Back on June 1, if you recall, Dan's new 8" telescope arrived. He eagerly set it up and ran a few tests. Everything looked good ... for a few days. And then, after he did a software update, the electronics failed. He contacted the company, and they had him return the mount for repair. We were so disappointed, because a star party was coming up and we had been looking forward to trying out the new scope for the first time. Instead, we went to the event but took the old scope he's had since the '70s.
We patiently (at times not-so-patiently) awaited the return of the repaired mount. It finally arrived, and everything was working "stellarly" (pun intended). So on Saturday evening, July 14, we loaded all the gear into the car and headed out to the Turner Research Station for this month's "Starbecue." It was great fun. We grilled hot dogs and hamburgers and feasted on watermelon, sides and desserts. Then the club members began setting up their equipment. By nightfall I believe there were 12 to 15 scopes set up. The red arrow in the photo, below, points out Dan's scope.
At dusk we saw the thin, waxing crescent moon.
And then it was dark. Only red lights are used on the field. Dan's first field test of his new telescope was very successful. We observed Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. We saw several nebulae, star clusters, individual and double stars. Toward the later part of the evening I was thrilled just to lean back in my lawn chair and spend time gazing up at the Milky Way and the vast ocean of stars visible at this dark sky site. I could have stayed there all night long.
It was after 1:00 a.m. by the time we got home and closer to 2:00 by the time we were ready for bed. That made getting up for class and church on Sunday morning a little tough, but we did it!