next three months could be called the �Star Party Months.� Indeed, there are two
of them easily available to us here on the island, and two more a scenic day�s
drive away. For the more star-crazed among us, another two more are within
day-and-a-half driving reach (the Oregon Star Party, and the Golden State Star
Party in Northern California).
I urge you to set aside weekends for the local gatherings, the CVSF
Island Star Party,
and our own RASCals Star Party
in Metchosin Star Party. The CVSF party is August 3-4 at Bright Angel
Park near Duncan, a site that has turned out to be quite nice. It is dark (a
surprise, since it is so near Duncan), if a bit dewy, and CVSF puts on a good
Our RASCals Star Party is
August 30 � September 1 at the usual location in Metchosin, a mere thirty
minutes from town. Our spot is not quite as dark as Bright Angel, but sports a
great view of the Southern sky. We are hosting, this year, a three night event
�. And if we start our chants to the weather demons early, perhaps we won�t be
blessed with a 30 knot wind!
For the slightly more-determined among us, both the Merritt Star Quest
and Mt. Kobau Star Party offer truly dark skies within a reasonable
driving distance. Primitive camping is the order of the day for both of these,
and each is an hour away from supplies, but hey ���. This is the year to cross
the Horsehead Nebula off your list.
I have, in the past, left one or the other of the island parties, and driven
straight to a ferry, and spent the rest of the week at either Merritt, or Kobau.
It makes for a nice week of high-quality observing, plus you can pick up a few
cases of peaches on the way home.
This is the summer to start (finish?) the Messier list, so as to clear the decks
for the �RASC Finest NGC� list, surely one of the best around.