May 19, 2012 - HAL Alpha Ridge Public Star Party Report
From what I could, tell this may have been the best attended Public Star Party at Alpha Ridge Park in HAL history. We had about 18 scopes set up and 65 attendees between the Public and HAL members. Weather conditions were excellent all night. It wasn't until 10:30PM that I finally broke down and put on a sweatshirt over my tee shirt. On the other hand, while the skies were pretty clear, the transparency was not that great and it was hard to pull out the faint fuzzies. However, views of Saturn, Venus, and Mars were very good.
I heard a lot of rave reviews from members of the Public attending a HAL star party for the first time. All were gushing about what a great and giving group HAL members are with sharing telescope views and information while being very friendly.
I showed up quite a bit earlier than usual (well over an hour before sunset) so I could take an overdue inventory of HAL owned items stored in a container on the Alpha Ridge site. I figured I would be the first one there. However, I found a Large number of people already there with scopes set up. It turned out that they were mostly testing out their solar gear in preprepation for the upcoming June 5th Transit of Venus. Early attending members of the Public got bonus views of the sun which is not normally the case at HAL night time star parties.
Enjoy the photos below.