This has to go down as one of the warmest star party nights we have ever done, still around 23 degrees at 22:30h!  It was not a surprise therefore that the west cliff was pretty busy.  Keith, Mark and John manned the four scopes deployed, Keith’s 12” Dobsonian, the LX 200, the 6” Dobsonian and John’s 5” SCT.

Mark had spent some time trying to rectify the pointing issue with the LX on the Saturday evening.  It was only a partial success and some tracking was possible, but the scope still had to be readjusted every few minutes.  At least the public were impressed with the view through the eyepiece.  With two large scopes in operation, two journeys were a necessity in order to ferry equipment up, but it worked out okay.  Before it was obscured by buildings, John and Keith targeted Jupiter with their scopes, whilst Mark set up the LX.  All scopes targeted Saturn, which looked very impressive with two, if not three moons visible.

Quite a crowd gathered round the instruments to get glimpses of the objects targeted, these included the Ring nebula, Dumbbell nebula, Alberio, Vega, Mizar and Alcor and the Andromeda galaxy, all greatly appreciated.

Sky conditions were clear, but some heat haze seemed to help steady seeing, Saturn benefiting in particular.

Despite the issues with the LX, it was a rewarding evening; post 23:00h before we were able to pack things away.  We are now seeking a new hand controller for the LX, which we believe may be the cause of the problem, the keys stick anyway.