The skies were clear and the temperature was pleasant for this private outing. Fourty-six kids
and twenty adults (66) in attendance at this event near Bowling Green. Actively showing from around 8pm to almost 10pm. Scopes included my 16" f/4.5 Meade dob reflector, my 8" f/10 Celestron SCT, and a local parent's 4.5" Alt/Az reflector. Those in attendance were shown views thru the scopes of: the moon, Saturn (with rings nearly edge-on), two and/or three moons of Saturn (including Titan), Messier 3 (Globular Cluster), M42 (emission nebula), M81 & M82 (Bode's Galaxy and the Cigar Galaxy, respectively).
The seeing seemed pretty good, transparency too, but it was hard to gauge with a day-past 1st quarter moon shining high in the sky. I was pleasantly surprised that Messiers 81 and 82 were as good as they were under such a bright moon. Saturn was steady, but yielded few details.
My favorite quote was from one boy that voiced disbelief that he was actually seeing Saturn (a trick?), which is not all that uncommon. Most people will long remember their first view of
Saturn with their own eyes.
About 20 of us also caught a flyby of the International Space Station as it went by just before 8pm.
It was a very good night and seemed to be enjoyed by many.
- Jim Twellman