Star Party

My friends in Franceses have amateur telescopes, and my friend in Puntagorda usually has cloudless summer nights with no street lights nearby. So we finally put the two together.

The catch is that it meant camping, because the house in Puntagorda is tiny, but that made a change.

It’s almost a year since I’ve been camping, partly because the previous exhibition wasn’t a success. (See Sleeping With My Best Friend’s Wife) This time I vowed to be better prepared, and bought two new sleeping bags.

We got there for lunch, and then I left my son with our friends (who were setting up telescopes), while I went off to take photos of a local artist for Ruido. That was fascinating.

We came back and cooked a barbecue meal, watched the clouds roll in, and discussed our chances of actually seeing stars.

It stayed cloudy, and my son went to bed. We stayed up, chatting and drinking wine.

Then glory be, the clouds disappeared and the stars blazed. I woke my son.

The big 10″ telescope (the one in the photo. If you look closely, you can just see my son’s eye in the innermost circle.) had a technical problem, but the 90mm was fine. We just had time to get a really nice view of Jupiter, complete with cloud bands and the four Galilean moons, when the cloud rolled back.

So we went to bed. And this time I didn’t freeze.

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