After sending out a notice about opening Binbrook, I went out around 8:30 to open up. David and Tanya had just arrived, and another family showed up a bit later. The skies took a while to clear the day-time heating clouds that had been making some observers nervous, but they finally did cooperate.
The seeing and transparency never did get particularly good, though it was reasonably stable. It didn't look like it was going to be a suitable night for imaging, but good enough for visual. That suited me just fine. I had brought out my replacement 180mm Mak and had wanted to give it a first light test. I've had it for a few months after the insurance replaced it, but I wasn't sure how good it came from the factory. Surprisingly it performed quite well with good star test patterns, sharp resolution of stars in M13, and challenging to split the double-double at 96x but was clean at 120x. It wasn't what I would consider perfect, but better than I could probably collimate it.
An interesting part of the night was that Discovery Channel was there filming an episode of MayDay over by the Wind-Surfing area. Lights and fires were visible a few times. Didn't affect visual work too much, but it would have made the poor imaging conditions worse. Dan from the park staff (who had helped us on the Perseids night) was there all night and he stopped by our area for while to look through the scopes and chat.
Shortly after the others left, Greg Emery showed up so we continued to observe for a while until the conditions started to deteriorate. Around 1am we finally packed it in and took off for a coffee. Not a great seeing night, but fun just the same. I had set some modest goals for the evening and was able to achieve them. So in my books, it was a success (helps to not set goals that are too ambitious LOL).
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