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March 21 marked the first star party at Sedgwick for the 2012 season. Not only did we have quite an enthusiastic group, the astronomy club from Santa Barbara City College, but we had perfect (but cold) weather with great seeing.
After going around the sky naming stars and constellations and telling stories about them, both BOS and the AP178 were quite the busy telescopes. They hopped through several targets including Venus (in a quarter phase), Jupiter (with its 4 Galilean moons), and Mars in the beginning of the night, and Saturn towards the end (with the Cassini Division clearly visible along with a couple moons), M1, M42, M44, M81, M82, and even the recent supernova in M95. Many of the objects were observed in both telescopes to get a feel for what the difference is in what is seen through a 0.8m reflecting telescope versus a 178mm refracting telescope. One club member also tried to image everything that was seen through both telescopes with his iPhone (he did manage to get the few brightest stars in the Trapezium) to show everyone how awesome the evening was.
With luck (and hard work), this is the start of a fantastic star party season!
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