In addition to telescopes, there are also a series of talks. Besides the usual talks which I skipped, we had two special speakers, Randy Rubis (a JPL ambassador, JPL ambassadors do not work for NASA, but give public talks on space missions) and Dr Steve Edberg (the chief scientist on the Cassini Mission). I caught part of the Randy Rubis talk, and all of Dr Edberg's talk.After the talk was over, I returned to the beach. John Causland had arrived while I was gone.
There had been a steady stream of visitors. Many of the visitors were kids working on their scavenger hunt (kids were given a list of objects they needed to find such as the Moon, Mars, a galaxy and so on. They could check off items off as they found them). While it was clear enough to allow the kids to find all their objects, haze interfered with deep sky observing. Besides the haze, car headlights were a continual problem (the North lawn is adjacent to the parking lot). Hazy conditions are when Lowbrows are the most resourceful; some of the telescopes were pointed at the Aquafina Nebula. (The story behind the Aquafina Nebula dates back to last year's Kensington at the Beach; it had clouded over, so nothing was visible except for some lights on the other side of the lake. I was using an 8" Dob at the time and I moved it toward one of the lights - it was a Pepsi machine located at Maple Beach, a half mile from Martindale Beach. I gave it the name the "Pepsi Nebula." Apparently there is now an Aquafina machine at Maple Beach).
Earlier in the week a visitor to our web site had a question about a double star Mark described in a newsletter article, I forwarded this to Mark and in the process he found a double star he couldn't immediately identify. At Kensington, Mark was able to identify this mystery double. Because of the poor sky conditions, we all leave relatively early (about midnight or so).
The next morning I talk with Charlie on the phone, he did not go to Kensington Friday night. Dr Edberg was going to give another talk Saturday afternoon; unlike the talks on Friday and Saturday evening, this one was aimed at club members interested in more detail on Cassini. The forecast was for rain so I assumed the evening would be a washout; how

ever both of us were interested in hearing Dr Edberg's talk. We arrive that afternoon assuming that we'd leave afterwards. Kristina Nyland and Adlai Cleveland were at the talk as well as a few people from other clubs (I'll give a short summary of Dr. Edberg's talk next month). Back at Martindale Beach, I found Lorna, Kim, Kristina and her parents, Doug Bock, Clayton and Randy. Even though it was hopelessly overcast, it wasn't raining and I spent quite a bit of time socializing with people. Glen Dent thought we had a total of 3000 visitors on Friday and 1000 on Saturday. While the threat of rain probably reduce the numbers, I think the visitors who came on Saturday probably enjoyed themselves. Overall, I think it was a successful event

Doug Bock, Clayton Kessler, Mark Deprest & Doug Scobel watch the sunset at Kensington Metro Park.

Sunset at Kensington Metro Park

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                                         REFLECTIONS - Sept 2001

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