★ PINE GLADES NATURAL AREA • FEBRUARY 2 – JOHN O’BRIEN
This month the ASPB asked for and received permission to use the Pine Glades Natural area
twice, Tuesday 2/2 and Friday 2/5. The accu-weather astronomy forecast showed Tuesday as
being the better of the two with a forecast of Fair. As the evening approached, the clouds
actually started to clear and by sunset we had clear sky overhead with clouds only in the low
horizon.
Several members showed up (even some first timers to the site) and set up their scopes. It was
a good evening for some members try out new equipment and get familiar with their current
equipment. We weren’t completely without some passing clouds however, but they moved on
quickly. Mosquitoes were few and far between. Hans Heynau, Bob Guzauskas, Quin Travers,
Eleanor Harris, Eric Molnar, Jan Shriver, Leo Lombardi, Larry Hoffman, plus myself had a
wonderful evening. Deputy Rick Rothell also stopped by to check that we were all doing OK
and even helped set up the safety cones at the front gate. Thanks Rick!
We were treated to many wonderful sights and where impressed by Larry’s new CCD Camera
set up. Hans captured over 5GB of exposures of deep sky objects. That should keep him busy
for a while with all the post processing!!
Hans and I tried out our Sky Quality Meters (he has the narrow beam, I have the wide Beam)
and both came up with a reading of 20.2 to 20.3, over all, not a bad night!
Friday night February 5 however was different but still successful.
Hans Heynau, Eleanor Harris, Irene Garbo, Jason Rubine, Dave Daniels, Bill Harris and wife Mary
Ann, Mike Forsythe, along with myself attended.
We had cloudy skies with the stars popping out only for a few quick minutes. Several new
members came and we set up scopes anyway and waited for alignment stars but to no avail. The
temperature was very comfortable and mosquitoes were absent as well. We spent the evening
discussing the various set ups and coaching the newer members. Jason set up his Dobs and got a
good view of the “Trapezium” in Orion. It was a good night, despite the clouds.