NSP 16 : My Half Week

Its Thursday night and while the Nebraska Star Party is still in progress I only attended the first half of the week. Their skies look clear as I write and I’m sure those there are enjoying the dark skies. I’m going to write a full review later but here is a brief recap:

Sunday, July 19

First day of NSP, I arrived in the evening and immediately setup. Partly cloudy skies got worse and I was unable to polar align. So I crashed around midnight. I awoke at 2:30am or so with a strong storm passing over. When the wind is gusting this strong I’m concerned about my telescope blowing over but its pretty heavy. Next morning it was fine.

Monday, July 20

Overcast all day and it rained on dinner with a brief downpour. No sign it would be clear at night. Ever the optimist I had my scope uncovered and ready to go at sundown. Around 11:30 it cleared off and the sky was spectacularly dark and transparent for the next hour. Summer milky way was a sight to behold. Clear the rest of the night but dew (humidity) was a serious problem.

Tuesday, July 21

Clear day so very hopeful for the night and indeed it turned out to be very good. I was observing the northern sky off and on since sunset because it appeared there were clouds there. As time went on I came to the conclusion this gray arc across the northern sky had to be something else besides clouds and indeed it was. The photo on the right is from some trial and error to get the tent illumination right. Click for larger version and more info.

Wednesday, July 22

Clear morning as I packed up for the trip home.

Altogether a short first visit to the Nebraska Star Party at Merritt Reservoir but mother nature was good to me. Look for a more in depth review in the coming weeks.