Is My Blog Burning #7? - Dumplings
Moose Spotting and Lake Agnes

Wyoming Star Party

Star-Party_IMG_2683The “Weekend under the Stars” is an annual event held in Wyoming for a gathering of approx. 200 star gazing enthusiasts. RV’s, campers and cars laden with telescopes of various sizes, and configurations make the trek over a dirt road to a wide open alpine meadow for a weekend of star gazing. The Star Party began on Thursday and ended on Sunday. Due to work committments we left in convoy from Denver on Saturday lunch time.
The Star Party was located at Fox Park, Wyoming. From Denver we took the I-25 North and then took exit 281, Owl Canyon Road, to connect with US 287. This road is a short cut and meanders through flat farm land. It is quite difficult to determine were the Canyon actually is. The route to Fox Park is well marked, and the organizers of the Star Party did a good job with signposting.
We arrived at about 4-ish. We were definitely one of the last parties to arrive. We found a space to set up camp which we did immediately. The most important thing was to get the telescope set up and give the mirror time to settle. Then we ambled over to the Registration tent where a presentation was going on. Luckily we had thought to bring our chairs. After various presentations and door prizes we ambled back to our campsite for a cup of tea, boiled on our camp kettle. Kevin and Peter decided to do some exploring and checking out other people’s gadgets while Mom and I prepared dinner. Peter had volunteered to be in charge of dinner, and had prepared a gorgeous pork stew with potatoes and asparagus. We had soup for starters and cantaloupe for dessert. Soon it was dark. Kevin used the North star to line up his spotting scope with the telescope. And then we had several wonderful hours of star gazing.

We saw various nebulae – the ring nebula, gas nebula, and a number of galaxies. Here is another link to some of the Messier objects we tracked. We also saw M27 (dumbell nebula).

We were extremely lucky. We had wonderful clear skies. As the night darkened we gazed up at the glorious arc of the Milky Way. Spectacular. There were a number of shooting stars, and we saw some satellites. We saw an iridium flare something I've never seen before. Check out this link for a description.

We turned in around midnight. Kevin got up around 4 am to do some more star gazing. He wanted to see Saturn’s rings and Orion’s belt. I am afraid once I get horizontal NOTHING will make me stir.

The next morning we were up early for a nice big breakfast before breaking camp.
We plan to attend next year's star party. For more information on Star parties check out the Texas Star Party site and the Nebraska Star Party site. These gatherings are much, much larger than this one. Here is the link to the Wyoming Weekend Under the Stars.


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