★ PINE GLADES NATURAL AREA • APRIL 8 AND APRIL 21 – JOHN O’BRIEN
On April 8TH this month, we had our normally scheduled star gaze event at the Pine Glades Natural Area.
The weather cooperated and we had many club members show up plus some new recent members.
Thanks to all, Mary M, Dave Daniels, Eleanor Harris and sister, Bob Guzauskas, Jay Albert, Eric Isacoff, Joe
Brink and Angelica, Steve Schiff, Jim and Jane Beard, Bob Noss, Sam Storch and friend Barry, Hans Heynau,
Larry Hoffman, and myself. Whew! Did I miss anyone?
The night did not disappoint. The first sight was Mercury through Jay’s scope. It was almost like looking
at a flag with the red, white, blue, and orange colors showing on it due to atmospheric aberration (?). A
beautiful sight, as it set in the last glow of the sunset. Sam showed us many wonderful views through his
scope as did all the others. A few light clouds, but no mosquitoes and comfortable temps with a light
breeze. What a good way to enjoy the night with friends.
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On April 21, the club assisted Palm Beach County in their “Sunset Hike and Start Gaze” event. This event
had been cancelled and moved several times due to poor weather. The Thursday date was finally
formalized that morning! Thank you to members Eleanor Harris, Janice Shriver, Bob Guzauskas and Bill
Harris who changed plans at the last moment to help out. We had 5 scopes set up and had over 30
people attending over the evening, along with The Palm Beach County Reps Harper Carrol and Kraig
Krum, and of course Sheriff Nelson. There was even a woman there who claimed her mother had been a
friend of Edwin Hubble and they had visited Palomar observatory many times. At shortly after 9:00, we
all saw the ISS make its pass which delighted everyone. Even with the full “pink” moon, the sky was clear
and many stars where visible. Scopes where pointed to Jupiter with its four moons on display, the moon,
M42 in Orion and the Trapezium, the beehive, plus many others. Even though the event was scheduled to
end around 9:00, the people wanted to see more and stayed until after 10:00. The County was very
pleased on how it all turned out and many of the attendees wanted to know when the next one was!