SCAC at GSSP 2015

We had a great time at the Golden State Star Party this year.



Our Illustrious President Jeff wins a big eyepiece in the drawing!


Anyways, a long report should be written on this memorable trip...

I got there tuesday afternoon to help with setup, Ron Y. showed up, too. we assisted the road layout crews, and helped unload and assemble the frames of the 2x2 carport canopies that serve as our community area.

after that was done, I figured out where I could setup camp, and unpacked my loaded wagon, setting up my 2 10x10 popups aligned east/west, putting the big REI Kingdom tent under them, shade cloth at the ends for sunrise and late afternoons, and pulled out the club 12" scope and 25x100 binos.

Tuesday night had pretty good seeing, and was quite nice clear and dark. only a bit chilly after midnight, I was up til about 3am, where I collapsed exhausted from the 20 hour day that had started at 6am in Reno.

Wednesday night was much the same, although there was this band of clouds that started low in the west, then circled low to the north, around the east and about 2am, were blocking the southern milky way. but they blew off after that. Clouds up there are nearly black, its kind of eerie.

Thursday was quite good, but I remember being tired after midnight, and going to bed.

Friday, it started to cloud up at Sunset, and pretty soon, in the red twilight, we could see virga under the denser clouds to the southwest, and pretty soon there was lighning in those clouds, flash (15 seconds) kaaaKRACKrumblerumblerumble. bloosh, it started raining. I'd already put the binoculars away in their pelican case in my car, trashbagged the tripod in place, and put the scope cover on the dobson. it rained off and on all night, we consumed the last of my beer, etc etc. I'm guessing it rained nearly 1" total.

it broke around midnight or 1am, when I got up to make a bathroom run, so I grabbed my camera, stuck it on my tripod and shot a 30 second exposure, painting the foreground with my red headlight. partway through this exposure, there was a lightning flash on the ridge behind me, which lit the whole field up as well as the south edge of the clouds.