The first star party of the year was well attended by members and guests alike. Scopes ranged from an 80mm f/6 refractor to a 12.5-inch Obsession dobsonian. There were four 8" SCT's including Dede Raver's brand-new talking Meade LS scope, out for its maiden voyage. The night was clear with moderate darkness (SQM=19.85). Jupiter was the highlight, with the red spot crossing the meridian, although seeing was a little challenging due to high-altitude winds, a front having moved through a couple of hours earlier. The Orion nebula was also viewed through many scopes. Locutis, my Mallincam/Celestron SCT combination, had an amazing image of the nebula with clouds of gas radiating in the red and blue ends of the spectrum. We were also able to see the supernova in M82, as well as M81 and M52, and later on a few Virgo cluster galaxies. Mars was too close to the horizon to give a good image in any scope before everyone packed up for the night.
The next star party will be the April event on April 26th.