Eden Gardens State Park is just down the road from Grayton Beach State park and since it was only one month since the Grayton Beach event the same celestial objects were still visible. Once again, our early guest observers were able to view Jupiter before sunset well before the 4 Galilean moons were visible.
This edition of state park star gaze featured the debut of Scott Morgan’s radio telescope. NASA sponsors the Radio Jove project; an educational project for students, teachers and the general public. Scott built one of their receiver kits and constructed the antenna system. Although the Earth, Jupiter and Io orbital geometry was not optimal to ‘listen’ to Jupiter’s radio emissions, he set up the scope anyway and monitored the observations.
Several club members brought traditional optical telescopes as well. Dean Covey brought his 8″ Celestron and James Dubben brought the clubs big Dobsonian mounted Newtonian reflector. It took several members and several minutes to setup and collimate, but the 16″ aperture is well worth the effort. The Ring Nebula (M 57) just starts to show some color when the big scope is pointed its way. Other objects viewed were the Whirlpool Galaxy (M 51) and the Great Hercules Cluster (M 13). Additional optical telescopes were setup by Tom Haugh and Robert Sutphen. This star gaze also featured a second debut. Robert has his classic orange 8″ Celestron mounted on a brand new goto mount.
Our binocular observers also supported the star gaze. Dave Halupowski and granddaughter Kennedy made the trek with Dave’s ever popular binocular chair, and Ken Leone brought his tripod mounted 70mm Oberwerks binoculars.