2013 01 05 – Eagle Eye Observatory

2013. A new year and with it, new resolutions of what we’d like to accomplish, new goals, or changes in our lives. I’ve got a full-page list for my 2013 resolutions and one of the items on the list is more outreach and to expand the types of outreach I do. Last year, some of the highlights were my first solo outreach with a cub scout group, a solar outreach with the Austin Planetarium, and several of the Austin Astronomical Society public outreach events…not to mention a few smaller private outreach gatherings. This year, I’d like to contact some of the local schools in my area for solar outreach, more sidewalk astronomy at parks, and to help out with more club events if time permits.

With all that in mind, this Saturday was the first public star party/outreach event of 2013 for our club, the Austin Astronomical Society. It was held at the Eagle Eye Observatory at the Canyon of the Eagles. It’s always a great time getting together with club members and meeting new people as they come to share the night skies with us.

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The following is a report of the star party from our club’s outreach chair, Dawn Davies.

Saturday January 5, 2013
AAS Public Star Party
Eagle Eye Observatory, Canyon of the Eagles
5:15 p.m. – 9:15 p.m.
Guests: 27

Closest Visitor – from Marble Falls, TX
Farthest Visitor – from Kentfield, CA
Other Cities Represented – Austin, Horseshoe Bay, McDade, and Pearland

Telescopes: 8
Observatory Operator: Terry
Temperatures: Low 50s moving toward high 30s by end of the night

Transparency and humidity made less than stellar skies, but seeing was very good and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I left the 16″ reflector at home this time and instead opted for my Maxscope solar telescope and an Astro-Tech 6″ RC for nighttime observing. I even managed a sketch of the Orion Nebula on very soggy paper and had spare time to make my rounds visiting everyone at their scopes. Typically when I bring the 16″, I’m very busy sharing the views. This night was quiet for me with the 6″ scope. I imagine part of that was because I set up near the edge of the field instead of my normal spot near the middle. Regardless, we had 27 guests that signed in and I thought that was wonderful given the cold weather of winter! This is certainly a good omen of things to come for the new year.

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~ by Erika Rix on January 8, 2013.

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