American Heritage Girls - 4/12/2014

posted Apr 12, 2014, 10:16 PM by Jim Twellman
This event was our first ever at Towne Park ("Pink Plantation").  I set up at the end of the first parking area, between the two parking lots.  I brought my 8" Celestron SCT and my 16" dob.  Seeing conditions at arrival were fairly poor, and it unfortunately evolved into "lousy" by the end of the evening.

First viewers were around 8:10.  I was joined around that time by Stacey Thater and Doug Kniffen and they provided much-needed help.   Jupiter was displayed in the 8" SCT at 160x, while the Moon was viewed in the 16" dob at 61x.   Despite it being only 2 days before full moon, it was not painfully bright due to the thick layer of cirrus clouds.  Unusual not to need a filter to dim a nearly-full moon, the clouds were a fairly thick filter.  Early views of Jupiter showed two major bands and four Galilean moons.  Luna was bright but lacking in almost any detail whatsoever, due to the clouds.  Tycho showed up simply as a bright spot, all other features were indistinguishable.  Later views showed the Moon as a round blob and Jupiter as a disk, with no features whatsoever.  A very disappointing night weather-wise, but we took solace in showing up and not disappointing the kiddos.  Forecasts are not 100% correct at all times, but they were pretty spot-on tonight.  We invited all to better views at Broemmelsiek Park on any clear Friday night.  The last view given was around 9:15.  I packed up after and was out by 9:45pm.

The total number of people served was given to be 90.

Jim T.