Welcome to OSP XI - 2015.

...2015 - The start of the second decade of OSP!

The dates of OSP for 2015 are June 10th to the 17th The May dates are too early in the year with potentially snow, so in June things start off a day after Third Quarter with an ever smaller cresent Moon each day!



The road trip this year will be to head back to Lowell Observatory.

The only US Observatory to discover a planet....

Very cool place. This will be the destination of our field trip!! ...take in the history.



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To light up the night-time snackies, twin 48" light bars were created using 10mm Red LED's....



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Due to the local area being a Culinary Black Hole, a Pizza Oven was welded up surrounding twin ceramic stones giving a 13" cooking surface for 12" pizza's. The garden will provide much for the fresh toppings!....



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Because it's practically a Super-Massive Culinary Black Hole, twin Cast Iron bread loaf pans were polished, mated together to hold two half-racks of Baby Back Ribs....



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Last year some very nice time lapse movies were made from many frames of Doug's DSLR. To enhance that, this year I created a Time Lapse Rail Crawler! It's capable of a 30-degree incline/decline, and at 1/4" per minute movement along the rail can add moving foreground objects to the already dramatic Milky Way Galaxy at this location.... Twin tripods were made and a flat foot to start at ground level.



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Here's a close up of the motorized rail head. Adjustable speed, and, direction change with a flip of a switch.... Being spring-loaded, the three V-groove rollers grip for a pretty good sized payload, but also allow quick reset to the beginning of the rail bu relieving tension and moving it.



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At Sky Harbor to pick up Joe one can see, there's room for more gear or more people!! Quite unbelievable....



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...and upon arrival the Sam Adams on ice tasted awesome.... But, arriving at roughly 5pm meant we had our work cut out for us to get the camper, scope, dinner going!



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Not often we need rain coats, but, it was one of those years....



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...Ten years ago I spotted a glow deep between two rocks. This year there was another, a glow worm, only more easily seen and photographed. Low-tech, more or less; old iPhone and a flashlight....



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Here's Joe's duration picture.... Very cool shot.



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...Once again Cinder-elly and the 6" refractor were set up....



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...After using the 6" refractor and crashing early, the next morning started the culanary treats, Whiskey Candied Bacon....



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Paired with fresh eggs, it was a little too sugary for me but good none the less....



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...The motion time lapse rail was getting set up, but did need a few things done, left for the next day....



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The rail, as such, made a great tripod for my first Milky Way shot with the 60Da....



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And Joe was shooting with a very long focal length lens. Quite impressive....



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On Thursday we, well, Joe had to make the dough for the Friday Pizza Party....



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Enough for 6 pizzas, though the first was seasoned bread for dipping in olive oil with ground black pepper.... Eventually 6 sandwich zip-lock bags had our dough for the pies.



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Woody and Dolly arrived, setting up camp and the C11 for imaging....



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...soon afterwards, Lori arrived with dogs and chickens in tow....



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Our puppy Kuiper....



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...And Hawking....



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Dinner was fresh made Gamma Ray Burst Chilli Dogs.... Friday night had the best viewing I've ever seen, views were so crisp, unbelievable detail....



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The next morning the astronomy conversations continued and Dan arrived. First year that five astro-imagers attended; Woody, Dolly, Dan, Joe, and myself....



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...Good times....



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...And so, with having arrived, the pizza fixings were spread out and wine started pouring....



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Here is a picture of our imported Italian Chef (from Michigan); Joe....



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...Tomatoes, red peppers, basil, all out of the garden is what the Chef ordered....



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Lookin' good!....



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...Tasting even better....



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One by one the pizzas were made and eaten....



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...What a good time, we ate early enough to enjoy conversation in the evening....



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Many more images of the night sky than a typical OSP, and many were outstanding, like this shot of the North American Nebula....



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...Here's a wide angle shot of M8 and M20....



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And Joe's nicely framed close-up of M8 and M20....



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...Dan's wide-angle Milky Way shot....



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Saturday's field trip was to Flagstaff and the venerable Lowell Observatory..., and at the rest area we let the dogs and us stretch our legs.



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...Shutter Bugs, everywhere....



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And real bugs, here's a spider's nest Joe got a picture of....



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...getting close....



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It appears Pluto is at the top of this Planet list....



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...This was Joe's first trip to Lowell....



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The guide for our tour loaned me her umbrella....



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...Here's a very nice picture of the Pluto Scope, the 13-in scope Clyde Tombough used to find Pluto....



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Following the tour and walking of the observatory grounds we enjoyed the packed lunch made by Lori, Dolly, and Dan....



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...it was a long drive back, and time for some Horse Shoes....



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With each throw and beer we got closer to the pin....



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...With potato's baking, the steaks were put on the grill....



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Saturday nights are always special, and we had a crowd this year....



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...all the dinner items timed well with their arrival at the table....



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And a shot of Kentucky Straight Bourbon was enjoyed by all.... Prost!



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...The Woodford Reserve bottle was finished in this eleventh year of OSP....



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And, fitting, that the new bottle would open for the beginning of the second decade of OSP!....



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...On Sunday we had folks sign the LogBook. Here Dolly chisels in for her and Woody....



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Dan also chiseled into the table. It's a little table but plenty of room....



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...Then a group photo was taken....



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Some local flora and fawna presented themselves for photo ops. This one, the Mexican Jay was more difficult than the moss and flowers....



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...and Joe continued his project for OSP; Dew Heaters....



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Monday's dinner was BBQ Ribs, in the new Rib Cage made of Cast Iron....



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...After two hours in the cage, flipped every so often, the final step of blackening was done....



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Ribs, Steak Fry's, and Beer....



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...and to wrap it up in The Valley, the After Party with blue skies in the pool.... Woody and Dolly were able to stop by, and with Lori, Joe and I, we enjoyed the barbequed burgers.



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