Jul 6, 2014

Cherry Springs Star Party 2014 - Review

Up until this point
No light pollution in this night sky!
The un-spoiled dark skies of Cherry Springs State Park in Pennsylvania.  This is what our night sky is supposed to look like!
It has been an amazing summer so far.  We have had lots of clear nights, and I have been taking full advantage!  I attended my first "star-party" last week. The Cherry Springs Star Party has been running since 2005 at the Cherry Springs State Park and is ran by the Astronomical Society of Harrisburg, PA.  I was told that this years event had almost 500 attendees!

First of all, the skies there are absolutely incredible.  The Milky Way stretches across the park from end to end without any intrusion from city lights.  They have a strict policy about white light, which really helps presserve your night vision throughout the night.
The Park at the Cherry Springs Star Party June 2014
As I mentioned to a fellow amateur astronomer at the park, the CSSP is like a "car show" for telescopes. People from all over the US and Canada bring their prized astronomy gear and show it off.  20" dobs were commonplace at the CSSP, and there was even a 32" Obsession in use!  Giant refractors, heavy-duty mounts, and expensive CCD cameras as far as the eye could see!

I was very impressed at the behavior of all the guests.  It was strange to be outside with almost 500 people all night without any loud music or yelling!  Just a big group of people who have travelled many miles for the same reason, dark skies!
I chose to image the Eastern Veil Nebula during my 2 night stay at the park.  After stacking the 5 minute subs in Deep Sky Stacker, I think I ended up with just over 3 hours of good hours of exposure on this target.  I will definitely be coming back to Cherry Springs State Park in the near future.  I would highly recommened it to anybody seeking out beautiful dark skies. 

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