Welcome to OSP VIII - 2012.

OSP VIII is scheduled for May 16th to the 22nd! The road trip this year will be to see the Annular Eclipse on the centerline at Chinle, Arizona on May 20th at Sunset!

On the centerline of an Annular Eclipse....

This years motto: 'Red Skies at Night' by the Fixx which gave some awesome Sunset views but aweful seeing for observing. Or...a better one: 'Good times.... Damn good times!'



ServoCAT goto on a 36" scope! The system took nine months to install, and it sort of works!

Here's a picture of the control box and hardware.



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ServoCAT goto on a 36" scope! Here's a picture of the hand controller and remote status light unit. On me will be the wireless hand controller.



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The mirror got a much needed cleaning!



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The observatory had white and red lighting installed!



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The observatory also has a weather station!



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The weather station is located at about the height of the secondary cage when observing.



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Additionally this year a new mount for the 6"f3.5 was made!



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And if that wasn't enough..., the Cool Breeze II flex hoses have quick-disconnects mounted on them to make it easier to remove the mirror cover!



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Just enough room for Ron and John's suitcase! Nose up, tail down, that's how we fly....



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On the way up we saw the fires and smoke plumes that had been burning for some time. The one nearest the property ran out of fuel when it advanced to the edge of the previous burned Rodeo-Chediski fire area (Stupid Bitch Fire) but the other was burning quite well and....



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...after the first beer of many upon arrival we got to work setting stuff up!



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The effects of that fire made for a colorful sunset and eventually the smoke engulfed the area!



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Not knowing if it would clear out, expected not to with the prevailing winds seen on the new weather station, we drank more beer....



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It was a very dense smoke!



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The satellite view confirmed we'd be dealing with this smoke for awhile.... It did eventually clear and we got a much needed night's sleep.



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The guys were pleasantly surprised to find a Mr. Coffee brewing!



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With everything set up, and coffee too, we made some egg mcmuffins!



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We run off the grid here at OSP and an addition this year were white-light and H-alpha solar scopes!



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Ron brought his 25x100's outfitted with white-light filters too!



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That night we made burgers as the scope mirror cooled down. Knowing the smoke had cleared/dropped in the cool night air we were ready for some observing!



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Ron snapped a picture of John and I. Good times!



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All the astronomy accessories came out to play. These are the UHC filter clip-on's I made! With these you'd look at H-beta and O-III wavelengths....



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The winds were better today with much less smoke on the horizon to worry us....



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With the scope cooling down we enjoyed the twilight!



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A shot looking down the telescope at the AC flex hoses and the quick-disconnects!



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On Friday Lori and Don arrived and we set up both John and Don's H-Alpha PST's! The Sun was, has been, very active lately and had many prominences to view.



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Here's a shot I took with Lori's phone in Hi Res!



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The planned dinner once Lori and Don arrived was the chili that I used to make at SMURF's star party, the Winter Freeze Out in Michigan!



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One things we learned was to take a rather long nap to give the smoke the time to drop and clear out of the air. Don is supposed to be napping....



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We saw about five clouds! Here's a day's typical cloud cover....



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The days were filled with liberal use of sunscreen, food, and astronomy talk!



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And solar observing!



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That saturday night we enjoyed grilled rib-eyes!



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Once again the Ancient Age bottle came out to play too!



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A shot for clear skies, good friends, and old times!



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The bottle got yet another mark! I don't know if it will be enough for next year....



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That bottle's about spent!



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After another nap it's another cool down!



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That Sunday morning we marked the table, Don first!



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...then John!



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...then Ron!



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The table is getting quite filled! No worries though, plenty of room.... Since Ron had always added the day to his markings the zero in the 20th of May was turned into an annular sun!!!



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And, a group shot of John, Ron, Don, Lori, and, myself....



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This year, because of the annular eclipse and I thought it would be cool, I made shirts for everyone!



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This is the reason we hide most implements of destruction from these guys...!



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Both John and I have an app which allerted us to the impending annular solar eclipse!



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TheSky6 showed what the eclipse would look like from our destination on the Navajo Nation where we'd set up on the centerline to see the eclipse! See the link at the top of the page to see what Canyon de Chelly looked like and the eclipse. We got back to the property at midnight and we just drank beer to unwind from the total of six hours driving that day plus the eclipse.



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The following night we were back at the eyepiece!



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Ron got some really good shots of the Milky Way!



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Another from Ron! It's always good to have someone good at shooting wide-field star-scapes....



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Amazing how fast a week can pass...! Here John gets the gate for us.



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On the way home we saw the fires were still burning....



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