#015 (Dark Site Camp)

So last Saturday night I loaded up a ton a gear and headed to Dad’s acreage just outside Marshall Oklahoma. I knew there would be a couple spots that would be ideal of observing and camping, but wasn’t really sure which was better until I scoped them both out. After deciding the 2nd spot was better, I settled in and learned a bit.

Here are a few Pictures:

The tent and Telescope form an east west line (right on the 1/2 mile line), so north is to right, south to the left.  You can see the western sky is a bit obstructed, but not bad.  the rest of the sky is completely open.

this one is looking due east at sunrise, very pretty IMO.

So, being that the trip was to establish a place to camp to watch the night sky, the trip was a success. The sky was cloudy, the wind was howling, the moon was nearly full, almost the WORST possible observing conditions, and yet I was still able to snag a couple quick DSO views so not a total waste there. but yeah, the camp site will work well with a bit of ground work, some bug killer, and clearer skies.

Log stuff:
took my 130ST with the Starseeker IV mount. Normal EP case, which has a new 15mm Expanse EP I got from Steve right before I left town. It’s a well used (paint scratching off) EP, but appeared in good shape.

Crappy. Clouds rolled in and out all night long. Light whispy at times, and thick enough to obscure the nearly full moon at other times. Oh yeah, the moon was nearly full so bad for observing.

I saw M81, M42, M46? and all the other objects like the horse head nebula just weren’t visible due to clouds or the bright moon. The site is dark, or will be without a moon, I was only able to make out two farm lights, one beacon on top of I think a water tower, the other a distant farm house. If I can control the bugs, this place will work nicely.

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