Southern California Desert Video Astronomers

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Star Party in Joshua Tree National Park 7-18-09

Saturday night in Joshua Tree National Park proved to be another wonderful desert evening of star gazing.  An enthusiastic group of around a hundred visitors came to take in the wonders of the night sky with us, as we conducted our usual video star show for the Andromeda Societies regular monthly event.
We set up a single screen and projector, and with the input of four telescopes, images hit the audience with great color views of the mid July sky.

The wind was a bit contentious, but subsided around 10 PM. Then the clouds moved in and it became a game of dodge the cloud and find a decent object in what was a dynamic monsoon driven weather front that had begun moving in.  The humidity was higher than normal and an odd haze hung low as we tried to get some of the early objects on the screen.  One by one we managed to do OK.
The highlight was a great image of the "Pillars of Creation" in M-16 The Eagle Nebula.  Our images of most of the objects were hampered by the breeze and though we had a lot of great live images presented, the only shot that impressed us is the one included here.
The crowd was great as they stayed late and asked many good questions. Staying till midnight, things were active well passed our regular schedule.  We didn't leave Hidden Valley till just after 3:30 AM!  Tired though delighted with the outcome, we were happy that so many joined in with us.

The "Pillars of Creation" in M16,
"The Eagle Nebula"

One of the many live images presented at the Andromeda Societies Star Party on July 18th 2009

Moving closer to the Pillars of Creation