The 2017 Spring Southern Star Party

posted: 24 days ago, on Saturday, 2017 Oct 28 at 01:35
tags: astronomy, outreach, Southern Star Party, Leeuwenboschfontein, events, Ed Foster, Martin Lyons, photo diary.

The 14th Southern Star Party, hosted by StarPeople, was held at Leeuwenboschfontein in the Klein Karoo from 18 to 23 October.

We had 73 guests, and the wonderful skies (SQM-L measures were darker than 21.7 mags/sq.arcsec) were scanned by 22 telescopes, several of which travelled from Canada and the USA to be with us.

Observing activities included the Beginner's Course, a La Caille Observing Marathon (co-ordinated by Deon and Ronelle Begemann), and a freezing cold Orionid Meteor Watch.

On Saturday, we enjoyed talks by Michael Wolfson (Building an Ultra-Light Dobsonian Telescope), Anton Binneman (SKA Facts & Fiction), Pierre de Villiers (Astronomy Outreach), and Michelle Cluver (How will HI-vision change the way we see our Universe?). Lightning talks, about deep-sky observing, were given by Deon Begemann, Corne van Dyk and Pierre de Villiers.

Telescopes popped up on the lawn, ready for the night's star gazing.

(top) Michael Wolfson and Deon Begemann with Michael's 12-inch ultra-portable Dobsonian.

(bottom) Martin Lyons photobombing in slow-motion.

Well-spotted, by Pamela Cooper.

Approaching sunset. Scopes out, warm clothes on.

Beautiful Girdle of Venus (the Earth's shadow) at sunset.

The cold made the front page of the local newspapers. During the evenings, temps dropped to 3C.

My Canadian guest, Michael Wolfson, assembling his portable Dobsonian, which sports several innovative ATM solutions. At bottom-right is a delighted Michael, upon receiving the news that he'd just graduated to grand-dad!

Talks and socializing, just as important as clear dark skies for a lovely star party.

nothing more to see. please move along.