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.

Our area

I think we had a nice Thursday night, but clouds arrived on Friday.  Here's Bob Rubendunst on a beautiful morning at PS.

Bob Rubendunst

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).

Scope 1 Scope 2

Next is a very minimal small scope with a unique lever-actuated sliding focuser.

Scope 3

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.

Scope 4

Finally, here's a home-built brass refractor and a nice document that describes it.

Scope 5


Overall it was a great star party in a beautiful setting.  Now I have to make up the PS2007 page!

Back to my home page....