Roper Mountain Astronomers

June Picnic at Musgrove Mill Memorial Park

June 17, 2021 3:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Our picnic was held at Musgrove Mill Memorial Park on Saturday June 12.  Severe storms went through the Laurens area around 3pm but were out of the area by the time we stated at 6pm.  

Bucky's Barbecue catered the event  with pulled pork and chicken barbecue, mac and cheese, sweet potato casserole, cold slaw and drinks.  Everyone had plenty to eat and it was excellent as usual.

Before eating, several of us took to one of the 2.5 miles of nature trails in the park and walked to the Enoree River where the old bridge used to cross it for many years.  Only the foundation pillars remain but the river is impressive at this site.  We saw a display with a photo of the last mill house on the site from 1908.  There is also a memorial commemorating the Revolutionary battle found at this location.  We did not get to see the Horseshoe Falls area as it closed at 6pm.

After dinner, David Quattlebaum gave a talk on how to locate objects in the night sky using various coordinate systems, apps, and landmarks in the sky.   This talk triggered a great discussion of what everyone liked to observe and how they find objects.  The talk led into each person introducing themselves and relating how they got into astronomy as a hobby.  It was great to meet our newer members that have not been able to get together in person. 

Josh Palmer held a raffle for some items and Su Devaraj won the Wonder Globe and Scott Stevens won the Telrad red dot finder.  Congratulations to the winners and we plan to have more raffles in the future.  

After the raffle, Josh demonstrated how he track satellites and photographs then with his Celestron  11-inch f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.  The demonstration was held inside the picnic shelter due to the clouds.  Josh will be repeating this in the future when we will be able to see satellites being tracked.

Overall we had a great picnic and only clear skies and a star party could have been better,  Thanks to everyone who participated to make this event happen.  Our members and board really work to make our club a success. Their passion for our hobby and our club is obvious with the participation we see in all our events.

We owe a special "Thank You" to Dawn Weaver. Dawn is the Park Manager at the Musgrove Mills park.  She was extremely helpful in getting the Special Permit for our party to be held after hours.  Dawn also met with us and shared her in-depth knowledge of the park.  For instance, she informed us of the large bat population on the sire with two bat houses, the recent new births that were monitored, and the value of the bats in controlling mosquitos and other insects in the area. 

Josh has added a folder to the Photo Galleries section for the picnic.  If anyone else has photos they want to post, let Josh know and he can setup a folder for you.

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