Field Trip & Observing
Houston Astronomical Society
Review of 2022. We were so ready to get out and observe this year. Socialize, too. The FT&O year kicked off with a Messier Marathon, we traveled solo to the Texas Star Party but met up for coffee and ice cream, we took a field trip to the George Observatory and camped overnight at Brazos Bend SP, and we signed up for the annual picnic in numbers exceeding those of a major star party.
Do we rinse and repeat for 2023? Maybe. What worked? What needs tweaking? The club enjoyed the field trip to the George; 113 of us bought tickets. Far fewer were ready to camp overnight in the summer. The Messier Marathon was a hit, twice. That is, we got bumped in March for weather but luckily had a good showing in April. We chatted with HASers at TSP that we hadn’t yet met in Houston. And our special interest groups, the SIGs, were out in force on the observing field. That is, depending on the weather. November weather also put the kibosh on what would’ve been a truly epic annual gathering.
Let’s regroup. A lot of prep work has already been done by FT&O and the SIGs and is in safe keeping. We can republish resources to the website and dust off workshops, observing lists, and show and tells. The picnic area and Dob Shed are cleaned, stocked, and ready to go. We know how to do this. We just need the weather to cooperate.
What if we chucked the calendar? Many of us have a “grab and go” astro bag ready with essentials for whenever the weather looks promising. Can we do the same for field trips to the dark site? I think we can. More in the January 2023 Looking Up.