Prairie Skies 2006
Well, this web page is quite overdue. It is now just after Prairie
Skies 2007, and I have decided to catch up on my web page making. So,
as best I can recall, here's my account of PS2006.
I arrived on a beautiful Thursday afternoon, an I was greeted by a fairly
open observing field. It's just nice to have space to spread out and
set up your equipment. As usual, Lou had reserved a space for us, and
he was setting up his new 12" scope when I took this picture.
After we got all set up, we had our 30" F/3.8 set up, as well as my 10" F/5.5
and my 8" F/5.4 travel scope. Finally, in the area was John Pratte's
excellent 20" F/5 which he built and made the optics for. It is in
the middle of the photo below in the background.
I think we had a nice Thursday night, but clouds arrived on Friday. Here's
Bob Rubendunst on a beautiful morning at PS.
On Friday morning I did mirror testing, and as I recall we looked at about
5 or 6 mirrors, ranging from a 6" long focus to an 18". Some were good,
but some were quite bad and showed significant roughness on the stand. I
ended up with two mirrors to refigure after this event.
On Friday evening we went to Chicago Dough Boys as usual, and the rain that
had begun earlier in the day continued later on. I took a nap after
dinner and slept quite well until 10 or 11pm, and then I went to watch part
of a movie (Contact, I think) in the dining hall. After that I walked
around for a bit and hung out only to see a large hole open up in the clouds
overhead, but it looked like it would cloud back up. So, I went to
sleep and felt great in the morning, waking up to a sunny Saturday.
Saturday afternoon we did the telescope walkabout, and below are a number
of scopes we looked at. Here's a nice dob with a convenient platform
for the setting circle computer and star charts (left) and a nice mid-sized
scope with another accessory platform (right).
Next is a very minimal small scope with a unique lever-actuated sliding focuser.
The next images shows a beautifully built 12.5" scope. It has a fully
baffled tube for excellent contrast. I recall a very nice view of the
Veil through it.
Finally, here's a home-built brass refractor and a nice document that describes
Overall it was a great star party in a beautiful setting. Now I have
to make up the PS2007 page!