A little late in getting this posted. I tried to provide an update while still at Cherry Springs, but the wireless internet connection there is very sporadic and finicky. The few times it works, we're often focusing on getting the latest weather reports.
Any way... we had another good contingent turn up at Cherry Springs. Matthew and his wife Janice, Les and his wife Terri, Ed, Jim, John and myself were all there representing the HAA. We also met a number of other Canadians from the Niagara and the Bolton areas at the event.
We were blessed with clear skies from Wed to Sat night. As the week wore on, the skies took a little longer each evening before becoming clear, but they did get good every night. It was one of our best visits with respect to clear skies and the ability to observe each night.
The usual schedule ran with presentations on Fri and Sat. The keynote speaker Sat afternoon was David Eicher from Astronomy Magazine - not surprising he was very good. They held a public observing night Sat evening in which many area residents, and those from much further away came to enjoy the skies. A good selection of vendors were on hand and it was probably one of the best years for door prize donations - so lots of prizes to be won, but sadly none by me.
I didn't get a lot of imaging in for various reasons, but one evening I did a bit of an experiment. I set up my DSLR with a fish-eye lens and an electronic timer to take a shot every 10 minutes over the course of the night. I combined the shots into a time-lapsed video showing the Milky Way as it marched across the southern sky over 6 hours. The link below should open the video in another window with your default video player (at least I hope it does).
Milky Way video
I also had a second purpose in attending. This year I had been asked to do a presentation. Wanting to do something a bit different and new, I combined my astronomy with my other hobby of amateur radio, and talked about amateur radio astronomy. This was an introductory presentation, mostly talking about some simple ways to get started and some kits available to go a step further. I also briefly highlighted some of the more advanced methods one can pursue if time and money permit. It appears to have been well received and I had a lot of fun doing it. One of the perks is that they pay for your registration and provide a small honorarium which I donated to the Dark Sky Fund.
I think I can safely speak for everyone who attended and claim it was one of the best star parties at Cherry Springs in quite a few years. A lot of fun. Don't forget we get a chance to repeat it in Sept with the Black Forest Star Party.
Update: I got a note from Larry McHenry which some of you will know from the Kiski Astronomy club near Pittsburg we often meet while at Cherry Springs. He posted a PDF report of the event. You might enjoy the read and additional photos he included links to.
Cherry Springs Report
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