Observing Notes

from the Tuckahoe Irregulars

Laural Highlands Star Cruise, June 6-9, 2002... Bob Bunge
Laural Highlands Star Cruise http://www.lhstarcruise.org/
Hazelton, WVa

I drove out Thursday and set up in the rain. Early to bed in very light rain. Real easy drive out I-68. The site is only five miles off the Interstate.

Friday: woke up to clear skies and attended various events thoughout the day. Friday night, after showing a couple of dozen show piece objects with my 20-inch to visitors, got down to business and found and drew 10 Arp galaxies before high winds encouraged me to stop around 3am.

The skies at the LHSC site are pretty dark... somewhere around a limiting mag. of 6.5. Sky domes to the north (Pittsburgh) and west (Morganstown), but the south is very good. Nice large open field.

Saturday, more normal star party events. Perhaps 300 people where there. First star party in 20 years I've been two where there were two 10-inch refractors setup, including one massive D&G f/12 on a huge mount. Good, locally catered food. Showers. The field was really muddy from the rain, but everyone worked through it.

Saturday was warmer with better seeing, but not quite as good as transparency has Friday. Drew 9 Arp galaxies before casually bouncing through the NGC globular clusters in Oph and Sag before calling it a morning at 3:30am. Stopped at some point also to show several folks the central star in M-57 and Stephan's Quintet.

Left for home around 10am. Stopped in Frostburg, MD to watch Western Maryland Scenic Railroad's steam locomotive 734 arrive and get turned around on the turntable. 734 was built in Phil. PA in 1913.

Overall, a great weekend.

Clear Skies,
Bob Bunge

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