The weather cooperated and we were able to hold our July Star Party at the Observatory site as planned. We experienced clouds and some rain in the area until 9:30pm when it started clearing. By 11:00pm the western and northern skies were very clear and the east/south skies had patchy clouds.
We had an unusually large turnout this month. A lot of first time visits from members that have joined since we had to quit using the dark site last year. It felt very good to be back in our "home" star party site. The security of the site and the comfort of the training room has been missed! Before darkness, we were able to meet and greet each other. We also shared a lot of snacks and camaraderie during the evening.
The younger visitors really enjoyed themselves with nature and other activities along with the exposure to astronomy. It was great to see the kids enjoying the beauty of the darkness and night sky with no game machines or phones glued to their faces!
Everyone appreciated the opportunity to be surrounded by our fellow club members and to be able to enjoy the skills of our talented members. Many members enjoyed casual observing with binoculars and telescopes. We were also treated to see Josh Palmer's obtain real time video of transiting satellites and David Quattlebaum's capture of nebula and galaxies!
Thanks to David Moffett, Kepler Tumler, and David Quattlebaum, we were also able to remove the Meade 14" SCT from the Observatory and store it safely in the training room. There will be a lot of maintenance activity in the Observatory this summer and we wanted the telescope to be safely stored.
We will post some photos in the members Photo Gallery area so you can be treated to some extremely nice smiles and happy faces.