Buck-Eye On The Sky 2011

BEOTS Group Photo

Another great time at Buck-Eye-On-The-Sky (BEOTS) 2011 has come and gone, however, the memories will live on.  As always, Di, Scott, and Nicki were wonderful hosts.  It seemed attendance was down this year, but those who could not make it were there in spirit.  You sure missed a fun time!

I originally planned to show up on Thursday, but I had to delay until Friday afternoon.  I arrived around 7 pm or so Friday evening and saw that the party was getting started.  I brought my 8″ scope, “Marilyn”, with me to save some space in the car plus I just finished her secondary ring using some of the old parts from the 16″ secondary ring that I recently replaced.  After getting my  tent set up, and my observing gear ready, I walked around the field to see everyone.

Howard and his friend Jason setting up the 14″ scope

It was great to see old friends and I made some new ones too!  There was some food ready up in the kitchen so I figured I would go get me something to eat while I waited for dusk to arrive.

Patrick ready for observing with his most excellent 11″ Celestron

Lenny enjoying one of his wonderful cigars

Mark asks who knows where M71 is, Steve says, “I do!!” 

Di and Marge

Dusk arrived and my belly was full (always great food at BEOTS) so Marilyn and I bounced around to some known objects.  The sky was clear, with an occasional passing high level cloud, but we got some nice viewing in.  M13 looked great as always (especially in Howard’s 14″ SCT with his Binoviewer/Brandon combo).  Scott presented a challenge to us to find M71 and whoever found it first (and verified by an independent observer) won the first annual Tweener Cup*.  Marilyn and I took that challenge and ended up finding it first (before the other go-to scopes could get it.. mwahaha!) After an impartial judge verified it, it was official.  It was a small victory for us starhopping types.  We won this for you!! (For the record, Marilyn did all the work by providing smooth movement and faithful photon collecting.  All without complaint or breaking a sweat.)

Marilyn and I pose for the camera (she is way better looking) 

A bank of clouds decided to come and spoil our observing fun so we headed over to the Horstman Cluster (the collection of observatories) and enjoyed each other’s company.  Fun stories and jokes were to be had included some great views of Saturn and other objects through Howard’s scope.  At about 2 am or so, some of us congregated into the dining room where I had some of Marge’s awesome chili!  Around 3:30am, it was time to turn in.

As I drifted off to sleep, I thought I heard thunder.  But then I saw the lightning flash so I knew it was not something I was dreaming.  A thunderstorm was brewing.  I got up to put some of my stuff in the car and make sure Marilyn was covered up ok.  I saw Howard hurrying outside from the house. His scope was not completely covered and needed to be put away in a safe place.  With a backdrop of thunder and lightning (the rain had not started yet), Howard and I worked on getting his 120+ lbs scope broken down and into the car.  I decided to stay indoors after this.  Poor Zach had his tent’s rain cover fail and he and his stuff got wet from the rain, but he took it in stride.

Zach is ok with being wet.

The next morning I was greeted by the smell of coffee and friendly conversation around the table.  We got another morning thunderstorm complete with hail.  Diane and Michelle were busy preparing the morning meal: toast, Scottish Eggs, and a cheesy potato dish.  It was all very yummy.

Morning Thunderstorm (yes, that is hail!) 

That afternoon, I decided to clean myself off by taking a dip in the swimming pool.  Unfortunately for the guests, they had to see me with my shirt off (sorry guys).  The lovely ladies decided to give me a score with Diane giving me a “2112” (she too is a fellow Rush fan).  I felt refreshed by the nice pool water and the score I got.

Erika and Buttercup arrived shortly after.  I was great to see her.  Unfortunately, Paul was not there as he stayed behind at home to watch the dogs. The day was beautiful with fluffy clouds and lots of sunshine.  Erika brought her solar scope and many enjoyed themselves looking at Ole’ Sol.

Nicki observing the sun through Erika’s Solar Telescope

Marda enjoys seeing the sun.

I started preparing my chili for dinner that evening and was passing out cold beverages to folks.  I was making many Margaritas.  They kept coming back for more so it seems I did ok with them.

Many folks gathered under the shade of some trees enjoying each other’s company.  More folks arrived as the afternoon wore on and Lenny was being generous passing out cigars.

Folks gathering under the shade

Lenny and Dave being funny

Marilyn and I accepting the coveted Tweener Cup from Scott (photo by Diane Horstman)

Our Wonderful Hosts (photo by Steve, a.k.a, Spoonsize)

*Tweener Cup was established after Scott found M71 the previous evening and said he thought he found a nebula, or maybe a cluster…he said it is like a tweener. Thus, the Tweener Cup was born.  “If it ain’t a taint, it’s a tweener”

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~ by jhissong on 2011/07/04.

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