Camp Tuckaho, 4/2/2011

posted Apr 8, 2011, 5:33 PM by Jim Twellman
The event went off pretty good! The cool weather caused a few folks to leave the camp early, so the crowd was just about the right size. Larry Campbell came along at the end of the first wave and entertained the crowd with bino views of the Pleiades and the Beehive. The estimated # of scouts and parents was 120, with about 6 groups of 20 each every 20 minutes. We gave views from around 8:15 until around 10:15.

I had the 8" SCT tracking on Saturn, which supported the seeing a lot better tonight than it had last night (239x tonight). Saturn was bright enough to see thru the occasional thin cirrus clouds that played around.

The dob spent most of the evening on M42, but occasional clouds caused some folks to view either M3 or M35.

The girl scouts were very appreciative and we enjoyed the thank-you's as much as the ooh's and wow's. I had a little more problem with scope pushers tonight than usual, and I'm still not sure why. Girls are usually better listeners.  I'm guessing it was related to sleep deprivation!

The dusk-to-dawn light at the camp entrance is still there. I could deal with it better than the very frequent headlights that seemed to pass by us every 5-10 minutes. The kitchen building was close by and had lights as well, but they were much less bothersome. There is another good observing area here (ballfield?). It should be used unless they are having a bonfire. We should have used it tonight. Summer and fall events here usually have a bonfire, but none tonight.

The girls provided me with a Coke and offered S'mores (which I turned down, not wanting sticky stuff on my eyepieces!).

All in all, it was a great evening, and I'm glad that I didn't pull the plug on it. I was severely tempted to, with skies being cloudy most of the day. A big "thanks" to Larry. His help was timely and very appreciated.

Jim Twellman
Scouts at the 16" dob looking at Messier 42
Scouts at the 8" SCT viewing Saturn at 239x