Crockett Public Night (March 9) – Messier Marathon – is ON!

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Crockett Public Night (March 9) – Messier Marathon – is ON!

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.

By | 2013-03-10T14:21:35-04:00 March 9th, 2013|News, Public Night|2 Comments

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  1. Rick Larkin March 9, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Thank you for this information. I was trying to view C/2011 L4 Panstarrs from somewhere west of my location in Vienna. This might be a worthwhile place to try.

  2. Rick Larkin March 10, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    I made it to Crockett Park last night in an unsuccessful effort to view C/2011 L4 Panstarrs. Met Jim Mosquera who was quite helpful in suggesting a good vantage point for observing. The absence of being able to get a true horizon view combined with distant cloud cover resulted in no sightings by myself or the other folks that wandered over to look. Ground conditions were soft but quite manageable. I parked within the clump of conifer trees overlooking the basin area that is a hundred yard or so beyond the parking area. I don’t have a telescope but did use my camera to take images of The Orion Constellation and the Pleiades. The results were nothing to brag about. Last but not least, I heard the Spring Peepers for the first time this year. Those little frogs are my favorite harbinger of Spring.

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