Star Night, Pittock Conservation Area, Woodstock, August 22nd, 2015

The skies were mostly clear as RASC London Centre Past President and Public Outreach Coordinator Dave McCarter and fellow members Harold Tutt and Gaetan Godin set up their telescopes for a Star Night at Pittock Conservation Area near Woodstock, Ontario, Saturday, August 22nd, 2015. Dave brought his 25.4cm Dobsonian; Harold, his 80mm Stellarvue Nighthawk refractor and Vixen alt-azimuth mount; and Gaetan, his home-built 20.3cm Dobsonian / Newtonian reflector rebuilt on a Sky-Watcher NEQ6 equatorial mount.

They set up their telescopes on the lawn in the Day Use area and people enjoyed high-power views of the first quarter Moon. As the sky darkened, they found Saturn and everyone enjoyed views of the ringed planet. One young girl noticed a star beside Saturn and was surprised to learn that she had discovered Saturn’s moon Titan. Gaetan used his Sky-Watcher NEQ mount to automatically navigate his 20.3cm reflector telescope towards the Moon, Saturn and the yellow and blue double-star Albireo, and the globular cluster M13 in the constellation Hercules.

After everyone had seen the Moon and Saturn several times Dave asked if everybody would like to see his digital slide presentation “Hubble Vision, 25 Years of Discovery” and, after receiving a positive response, set up his projector and netbook computer. He received many great questions after the slide talk from some young boys present. They returned to the telescopes but, after waiting for some thin clouds to clear, decided to pack up for the evening. Gaetan estimated that there were 18 adults and children for the evening.