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Many of the Star Parties and Outreach Events w/o Photographs are provided below.
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November 17 Final 2012 Public Star Party

Well the evening started out as beautiful as the day had been, with clear skies and no wind. Dew was never a problem. We had about 16 scopes when I counted around 7 pm, and lots of folks were enjoying the pretty waxing crescent moon.

We had quite a few folks from the general public, and showed them lots of the early evening highlights: M31, M57, the double cluster, Albireo, NGC457 (the E.T. Cluster), M27, and more.

Unfortunately, high thin clouds moved in around 7pm, and continually thickened over the next few hours. Jupiter was still visible through them, however, so we all observed that for a while, though the seeing was pretty bad. By roughly 9 pm, most folks had left, and it was down to just five of us with two scopes setup, and optimists that we are, we stuck around to see whether conditions improved. Jupiter was actually looking pretty decent by about 10, with the GRS and Red Jr visible. I tried imaging Jupiter but it was difficult because of the clouds and seeing. I finally gave up around 11, packed up and was gone by midnight.

Here's hoping that next year's star parties have better weather!

Clear skies,
Chris Todd

You forgot to mention that a small group of people from HCC showed up..

Clear Skies''

I am very glad they were there! Before the clouds moved in, I got a chance to show them Kemble's Cascade and two or three other northern sky sights (i.e., away from the rapidly moving in clouds), and pointed out what they could see naked eye (there was actually a small stretch of the Milky Way visible around Cygnus). They asked some fairly astute questions, indicating they were not just there for extra credit, but were genuinely interested.

Bob Prokop

November 10, 2012 Members Only Star Party

Despite the early cloud cover last night's star party was a success. By 9:00PM skies had cleared and Jupiter was high enough to give some decent views in the eyepiece. At the peak I counted 14 scopes with people coming and going through out the night. I packed up at 11:00PM and there was still quite few members still viewing or imaging.

Dwane Miles

Garry and I were the last to leave at about 2am.  It got pretty wet from dew (but I've seen worse!), and the transparency was not so great, but it stayed clear and reasonably comfortable -- I never put on my gloves.  The Milky Way was faintly visible after the clouds departed, and my Sky Quality Meter gave readings in the 19.75 mag/arcsec^2 range, consistent with the low transparency and relatively high humidity.  Observed with scopes ranging from 10x50 binos and a GalileoScope to Chris' 18-inch Dob while I imaged through my 8-inch Newt.  Overall, a fun night out under the (sorta dark) skies!

Thanks, Dwayne, for hosting and arranging clear skies for us!


October 27, 2012 Public Star Party

Well, we could see that there was a nearly full moon, but I was too cloudy to actually see any details. Chris Miskiewicz and I were the only HAL members there, but a Cub Scout troop showed up, so Chris and I spent a pleasant hour answering their many excellent questions. We had three telescopes with us, so we talked about the differences between refractors, Newtonian reflectors, and Maksutov-Cassegrains, and answered their questions about everything from multiverses to how much they would weigh on Saturn. It was fun, and they seemed to enjoy and appreciate it.

After they left about 8:15, Chris and I packed up. Hopefully next month's public star party on November 17th (which I will be hosting) will actually give us the chance to show them Jupiter and some deep sky objects.

Chris Todd

Hi Chris,

I can't remember what event I got a HAL business card at but Astronomy was something we had not covered very much in our den meetings so I was very excited to bring my Cub Scouts to your star party on October 27th. I checked your website (great tool) and made sure it was still on given the cloud cover and we made our way to Alpha Ridge anyway. I kind of expected you to just say sorry maybe next month with the clouds hampering star viewing but you and Chris really hit this one out of the park. Instead you both offered to field questions from the boys and they loved it! As you can tell they are a very inquisitive bunch and also have a little knowledge that they have picked up so they knew enough to ask some pretty good questions. You fielded all of their questions and the knowledge you passed along to them was very impressive. They are still talking about things they learned and are looking forward to coming to the November star party in hopes of a clear night and maybe seeing Jupiter.

Thanks for having us. You and Chris gave great talks and even kept the adults interested. We will be back to see you again!

Joe Cauley
Webelos II Den Leader
Pack 914

October 13, 2012 Member's Star Party

Phillip Browne hosted that night, Oct 13, which started out cloudy but ended up pretty clear. Wayne and I stay and imaged way past midnight with the others leaving around 11.

Chris Miskiewicz

September 22, 2012

We have about 80% clear skies and a beautiful first quarter moon.
Didn't I say we would have some good observing? :-)

Chris Todd

September 15, 2012 Member's Star Party

Well, the great viewing weather didn't hold out for the star party -- we had high clouds blowing through pretty much continuously all evening, but there were some thin spots and even some real sucker holes.  About 15 people showed up, but most of us settled on binoculars and taking peeks through other people's scopes.  We did manage to view some of the bright Messier objects, and Bob showed us Groombridge 34, the 16th nearest star to the Sun at about 11 light years away.  About 5 scopes were eventually set up.  We all had a good time, though, and lots of good knowledge and experience was shared.  Hopefully we'll have better weather for this Saturday's Public Star Party.


August 25th, 2012 Public Star Party Report

Clouds and more clouds.  Nobody showed up at all! Not even for dinner.  But at least I enjoyed myself at Pasta Blitz. They have great food. Saw some pretty cool heat lightning on the way home.  It would have been a good night for time lapse video. The moon is now visible through the clouds and a few small sucker holes. Well looks like I win. Mother nature 1, star party 1.5  The .5 is because it didn't rain :)

Clear Skies''

August 18th, 2012 Member's Star Party Report

Saturday night’s star party was a big success…clear skies, but lots of dew.  We had a few new members show up and a head count of 22 people with scopes.

We were all blessed by the presence of Govind and his classic Meade 16" EMC (aka “The ROVER”) …. a very rare find I might add, and a beast!! He had it mounted to a modified electric powered chair controlled with a joystick.  Now that's what I call GoTo! :) With that scope he really has gone where no man has gone before.  And we all thought we had GoTo scopes with GPS.  Boy, Govind has us all beat, (I wonder how much the rental fees are?) You haven't seen M15 until you've seen it in the 16" Rover. Thanks Govind.

Also, Wayne has a great image of what coma looks like in a camera that I hope to see the at the next HAL meeting.

We all had a great time and hope next weekend’s star party, that I am also hosting, will be as good. According to Ernie, I am hosting a stay party once a month because every star party has been rained on or clouded out except for mine. And he says the cloud gods like me!!!! I don't know about that.

Clear Skies''

August 11, 2012 - Perseid Meteor Star Party

About nine or ten club members showed up by dusk, and we setup several canopies and lawn chairs. Chris M and I had brought cameras, hoping to do some time lapse/star trails, and a few people brought scopes, but mostly we just hung out for several hours under completely to mostly cloudy skies. 

We got rained on shortly after Bob left, but by about 11:30, some gaps in the clouds started appearing, so we pulled our chairs out from under the canopies and started looking for meteors. Gary saw one, but with roughly 80% cloud cover, I don't think anyone else did. 

Most people left about 1 or 1:30 am, although someone from the general public showed up about the same time. There were just three of us then, but around 3 am the clouds started clearing a good bit more, and another member of the general public showed up. That was when we started seeing meteors. Between 3 am and roughly 5 am, I logged about 20, including several nice bolides. 

By 5:15, the sky was starting to brighten, so I broke down the canopy and packed up. Venus, the moon, and Jupiter were beautiful and lined up, and Orion was easily visible over the eastern horizon (it was both weird and cool to see Orion in August!). All in all, I had a good time despite the weather, and eventually saw quite a few cool meteors.

Chris Todd

July 14, 2012 - Solar Library Event

I've posted to the forum about the solar viewing event we had this afternoon:
And I hereby rename Joel Goodman as Joel Sunbringer! :-)

Chris Todd

June 30, 2012 (Day after Derecho Storm) Star Party Report

We had a whopping four people show up. Ernie Mudd and I looked at the Moon, Saturn, Mars, and M13 - and that was washed out by the Moon.

I spent about an hour helping a new member with a very old scope F700 76mm - a name I've never heard of before. We think it was German made.
We packed up at 11:00 pm.

Garry Ingle

June 16, 2012 Star Party Report

I counted six scopes and nine people at last night's star party. Late afternoon clouds may have scared off some HAL members who were hoping
for better skies, but after sunset, there was a good amount of clearing. Some high, thin clouds persisted until 10:30 or so, but after that, it
was quite clear. We enjoyed looking at Saturn, some Virgo cluster galaxies, various globular clusters, and objects in the summer Milky Way.

Peter Friedman

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Last modified: November 27, 2015 @ 18:39 EST