Orange Blossom Special Star Party

Hickory Hill, Florida U.S.A.


In 1998 the St. Petersburg Astronomy Club's Orange Blossom Star Party was held January 29 through February 1. The first picture shows David Haworth with his Orion ShortTube™ 80 mm aperture rich-field refractor, f/5 focal ratio, 400 mm focal length mounted on a camera tripod. David observed 43 Messier objects Saturday night - Sunday morning. A benefit of observing in Florida state is southern sky objects are higher in the sky as compared to observing the same objects in David's home state of Washington. Dew became a problem several times during the night and was taken care of by taking the telescope in the club house to dry in front of a room heater, a advantage of a small light weight telescope. Also, it was colder than I expected and warm winter boots would have helped. It was very nice to be able to take rest breaks in the clubhouse to warm up during the night.

Saturday afternoon there were several talks that ranged from how to collimate a telescope to CCD imaging by Jose G. Torres. Also, during the star party on Saturday afternoon a picture was taken by a airplane showing the St. Petersburg Astronomy Club's Hickory Hill Clubhouse and Raden Memorial Observatory (the white round dome building). The clubhouse provided warm, low cost meals during the day and a place to warm up during the cool nights. Notice the rows of green orange trees on the left of the picture.

If you are in the St. Petersburg, Florida area I would highly recommend you attending future St. Petersburg Astronomy Club's Orange Blossom Star Parties. I met many helpful St. Petersburg Astronomy Club members and they have best site facilities for a star party that I have ever attended.

Star Field