Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Great Lakes Star Gaze

Here are short reports, photos and videos from the recent Great Lakes Star Gaze. The Great Lakes Star Gaze is held once a year at River Valley RV Park in Gladwin, Michigan. For more information go to the web site for the Great Lakes Star Gaze.

From: Brian D. Ottum, Ph.D.

John Causland, Mike Radwick and I enjoyed two fantastic (and looong) nights of observing at the Great Lakes Star Gaze this past weekend. Skies were clear and the dew wasn’t too bad. John and Mike can speak for themselves, but highlights for me were tracking down Barnard’s Galaxy, Pease 1 in M15 and the Pegasus Galaxy cluster. I produced a time lapse video of Saturday night’s activity:

Brian's Video

From: Mike Radwick

Hello everyone,

Like Brian, I too had a fantastic time at Great Lakes Gaze 2012. Although Thursday was rained out, Friday and Saturday were both great nights.

I had planned to do some serious deep-sky photography on Friday, but it turned out that the seeing was not so great at the beginning. So I attached the wide-field lens to my camera and took some shots of the Milky-Way. Afterwards John Causland, Brian Ottum, and I shared the views of both eye-candy and faint-fuzzies until about 3am.

One traditional Saturday daytime activity is the launch of several large-scale model rockets by Norb Vance. I think both Brian and I captured a couple of good photos, but you be the judge.

On Saturday night I had a long list of objects I wanted to observe visually, and was successful at tracking down most of them. I think the best was when we observed Perseus-A (NGC1275 aka Caldwell 24), a galaxy cluster which showed 6 objects in my 14.5" dob, and showed 7 in John's 24". Another highlight was the view of Jupiter, which provided us with a shadow-transit (Io) and a Great Red (Tan) Spot transit. The seeing at this point (2:30am or so) had turned outstanding, so all the fine detail, such as the equatorial belt, was visible. We ended the night just after 4am by observing the Horsehead nebula (couldn't see it in the 14.5", but after some struggle we could see it in the 24").

I've uploaded the photos I took to Google Picasa. You should be able to view them at the following link: Mike's photos.

From: John Causland

John's Photos

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