The next three months could be called the “Star Party Months.” Indeed, there are two of them easily available to us here on the island, and two more a scenic day’s drive away. For the more star-crazed among us, another two more are within day-and-a-half driving reach (the Oregon Star Party, and the Golden State Star Party in Northern California).
I urge you to set aside weekends for the local gatherings, the CVSF Island Star Party, and our own RASCals Star Party in Metchosin Star Party. The CVSF party is August 3-4 at Bright Angel Park near Duncan, a site that has turned out to be quite nice. It is dark (a surprise, since it is so near Duncan), if a bit dewy, and CVSF puts on a good event.
Our RASCals Star Party is August 30 – September 1 at the usual location in Metchosin, a mere thirty minutes from town. Our spot is not quite as dark as Bright Angel, but sports a great view of the Southern sky. We are hosting, this year, a three night event …. And if we start our chants to the weather demons early, perhaps we won’t be blessed with a 30 knot wind!
For the slightly more-determined among us, both the Merritt Star Quest and Mt. Kobau Star Party offer truly dark skies within a reasonable driving distance. Primitive camping is the order of the day for both of these, and each is an hour away from supplies, but hey ………. This is the year to cross the Horsehead Nebula off your list.
I have, in the past, left one or the other of the island parties, and driven straight to a ferry, and spent the rest of the week at either Merritt, or Kobau. It makes for a nice week of high-quality observing, plus you can pick up a few cases of peaches on the way home.
This is the summer to start (finish?) the Messier list, so as to clear the decks for the “RASC Finest NGC” list, surely one of the best around.