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mini starparty

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Friday afternoon (may 5th) I got a call from my brother in devon saying he was buying a new tent and gonna christen it that night at hope cove (30 m east of plymouth) and so inspierd by the sgl starparty i grabbed my fishing bivvy my son and my 105 and shot off to have a night of it.

found the campsite about 10pm there was some sea fog in the valleys but this site was high on hill side so it wasn't an issue.

First thing we obsesverd on stepping out my car was the most obvious and complete moonbow(dog?) i've ever seen and really was a sight to behold.

Set up tent by headlights and soon after aligned and leveled my tripod, some big bands of cloud covered the eastern sky but was improving rapidly so i set the scope out to cool down while i warmed up with a few more layers and a wee dram or two.

Ok switch on and imput date and and time 23 47 according to watch (normally ring tim from home but hoped it wouldn't matter too much) finding first star arcturus..........beep,miles out not even in finder scope but slew to center and enter, 2nd star........beep even further out but center and enter hoping it can still triangulate,try Jupiter first..beep yeah, not even close damn!

So with second night battery concerns a forethought i decided to switch off and start again this time twisting the tripod more north,couldn't see north star on set up 1st time due to cloud( why does the table on top of the tripod u bolt the scope to have to be of so much metal it effcts a compass??) and this time rang tim to be sure of accurate time.so retried arcturus, closer but still out by more than usual same with 2nd star, so better alinged i retry Jupiter beep this time at the very top of FOV ok so its there that'll do brought it to center and we all had a good look

(my bruv took his wife and youngest daughter also so time at the eyepiece was fairly fleeting what with calls of"let me have a look"&"do u wan't another one jed?) but what i saw of Jupiter was very nice 4 moons and banding where clearly made out and looked bigger than i'de observed it last month.

A quick sqwizz at the moon followed with some lovely detail along the terminator no filters :D so became sore on the eye viewing too long.

So nip across to Saturn fantastic hanging there like a mobile,can make out cassini div and some banding with averted gaze(all obsevations were made with the supplied 26mm possil and a 2xbarlow) beautiful as usual,

Then off to m13 a bit disapointing at first glance but with a wipe of the lens(dew was a real prob and i fogot my dew sheild :insects1:) a tweek on the focus and longer at the eyepiece the view was very pleasing and as my sister in law(also newbie obsever) told my unimpressed niece "it's much more impresive when you know what you are looking at" same thing with m3 my sis in law saw a meteor burn up across the fov whilst viewing this and jumped around shouting "YES RIGHT ACROSS M3" until we reminded her it was just after 2:30am and the rest fo the campsite probably thought she was giving directions to some one actually in basingstoke without a phone lol.

Then we had a look at the ring nebular (first look) and i think i could make out a dark dot at the center with averted gaze gonna have to try different eyepiecs on that and see what i can see.

Dew was a real prob by 3am so we took scope down and tucked the kids up and sat viewing thru bino's :D,just got the £15 bresser 10x50's from lidl's (from thread on here) and was very impressed with the quality to expense ratio, matched my sis in law's £100+(can't remember make) pair easily.

Just before we finished up i saw a huge meteor flash going thru hercules(?) toward cassiopia a good hand span and a bit, the tail lasted what i estimate to be about 1/2 a sec (relativley long) and looked green as it faded.

All in all it was a very enjoyable session and has me eager for some more cloud free evenings.

P.S Whilst attempting to get some sleep(forgot pillows :insects1:) it was bugging me why alingment was off what with Jupiter at the top of FOV when normally its spot on? and then it dawned on me that when i first got my 105 i had to enter my co-ordinates for my back garden and now i was a few degrees futher north and so Jupiter being in the south was at the top of FOV which is actuarly bottom when flipped in mirror and so had proved to myself that the earth really was round and i fell asleep with the smile of a self appointed genius 8)

PP.S woke up about 8:30am and shortly after realised i'de forgot wash bags as well :insects1:smile wiped off :D

Things forgot:-

Dew shield


Wash bags

Buy fags

Folding chairs

Anything to eat off or with

Anything to drink from

(well i did say i was inspierd by SGL star party) :lol:

Sorry if this is a bit long and boring but its my first report (not sure wether to type it up or not) but once i started....


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Jed thanks for sharing your mini star party report with us all sounds like you had some good fun one or two little hiccoughs that you managed to sort out so all in all I think its safe to say you had a good old time of it and you got to see some good targets and some unexpected extras re sis in laws Ecstasy at seeing the meteor

good report nice reading :D

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Good report Jed, sounds as though you had a good time inspite of all the trials and tribulations.

You can't go camping without forgetting important things :insects1:

At least you remembered the :D and you introduced astronomy to a novice. Great

naz :D

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