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Stellarvue Dark Sky Star Party

41 like minded Stellarvue telescope owners converged under one of the darkest skies in the USA in June. This was another successful Stellarvue Dark Sky Star Party (DSSP). This event is reserved only for Stellarvue owners and participation is limited. The site accomodates full hookup and tent camping, there are showers and a cafe where one can purchase breakfast or lunch. Dinners are catered and part of the program. This year talks were given by scientists, we held a nature walk, vodka tasting session (on the only cloudy night we had) and we enjoyed the company of 41 very happy and content Stellarvuers. Scroll down to the bottom for information on next year's DSSP. 

The telescope field as seen from the full hookup campsites we reserve. This is a very comfortable environment.  
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 We displayed and demonstrated two perfect Stellarvue 130's, the SVA130 (oil spaced) and the SV130 (air spaced). Both gave a perfect star test. These were mounted on a Stellarvue M150 head with our new TSL9 Pier Tripod in cherry.  Ellyne and Mark - true scientists. Ellyne gave a talk on her mission to land a spacecraft on a near earth asteroid and bring samples back to earth. Her talk was inspiring and everyone thought it was extremely fun and interesting. 
Likely Place installed several pads with power on the telescope field. everyone had easy access to electricity to run their rigs. From the field one can watch the Milky Way make its way up to the zenith. Laying back in a lounge is a deeply inspiring experience.   
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 Harry and Winks are a great couple who always show up early. They graciously allow us to set up the Starlight Lounge in their front yard. Harry is also a great chef. These folks know how to camp and party.   Harry's impressive setup includes his observers tent, laptops, AP mount, camera, guider and of couse, the venerable SVQ100. 
  Another very impressive set up for the SVQ100 was brough by Tony Sarra. Not only is the mpunt impressive but Tony arranged for us to make for him a Q without focuser. We adapted the Atlas imaging focuser on the Q and it worked flawlessly. He has taken the SVQ100 to a whole different level of performance by precisely controlling focus every time. Say what you will, his Q is not under-mounted. ;-) 
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Hank came from Arizona was his impressive SV105. His set up was impressive and quite portable overall. Hank also enjoy some great fishing in the Warner Mountains during his trip.    The award for the most impressive visual system went to Bruce Agee and his SVA127DF (The Beast). Views were extremely sharp and contrasty thanks to its stunning dual Flouro 127 mm f-5.8 objective. 
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 The Campbell's came from Southern California with their SVR90. This was their first DSSP and they were a lot of fun. Each evening we had a theme for dinner. Those of us who are daring dress up. Their costumes were hilarious.   Here is Lori Campbell with her Pizza Hat. She and Allan made pizza hats on Thurday (Italian night) and came with fake moustaches, aprons with Italian flags and pizza boxes. Galileo was impressed.
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 Creativity in costumes does not always require a lot of work. Imagine our surprise when two of the Star Wars Sand People arrived at dinner on "Dress Like an Alien Night."   My favorite costume included Saturn's rings around their heads. Can you tell that Lori was a teacher and Principal? The folks who served us have gotten used to the Stellarvue group acting out at dinner. 
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So when Lee is not outstanding in his field observing or his wife taking amazing scenic and wildlife photographs, this happy couple is "dressing for dinner" as either Italian Made Men, Aliens, Cowboys or astronomers. It is great to have the Decovnicks join us with their great attitudes and willingness to do what it takes to have a good time. Life is short. Why not wear a funny hat?   
Oh yeah, back to the purpose of the Star Party. With the exception of Thursday night, we had very clear skies and magnificent imaging and observing opportunities. Jon Talbot took this wide field view from the hill above the observing field. He used his Canon 5D and 28 mm f-2.8 lens.