Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Star Party Last Night

American Heritage Girls is a Christ-centered alternative to Girl Scouts made increasingly relevant as Scouting has gone fully woke.  They asked the Boise Astronomical Society to send up a volunteer with a telescope.  Rhonda and I stuck our hands up.

I had been a little concerned that a forest might be an obstacle.  The Sun was in clouds preventing Sunspot viewing.  The Moon was lost in the trees.  But after about 10:30, both Jupiter and Saturn were visible.   As usual you could hear the gasps when either children or adults saw Saturn.  Jupiter is also pretty magnificent especially when they can see the Galilean satellites.   I was also able to show the quadruple star Epsilon Lyrae.  You could just make out that each of these stars is in turn a double star.  I was not expecting this from a 5" refractor but even at 25x you could see it.

The 5" f/9 refractor and mount just barely fit in the Jaguar.   The last time I did a star party I used the Corvette but did not know the polar axis unscrew from the mount.  This greatly simplified getting everything on the trunk.  The telescope went in the back seat.

I had never used a laser pointer as an aid on objects light-years away.  It worked beautifully producing an easily visible marker to point to stars like Vega, Polaris, Arcturus and circling entire constellations.  I had forgotten how awesome a really dark sky is.  And I needed to wear long pants for the first time in months!

A great evening!  We hate dinner at Cougar Dave's in Donnelly.   A bar with hopes of being a restaurant but a fine Reuben sandwich in between the clicking of billiard balls.

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