Unfortunately I had to work Saturday and arrived late. I got there about 7:45 and most of the quests had left or were on their way out. Speaking to a few ASTRA members, I found out there weren't a lot of guests. The ones that were there, were treated to real nice views of Saturn, Jupiter, the Moon and Comet Ikeya-Zhang. It was a nice clear night with a 74% Moon. We had a good showing of ASTRA members. Check out the pictures on the Whitesbog page of the ASTRA web sight. We had everything there, all sizes and price ranges of telescopes. A 60MM refractor, 90MM Questar, 8" & 10" Dobs, other reflectors, 13" Dob (home made job), 8", 10" & 12" LX200's, 25x100 binoculars and other items I just can't remember. The quests were all gone by 8:30 and it was just us till about 11:30. If the Moon wasn't so bright, we would have stayed much longer. We got donuts & coffee and had great conversations about ASTRA business, DSO's, eyepieces, telescopes and all sorts of Astronomy stuff. A few jokes were told and of course we did some observing. Because of the Moon, we were limited top what we could see. Using the Ultra Block filter we saw about 7 or 8 real nice planetary Nebulas. The highlight being the Saturn Nebula. Earlier in the evening, I didn't see it, but I understand the view of M42 with the OIII filter in the 13" Dob was beyond belief. Jupiter and Saturn were much better at Low magnification. The Moon was outstanding, focusing real well with an 8MM eyepiece at 381x in the 12"LX200. The Comet was spectacular in the 90MM Questar. I did check what eyepiece was in there but the tail went clear out of the field. Beautiful! Around 10:00, we started looking at Double Stars from the list of 100 from the Astronomy League. We saw 5 or 6 very nice doubles including 24 Comae Berenices mag 5.2/6.7 sep 20.3". Very nice Gold of yellow star with an excellent blue companion.
It was a great night. I love getting out with other club members for these events. Star Parties are fun for all. Even if you don't have a scope, come! We're all more than happy to share the eyepiece. You'll get experience and knowledge only available in the field and have a great time doing it. Watch the local club web sights for announcements of when the club will be getting together again in the field for a Public event. I for one, can't wait to get there. Hope to see you all there to.