M31 in Andromeda

This is not a particularly pretty picture, especially compared to some, but like the others, its starting to show promise.  This was taken from a dark location north of Cape Girardeau, MO on a very warm and muggy early summer night.

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AstroTrac Performance

Well, the recent burst of image processing from my June images has revealed a few issues with my AstroTrac's performance.  Up until now, I've attributed the errors I've had to the tripod and head on which I mount the AstroTrac.  However, at this point, I'm not sure that's the whole story.

Antares - Rho Ophiuchi Complex

This is one of my favorite areas of the sky and I first fell in love with the rich variation of color and texture after seeing an image taken by Akira Fuji.  Ever since then, It's been high on my list of areas I'd like to image.  Unfortunately, it's also rather difficult to do that from the northeast US and here in Brooklyn, well you can  "fuggedaboutit."[1]

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Ten Mile River

St. Anselm's Troop 13 took its annual trip to Boy Scout camp Ten Mile River during week 2 of the summer camp season.  I was signed up to be an astronomy counselor and loaded the car with numerous props to use as enrichment items with whomever was doing the normal classes.  What I didn't quite realize was that I was going to end up teaching the class. 

Traveling Time

The summer is always busy for us as traveling has to be done when the boys are out of school.  I'm going to backfill a little of what we have done this summer as life hasn't always slowed down enough to let me write!

In late June, we left NYC a week before school finished in order to squeeze a trip to Missouri into the plans.  This year we drove.  We spent four days going there, nice and casual, but drove back in a hurry taking only two days (very long days for driving).

Rain Date - Stargazing at Shore Road Park

We will be trying (attempt number 6!) to hold a stargazing session in Shore Road Park. The moon will be in the first quarter phase, and Saturn will be high in the south after sunset. Because sunset comes so late this time of year, we won't be able to start until about 8:45, although the moon will, of course be visible pretty much all day.

Stargazing at Shore Road Park

The announcement should have been made earlier today, and was if you were in class, that we'll be meeting Saturday evening due to weather.  Tonight is supposed to be cloudy and hazy, but tomorrow promises at least clear spots to do stargazing.  Or at least moongazing.  So, same time and location, just one day later.

We will be trying (attempt number 6!) to hold a stargazing session in Shore Road Park.  The moon will be in the first quarter phase, and Saturn will be high in the south after sunset.  Because sunset comes so late this time of year, we won't be able to start until about 8:45, although the moon will, of course be visible pretty much all day.

TV Turnoff Week Stargazing - Rain Date

We will be trying, once again, to have a stargazing time in Shore Road Park (see map below). This is the rain date for yesterday's outing, but the weather is not looking very good at this point. Since the sun sets later now, we can't start until 8:30. TV Turnoff week occurs this year duing the 3rd quarter phase, so the moon will not be visible during our outing, but Saturn should be visible and we can take a brief tour of the constellations and stars bright enough to be seen above the city lights.

NEAF and NEAIC: Until Next Year

We returned last night, tired but happy from this year's NEAF conference.  The vendor turn out was good and overall attendance appeared good, too, although it was  little hard to tell from our perspective.  We spent most of the two days in the children's area helping with the various activities including a comet demonstration (followed by a craft activity), making 3D constellation models (Orion and the Big Dipper), some informal demonstrations to understand the moon's phases, constructing spacecraft models, and more.

Alas, I did not get to attend the showing of Mars 3D, a new movie which made its debut at the show, so I guess I will have to wait for it to be officially released.

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