Dave Barrett of High Point Scientific with his Tectron 24" scope. Dave always provides some of the most incredible views at a starparty. I will never forget the H2 regions in M33, the spiral arms of NGC 6946, and the Horsehead nebula. Dave has his scope performing at maximum potential. Amazing real-time images. Thanks Dave!
Black Forest Star Party 2002 (extended)
Sept. 4-9, 2002
Another great Blackforest Starparty. Attendance continues to increase with a reported 450+ for 2002. Skies were great to fair on the 4 nights I was there. If you could have extended your stay, skies were great until Wednesday morning. The trees lining the state highway are a very nice addition. I encourage all who partake of the Cherry Springs park to consider supporting the Cherry Springs fund. More information at Gary Honis's webpage.
For more details on the event and site see the official website at http://www.bfsp.org/starparty/
The week had already been quite nice, but Saturday was shaping up to be " the night." I was moving to a more northern photographic target, when just as twilight started to wane I noticed a brightening in the north. I knew this was not a man-made light source. I said to my photographic friends, "Bummer, we have an aurora tonight." At first it was an undifferentiated green glow on the northern horizon, but by around 9:00 p.m., the show began. Most of the intensity was in the northwest in Ursa Major. Reds, blues, greens, bright white pillars, by far the best show I have ever seen. Ooohs and aahhs reminiscent of Independence Day fireworks rose up from the observing field. This was an ideal aurora, intensely bright and then diminishing before the photographic window was open<g> The aurora persisted in the north until around 2:00 a.m. with occasional brightening. At the peak, the aurora easily extended into Lyra near the zenith. What an amazing show!
Mike Peoples of Highpoint Scientific selling an astro-accessory
BFSP provides a great opportunity to learn from some of the best in the hobby. Whether it is film photography, CCD, digital camera, deep sky observing, or naked eye observing - you can find a knowledgeable person on your subject of interest. For me, it is great to see friends found through astronomy and often times through the Blackforest. I hope to return to Cherry Springs in the late spring of 2003. See you then!