Loaner Telescopes: The BPAA telescope construction team has taken two older Equatorial mounted Newtonian telescopes and built Dobsonian bases for them. These mounts make the telescopes stable and easy to use. These scopes are available for members to check out and use.
The larger scope is a 6" reflector and the smaller scope is a 4.5" reflector.
The 2002 Table Mountain Star Party was okay: Three clear nights, unfortunately they were Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday! It was cloudy both Friday and Saturday nights.
Campsite at Table Mountain
Waiting for dark.
Dave Warman's home base
String telescope: The BPAA telescope seminar team has constructed a 16 inch portable telescope. The mirror was taken from an old donated telescope, a Meade Newtonian. The focuser is a JMI that was originally used on the Ritchie Telescope (and was replaced with an electronic focuser).
The string design is attractive for several reasons, including portability, light weight, and ease of set up.
The completed string telescope on display at the 2001 Table Mountain Star Party.
The completed scope at Table Mountain 2001. From left, Dave Warman, Diane Colvin, Harry Colvin, Jared Barnhill, Ray Barnhill, Mary Barnhill, Jim Young, Cathy Koehler, Paul Below.
The secondary cage of the completed scope.
The team felt that a full scale mockup would be of benefit and the following three pictures are of this model. It is amazing what can be done with cardboard! The strings will be a material that has an extremely low elasticity, so that it will not stretch. Once under tension, the strings actually form the truss. The poles serve only to keep tension on the strings.
Cardboard model of a string telescope. The poles will be aluminum in the final version.
The mirror mockup is made from aluminum foil! The team discussed various types of hardware connectors.
Model of the focuser and spider. Cardboard and duct tape.
The 2000 Table Mountain Star Party was great: Three clear nights, on two nights we were treated to a show of the Northern Lights! We will also put some nebula images on the astronomy photo page.
Some BPAA members scopes in late afternoon.
Mt. Rainier as seen from Lion Rock at the end of the road.
Mt. Adams as seen from the main observing field in the morning
the main observing field from atop a ladder in late afternoon
some telescope owners display artistic talent.
the RV's parked in a row seen from the road approaching Table Mountain
(above six photos by Bill O'Neill)
A comfortable-looking binocular mount
the main field at sunset
a music stand serving as a chart table
a nice pair of homemade Dobs
the BPAA observing area at sunset
wild iris growing next to the lower field
Portions of the main viewing field at the 1998 Table Mountain Star Party, which had warm sunny days and clear dark nights:
Slide show of a 40 inch telescope being removed from its trailer: animated GIF (102k)
The 1997 Table Mountain Star Party was excellent, and well attended by BPAA members. This image shows the BPAA campsite (mostly in a row near the center of the image) which was right in between the upper field and the lower field (if you look carefully at the full image, you may be able to see the black BPAA flag flying). One of the mammoth 40 inch telescopes can be seen in the upper left of the image. By the weekend, the lower field in the foreground was completely full of vehicles.
This butterfly was captured on a scenic walk from the Table Mountain telescope field up to the Lion Rock viewpoint at the end of the road.
"The butterfly is a female Field Crescent (Phyciodes campestris = P. pratensis). Not as dark as males, darker than P. mylitta, no red as on Euphydryas. Strong white bar at end of forewing cell is distinctive, as well as the overall darkness." -- Robert Michael Pyle, Ph.D. and author of author of Washington Butterflies and the Audubon Butterfly Field Guide.
Juan De Fuca Days in Port Angeles, 1998: Jessa and Tom Medchill and Cathy Koehler at the BPAA table outside the astronomy building the first day, and Cathy explaining the observatory model on the second day (we moved inside because it was cloudy). At the right of the picture NASA planetary geologist Carl Allen is explaining the Mars rock.
A full size engineering mock-up of the Mars Rover was on display. The soda bottle shows the scale. This little robot's twin was the first "geologist" on Mars!
A portion of a Mars rock (a meteorite found in Antarctica that originally came from Mars) was on display by NASA at Juan De Fuca Days in Port Angeles. It is basalt, and the black end displays evidence of it's fiery journey through the earth's atmosphere. It was mounted in a small plastic case, and held down with some wires. Truly a piece of another world.