The SW lot is good for genial visitors. Around 10, this young woman showed up, whom David the weekend ranger had sent along from the main lot, “Yeah, there’s this guy up there with a telescope, he seems very friendly.” The kid went to the high school where Jo taught for 23 years, knows several of Jo’s buddies. She stuck around till 1 am, was fascinated with the sky and got the cook’s tour.

Reminded me of when Stacy Jo McDermott started showing up. She mentioned all these guys on dark hilltops, way out of town, being polite and reliably respectful. That’s us TACos.

For the person with the telescope, Saturn showed off 5 and maybe 6 moons. Titan, Rhea, Dione, Tethys and Encedalus were all there. Hyperion was where it was charted on my little Saturn phone app, but there were other candidates also in the same area.

There were a bunch of meteors after 1 am in the east of Pegasus, along what was the bottom edge of the Great Square. Two were bright and head-on, one of those had a double flash. At least 7 bright brief ones. Don’t know of a meteor shower that was happening that night, but they sure showed a pattern.

It was warm all night, around 70F. A screech owl was making good music. Looked at 7331 and M31 and friends for dessert before packing up.
Wasn’t able to get out last weekend, so am very glad to have gotten out to the Peak last Sunday week. It was a fun dark night.

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