A Great Time at the 2021 Spring Scrimmage

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Bsimon
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A Great Time at the 2021 Spring Scrimmage

Post by Bsimon » Tue May 11, 2021 10:32 am

The Deep South Spring Scrimmage for 2021 is now history and the weather cooperated perfectly. We had pushed the start date from Tuesday May 4th to the 5th as we only had 2 registrants for Tuesday and there was rainy weather predicted for then. The rain was gone Wednesday and we had clear skies for observing from darkness on Wednesday to Sunday morning. SQM readings at the zenith on the Sky Quality Meter ranging between 21.72 and 21.84 for the duration. This indicated a NELM of 6.5 to about 6.525magnitude, just into Bortle 3 territory!

Note it was really crazy and fortunate that we had 4 nights of perfect observing weather sandwiched between all the rain we have had and continue to have just before the Spring Scrimmage and now after. We are on the threshold of 40 inches of rain so far this year and it is not yet mid-May!

Our attendance was better than expected at 25. States represented included Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Connecticut.
The breakdown of where the attendees were from is as follows:

Pontchartrain Astronomy Society Members - 9
Monroe, LA area --------------------------------- 3
Meridian, MS area ------------------------------- 3
Baton Rouge, LA area --------------------------- 3
Mobile, AL area ---------------------------------- 3
Huntsville, AL area ------------------------------ 2
Pensacola, FL area ------------------------------ 1
Connecticut -------------------------------------- 1

Highlights included NGC 5139 (Omega Centaurus globular) as well as 4 passes of Star Link satellites plus the great dark skies for observing.

This coming fall our 39th Annual DSSG will be held from Tuesday November 2nd to Sunday morning November 7th. That event will have programs, door prize drawings and a larger attendance. At this venue we can handle an attendance of up to approximately 100 or so.

The one real disadvantage that the White Horse venue has is the lack of accommodations for couples. We really only have 2 rooms that we can use for couples. We have a couple of other rooms that I can use for families of 5 or more (some would have to use upper bunks). At the Deep South in the fall, the 2 couples rooms will be filled in the order that registrations are received and only for those committing to stay for all 5 nights of the star gaze.

Pictures below (with more to follow)


Antares, M-4 and the Rho Ophichus nebulosity - 200 mm lens at f/4 for 30 seconds at ISO 1600

Auriga clusters M-36, M-36 and M-38 - 90 mm lens at f/3.5 for 30 seconds at ISO 800

More pictures will follow.

Barry Simon
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IMG_4028 copy.jpg

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Bsimon
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Re: A Great Time at the 2021 Spring Scrimmage

Post by Bsimon » Tue May 11, 2021 10:38 am

Here are a few more photos -

Wider shot of Antares, M-4 and the Rho Ophichus nebulosity

Omega Centaurus globular
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IMG_4019 copy.jpg

Bhousey
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Re: A Great Time at the 2021 Spring Scrimmage

Post by Bhousey » Wed May 12, 2021 12:00 pm

Barry,

That's an excellent and unusual photo of omega centauri... interesting to see a globular resolved in such a wide field context! Are you able to get away without tracking for those 30 second exposures?

Bruce.

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Bsimon
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Re: A Great Time at the 2021 Spring Scrimmage

Post by Bsimon » Wed May 12, 2021 5:38 pm

The camera and lens were on a Bogen/Manfrotto head that rode on top of the main scope. The main scope was driven and relatively well aligned but I did no corrections. A 200 just on a tripod without equatorial tracking would have been a mess.

Barry

Bhousey
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Re: A Great Time at the 2021 Spring Scrimmage

Post by Bhousey » Sat May 15, 2021 7:49 am

Thanks, Barry, I figured as much, but have no experience in such "long" exposures since even for deep sky I stack under 5 second exposures (and even then using the equatorial because that's what I'm used to).

Glad to hear the event went so well!

Bruce.

Bjohnson
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Location: Kenner, LA

Re: A Great Time at the 2021 Spring Scrimmage

Post by Bjohnson » Tue May 25, 2021 10:44 am

Thanks for the Spring Scrimmage. It was a great event.
Good to see so many familiar faces after being secluded for so long.

Clearest skies I have seen in a while, especially after all the rain we were getting before, and after the Scrimmage.
For once the Gods of the Heavens smiled and gave us some great viewing.

Looking forward to the next one!
Bill Johnson
PAS President, 2018-2020

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