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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

COW STAR PARTY 2014

Location:  Mactaquac Provincial Park, NB, Canada

Date Time:  July 18-20, 2014

Weather:  Mostly clear but very hazy.  Warm to very hot 30 plus degrees Celsius by day, 10-13 degrees Celsius by night.  Some dew.  Generally it was felt that the viewing conditions were terrible for the most part.

Equipment:  Approximately 30 telescopes including my 8" Meade LX 200.

Attendance:  Approximately 50 SJAC and RASC members.  Approximately 150 public attendees.

Objective:  To allow the general public to view celestial objects though our telescopes.  Also, share observing stories and experiences with fellow amateur astronomers.

Report:  On Friday night set up scope on manual to observe Saturn.  The hazy sky greatly affected image in 12 mm eyepiece.  Our camping neighbors came over to view Saturn and two of its moons in both the 32 mm and 12 mm eyepieces.  Everyone expressed amazement at Saturn's rings and were very interested to hear that Saturn has 62 moons that we know of.

On Saturday night watched a movie that was put on by Adrian B.  It is called Fundy Tides and was filmed by a French film crew.  Approximately 70 people attended. Mike P, Chris C, Don K and others were in the show which was filmed at Fundy Park summer 2013.

Around midnight started observing with Paul O, Ed O, Mike P, Chris C, Bob.  We observed many deep sky objects in various big scopes till the Moon came up around 0245hrs.  Viewed M92, the Dumbbell Nebula, NGC 2368 and the Moon.

Has a great conversation with Paul O and Mike P about astro-imaging.  They suggested that I use my planetary imager in video mode to get more frames to stack.  This leads to more clear images.

Ed O, Mike P and I searched for Comet Catalina, which was low in the west around 0200hrs.  Mike and I thought that we seen an object that wasn't a star, but it was very hard to confirm it was a comet.

Two shooting stars and one satellite were seen.

Here is a link for Images of COW Star Party which were taken by Chris L.

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