Indian Camp Creek Park - June 4, 2011

posted Jun 6, 2011, 7:41 PM by Jim Twellman
It was our first open public scope event at this park, and as a result we had some confusion over where to set up.  In the end, we had a pretty good site (shelter #6) with easy hiking from the campsite and plenty of parking.  It was hard for me to gauge the sky quality here, since there was quite a bit of haze that night.  Our site had a nice grassy area, with a layout that reminded me of our usual setup site at Klondike.   This is a cool park!

The public showed up shortly after sunset (8:15).  Some had conflicting information and were re-directed from Broemmelsiek.  Approximately 25 people looked thru scopes provided by Jim Roe (8" SCT), Grant Martin (4" refractor?), Chuck Simms (8" SCT) and myself (16" dob).  Early viewers saw the 4-day old crescent moon and Saturn.  As it got darker, there were added views of the globular star cluster M3, its' bigger cousin M13, the double star Algieba (Gamma Leonis), the double star Albireo (Beta Cygni), M57 (Ring Nebula), and M51 (Whirlpool galaxy) very late.   We were about to pack up, when another group of approximately 25 (scouts and families from the camp) drove in.  It seems there were a couple of emergency room visits that delayed their coming!  These kids were up late (it was about 10:15 at this time) but were very well behaved and seemed to really enjoy the views.  Some last looks and we started packing up shortly after 11pm and left around 11:20.

Best views on this hazy night were the globs in my opinion.  We had plenty of bugs, but not too many cicadas (thank goodness).  The rangers took good care of us and the crowd.  It was a fun night and I was glad to finally get a chance to try out this park for stargazing.  I think that we will see a lot more action here in the future.

Jim Twellman