Klondike Park event - May 30, 2009

Post date: Jun 4, 2009 1:18:53 AM

(adapted from various write-ups, mostly by Tom Richards -- JLT)

I wanted to take a minute to express a special thanks to many scope owners from through-out St.Louis area who showed up. This includes members of both clubs, ASEM and SLAS, as well as private individuals who got the word on the event.

For those who didn't make it, this one was of biggest turn-out of scopes and amateur astronomers that I can remember in very long time; the last count was 18, which covered the gambit of the ASEM's big bino's, small and giant refractors, SCTs, small and large newtonians and dobs, of all sizes, as well as Alt-Az and GEM mounts to boot. The giant refractors, on 6 foot plus pedestals and tripods, were a real treat as well. With the moon in first quarter phase, it was probably the biggest crowd pleaser (I couldn't look at anything else it seemed until late - lots of star-gazers - an estimated count was around 75), while most others had Saturn and other bright Messiers pulled in to kept the ooh's and aah's going from the crowd.

I didn't catch all the names of those supporting this event, since scopes were arriving while visitors were showing up (and things just got real busy with everyone wanting to take a look at the sights, as these parties usually do when things get rolling), but we have developed a list of those that we believe we supportive of the event:

ASEM and SLAS members:

Marv Stewart - 8 in Meade Lightbridge "dob"sonian

Tom Richards - 8 in newtonian home-made scope and pipe mount

Jim Trull - 8 in Meade LX-90 SCT on a powered fork mount

John Furlong - the ASEM's 100mm giant binoculars

John Furlong - 114mm reflector

Kirk Steinbrugge - the ASEM's Maksutov-Cassegrain Meade ETX-125

Will Day & daughter Carisa - 110mm Orion refractor on an Orion Atlas GEM

Grant Martin - 127mm Apogee refractor and a 10 in newtonian on an Orion Altas GEM

Jim Feeney - 80mm Meade refractor

Joe McHugh - 8 in newtonian home-made dob

Jim "Cook" Feldman - 8 in newtonian home-made dob

Mark Jones - 102mm f/15 home-made PVC refractor on a giant pipe mount

Tom Keutzer - 80mm (?) refractor on a grab'n'go mount

Non-club members:

Steve & Terry House - 6 in D&G refractor on a GEM/giant pedestal mount

Mark Farr - 6 in Celestron f/8 refractor on a giant homemade 'Richard Berry' mount

Tim Martin & family - 6 in Orion StarBlast newtonian

Wayne W. - 12 in Orion Intelliscope dob

Aside from the 'squeeters, which were thick and hungry, conditions were comfortable, slightly humid (but getting worse there as we reached 11PM), and yet despite the forecast, the skies remained clear all night long. As I noted, the moon and Saturn stole the show. I tried my 5mm Hyperion on the old 8 in newt with the moon craters in view and people just kept coming back to look again (I was stuck on the moon till visitors stopped appearing around 11 PM - it was a beautiful view).

Grant Martin, Joe McHugh, and I stayed past midnight with the parks permission, since the skies were still great, the moon was beginning to set and surprisingly, the humidity was improving. So since we were having so much fun, at about 1AM the heavens really opened up, and the DSOs and the Milky Way were punching thru the lighted eastern sky. The summer sights were great to see again, especially M17 (Omega/Swan Nebula) and M27 (The Dumbell Nebula). It was a hard thing to pull myself away in the wee hours with such conditions... Just another great memorable night, all the way around.

Thanks so much to all in supporting this event. I look forward to the next one.

Tom R.

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Other notes:

[1] Our next event is on a FRIDAY at Broemmelsiek Park - Fri June 19

[2] These pix's of Klondike do not do it justice. It is an extremely beautiful park, and if you've

never been there, you owe yourself a visit.

[3] We normally do these events at Broemmelsiek, but we have another at Klondike -

October 17. A great time of year to camp and/or visit local wineries.

(4) If anyone feels there is a need to add-to or correct this report, please contact Jim Twellman or Tom Richards of ASEM

A scout takes a peek thru Steve H's large refractor.