Broemmelsiek - Friday Night 9/23/2011

posted Sep 24, 2011, 7:39 PM by Jim Twellman
I arrived at Broemmelsiek about 6:45 and saw flashing lights in the field next to the observatory.  It was the Park Ranger marking off extra parking space for the expected large crowd.  I opened up the observatory, and also setup my 8" SC.  By 7pm about 20 people were there with me and more cars were coming in quickly.  From the first family there I was answering questions non-stop, from both adults and kids.  One lady and her family brought a 8" dob, so I helped them with it.  The collimation was way off, so I took care of it first.  Next was dialing in the finder scope.  All the time more folks were poring in, by 7:20 there had to be 150 people there, surrounding me 360 degrees.  I was like a SM Black home in the middle of a galaxy, if I moved, the bulge moved with me.  About 7:40 Jim and Yvonne showed and saved the day.  With Yvonne handling crowd control, Jim and I only had 80 or 90 people each, the night got much easier.
It was still early so I pointed to Mizar and let everyone look at a nice double star and was easy to point out with my green laser pointer. I didn't know it at the time, but Jim was looking at Albireo, so double stars were the main course for the night.  It took about an 60 - 90 min, but the crowd thinned out and we stared looking at a few other objects.  I went to M11 and then Jupiter, and Jim was on M31.
Grant got there about 9:00, (my time could be off, I didn't have time to look at a watch). He setup quickly had a large following of his own.

The night started out cloudy, but cleared out nicely.  It was dewy from the start, and hair dryers were needed often, but the see was good.  Jupiter was beautiful.   
By 10:30 both Jim and I were ready to crash.  We packed up and were on the road by 11.   Grant stayed behind and a non-member showed up just as I was leaving and brought his scope.  I don't remember his name though.  By 10:30 both Jim and I were ready to crash.  We packed up and were on the road by 11.    
There were at least three people there who were interested in joining the club.  I told them where and when we meet, but I didn't get their names.
So, in conclusion..... it was a good night.