Table Mountain Star Party 203
Paul Below, photographs by Russ Heglund.
In the years that I have been attending TMSP, I have never ever encountered 4 clear nights in a row. The summer drought of 2003 proved to be resistant to the astronomer rain-making curse. In fact, it took the historic opposition of Mars in August to bring clouds back to the Pacific Northwest.
Below: A beautiful pier mounted refractor on the main telescope field.
The main field was more crowded than usual due to a change in the Forest Service policy. We were told that two weeks prior to the event a new Forester took control, and TMSP was limited to the number of vehicles allowed in and limited on where they could park. The large corral area, in previous years an area where many cars were parked, was off limits this year. Vehicles were parked on the sides of what used to be the main observing field.
The policy change triggered an emergency message on the TMSP web site, which caused people with large RV’s to arrive early. When we arrived on Wednesday, the entire RV parking place was already full and had been full for a few days. However, even with these changes, the organizers managed to find room for all the vehicles that had pre-registered. Some people who had not pre-registered were not allowed in, and they had to camp outside down the main road.
Due to the event occurring later in July than usual, and due to a drier year than usual, there was more days without recharging.dust than in previous years. That can be seen in this picture below of vendor row, which actually was set up facing away from the road this year.
Below: The Espresso truck was a tent this ye
Below: The Colvin’s have gotten the imaging bug. Here is a picture of Harry with their new Meade SCT.
We arrived on Wednesday, and here we are setting up our camp. In closing, below is a picture of the largest scope that was on the Mountain this year. It had a lift off shelter, lots of electronics, and a reflecting finder scope that was large enough to be a primary telescope for someone else. We took the Club’s Coronado HA filter and 90mm refractor for solar viewing. Here, Benjamin and I look on as Malcolm views a solar prominance. Malcolm obtained a 6 volt rechargable battery, and wired it up to work on the drive motor. This will save us from having to buy D cell batteries. We determined that the rechargeable battery was able to run the drive motor all day long for over two days without recharging
Below: We arrived on Wednesday, and here we are setting up our camp.
In closing, below is a picture of the largest scope that was on the Mountain this year. It had a lift off shelter, lots of electronics, and a reflecting finder scope that was large enough to be a primary telescope for someone else.