OK folks – The weather forecast looks great for tonight, so the public night Messier Marathon is ON.
One complication – unfavorable soggy grass field conditions. Craig Johnson (Crockett Park Manager) indicated a potential for cars getting stuck on the field.
Members of the public: Due to anticipated poor grass field conditions, that we request that public guests park in the lower parking lot spaces in the parking lot directly ahead of the gate (after about 100 yards or so) since NOVAC members (and their scopes) will be needing access to the upper asphalt parking lot and the gravel parking lot to the left of the gate.
NOVAC members: please arrive early before sunset, and set up adjacent to the grass field in the gravel parking lot to the left of the gate. As we saturate this gravel parking lot with cars, the NOVAC member overflow can set up on the asphalt parking lot (e.g., cul de sac) down the road from the entrance gate. If you feel that you can set up on the grass without getting stuck or damaging the turf, you can do so with extreme care, but recognize the risks here as we are the park’s guests. If you get to Crockett early, please feel free to post an email to update us all on the grass field conditions,
Remember also that there is a comet (C/2011 L4 Panstarrs) that may be visible just after sunset on the western horizon. Caution is warranted on two fronts (1) The comet’s proximity to the Sun merits caution to avoid the potential for eye damage, while the Sun is still visible. (2) The best view of the western horizon will be from the far side of the grass field… with potential soggy field conditions.