On Saturday August 3rd and again on Sunday August 4th, 2013, the Quai du Vin Estate Winery Star Party took place at 45811 Fruit Ridge Line, southeast of St Thomas. This star party took place a few days prior to the August 6th New Moon, making for wonderfully dark skies and good seeing conditions despite some clouds.
Quai du Vin Winery Estate Star Night, August 3rd, 2013
Following a barbeque dinner on Saturday evening, August 3rd, RASC London Centre members set up their telescopes and Public Outreach Coordinator and Past President Dave McCarter made his digital slide presentation “Hubble’s Vision” beginning at dusk around 9:20 p.m. Dave brought his 25.4cm Dobsonian telescope. Besides Dave and his wife Janice, other members present (including telescopes) were Everett Clark, 11.4cm Newtonian; Roman Dubinski, 127mm Maksutov; Steve Imrie, 20.3cm Dobsonian; Craig Levine, 13.1-inch (33.3cm) Truss-Tube Dobsonian; Matt Neima, 30.5cm Dobsonian; Mike Roffey, 15cm Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain on a Vixen Porta II mount, Harold Tutt, Celestron C8 (20.3cm) Schmidt-Cassegrain; Jon Gunning, small Schmidt-Cassegrain; and Maria Lavdas. In all, there were 10 London Centre members with 9 telescopes. Maria counted everybody that was there and came up with 163 people. Given that there were 10 London Centre members present, the number of visitors totalled 153 people.
Besides Saturn, which was most certainly the showpiece of the evening, people viewed a variety of deep-sky objects through the telescopes. Craig Levine reported showing people the Veil Nebula, globular cluster M13, Saturn, globular cluster M22, the Double Cluster in Perseus, the Andromeda Galaxy and globular clusters NGC 6642, NGC 6638 and M28 through his 13.1-inch (33.3cm) Truss-Tube Dobsonian. Matt Neima showed people Saturn, M13, Albireo, the Ring Nebula (M57) and globular cluster M22 and scanned the Milky Way around Sagittarius. There was an International Space Station (ISS) on schedule at 9:51 p.m. moving from south to southeast (10—20 degrees above the horizon) before disappearing into the clouds. This highly successful star night ended under increasingly transparent skies around 11:30 p.m.
Quai du Vin Winery Estate Star Night, August 4th, 2013
RASC London Centre members set up their telescopes early in the evening under mostly clear skies with some clouds to the southwest. Dave McCarter made his digital slide presentation “Hubble’s Vision” beginning at dusk around 9:15 p.m. Dave brought his 25.4cm Dobsonian telescope. Other members present (including telescopes) were Everett Clark, 11.4cm Newtonian; Roman Dubinski, 127mm Maksutov; Bob Duff, 20.3cm Dobsonian; Dan Tremblay, 12.5-inch (32cm) f/6.6 Truss-Tube Dobsonian; Harold Tutt, Celestron C8 (20.3cm) Schmidt-Cassegrain; Dale Armstrong and Maria Lavdas. In all, there were 8 London Centre members with 6 telescopes. Dale took some pictures with his digital camera. Maria counted everybody that was there and came up with 112 people. Given that there were 8 London Centre members present, the number of visitors totaled 104 people.
Saturn was the showpiece of the evening and made a fine view in Bob’s 20.3cm Dobsonian through the 7mm Nagler eyepiece (174.3X). People also viewed Albireo, the Ring Nebula (M57), Epsilon Lyrae, globular cluster M13 and the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) through the 20.3cm Dobsonian. They viewed these and a variety of other deep-sky objects through other member’s telescopes. There was an ISS pass scheduled for 10:38—10:44 p.m. moving southwest to west (altitude 10—90 degrees) directly overhead and Iridium (satellite) flares. Most of the visitors were gone by 11:30 p.m. under increasingly transparent skies after what was a very enjoyable evening under the stars.
Higher Education Liaison
RASC London Centre