Trek to Area 51 - Report

05/02/08 - 05/03/08

The date was already set, and we were all anxiously waiting, and hoping that the weather was going to be good for the New Moon day...

As Friday the 2nd arrived, we started the day trying to get a feeling for how many members were going to show up... and boy we were not disappointed! One by one started replying to the Yahoo Forum, and by the end of the day we had a truckload of people eager to meet us out there!

I left work around 5:30PM, and by the time I got there it was around 6:30PM. Nobody was there, but I surely knew that it was going to change shortly after...

At around 7:00PM a long caravan arrived, with 5 vehicles. After that members started arriving one by one. Before the night fell, I counted about 15 vehicles... a great turnout for sure! Everybody was excited, and most of them were ready to start imaging as soon as Polaris would show up...

I'd say that out of the 15 people we had, most of them were DeepSky imaging, with only a couple doing visual observing.

The night was cool, clear & even though it was filled with "light-attracted" bugs, there were not many mosquitoes at all...

We had 2 very short moments in which the clear night got crossed by small groups of clouds, but nothing that would affect us really, since they lasted about 15-20 minutes.

The imagers had not much of a choice but to concentrate on imaging Galaxies, since the remaining nebulas for the season are too low in the sky, unless they waited until early morning, time for which most of them would have already gone home.

Most of the people stayed at least until 12:00PM or a little later, and only a handful of us stayed until 5:00AM or later... time for which some of the nicest & brightest Nebulas start coming back into play again.


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Of the 6-7 objects that I imaged, I ended up with 3 that I was really happy about, the others are not up to my standards, so they have gone back to the drawing board for another imaging session.


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All in all, I cannot complain, this past Friday session was great, with lots of great people to share time, experiences, laughs, pizza & coffee (thanks Bennett!) ... what more can you ask for?


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Anxiously looking forward to the next session!

Clear skies to all!

Ivan Gastaldo

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