Wednesday, June 28, 2000

Lassen Memories

Several memories already stand out from this year's Lassen trip.

First time attendees seeing the dark sky, especially from Bumpass Hell.

Comet Linear S4 showing a nice tail through Ken Head's 18" shortly before dawn.

Being up till almost sunrise a few nights consecutively, laughing with frinds back in camp after observing.

Rashad almost laughing himself inside-out over the simple words "Oh God! Oh God!".

Jay attempting to rib me about his accomodations at the Bates Motel near Old Station (ooooo.... the warm bed, the hot shower!)...

The view of the Crescent Nebula, and the incredible color of the Cat's Eye Nebula.

Soft-serve ice cream on those first two hot days.

Ray Gralak on public star party night (Ray, you must have had a beer! ;-)


Memories from years of going.

This was a very good trip. We were fortunate to have excellent weather. I've become convinced (it only took me about 4 years) that the best location is Bumpass Hell Parking lot. A few of the very seasoned (25+ year) observers commented the transparancy was perhaps as good as they'd ever seen. I did not do a scope count, but we had perhaps 30 scopes, maybe more, set up on public night. There were big ones, like Ruyle's 25", a few 20's, a slew of 18's and on down to 6" Newts... several very nice refractors, SCT's ranging from an RC to LX-200's. Plenty of variety. But the one thing that made the trip so amazing was, or course, the sky. When I arrived home last night [Monday, July 3rd], I cleaned up, went outside and sat in the hot-tub. Looking up, I could see a handful of stars, perhaps dozens. At Lassen, Dave Kingsley did me the favor of suggesting a star count in my now familiar triangle of Gamma Corona-Borialis, Gamma Bootis and Alpha Bootis. Over several counts I came up with 55 and 57 stars. That put the site at mag 7.1. Not a bad memory. Thanks to all for the fun.

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