Every year during the summer season the park rangers invite a California astronomy club to cover a public star party for each weekend. It's a fun experience getting to share the night sky with park visitors from all over the world. Here are a couple of shots from turn-outs not far from Glacier Point. A nice view of Vernal Falls.
A shot of Half Dome. You can tell from the shadows that it's late in the afternoon. Just heading in from the campground to get set up for the evening.
Another view of Vernal Falls.
O.K. - I like taking pictures of the mountains :)
Half Dome is really awesome from Glacier Point!
We set up in the amphitheater at Glacier Point for the star parties. This was my first trip to Glacier Point with the Santa Cruz Astronomy Club.
There's Chris and Richard getting ready.
From the main parking lot there's an access road that they let us use to load unload and load up afterwards. It runs right up to the top of the amphitheater.
The trees make a pretty good frame for Half Dome.
There's a hill right behind and to the west of the set up area so it gets dark a bit earlier than other areas. It does block some of the views but there are plenty of other great sights to see at night.
Chris taking a moment to enjoy the view.
Our resident moon man, Craig. He does wonderful drawings of the moon using a beautiful refractor telescope. That's my rig on the right.
Richard taking a light reading for a picture. Photography and astro photography is serious business :)
Wow! This was just a quick snapshot, and the colors came out pretty good.
Pretty good composition if I do say so myself :)
Richard and Bill in the back with Craig taking a picture of Half Dome.
Richard having a bit of breakfast on Saturday morning.
My new tent. Way better than at the rain fiasco at Big Sur in 2008.
Fred's Sprinter and some of the other guy's tents.
Fred getting ready for a picture of Half Dome
A couple of shots of long-time club member, Bill Seiler.
Bill and Vernal Falls.
Everyone is set up and now we just wait for all the folks to wander out to see the scopes and the night sky.
As it starts to get dark we (Bill) does a short slide presentaion on the types of telescopes we're using, the objects that are available for viewing that night and a little bit of star party etiquette. Once that's done, the ranger take all the folks over to the point for a talk on the constellations. By the time the ranger finishes, it's dark enough to start looking through the scopes. We usually have between 30 and 70 folks on both Friday and Saturday nights.
Fred, me and one of the park guests.
A bunch of the park visitors enjoying the telescopes and night sky. Lots of really interesting folks from all over the world get a fun night of astronomy.
Fred got out his nice digital camera and took a few shots of Half Dome.
A little bit tighter, now :)
A pretty tight shot of the tip of Half Dome.