Submitted by Carolyne Cathey, Executive Director, MAPA
The Star Party at the Ford House Visitors Center on Saturday, November 17 will have a new sparkle with the gift of two new telescopes. Out of this World owners, James Blackstock and Marilyn Rose, donated the scopes to the Mendocino Area Parks Association (MAPA). A Celestron 90mm refractor, chosen for ease of use and better lunar and planetary views, will replace the 6-year-old refractor telescope at MacKerricher State Park. The second scope is a Celestron 130mm computerized reflector, allowing greater light capture, and a “go-to” motor system controlled by an on-board processor with a 4000 celestial object database. After a simple alignment procedure, you can pick a planet, galaxy, nebula, or star cluster, and the telescope will locate and track the object. MAPA will use this scope in their interpretive programs. Celestron telescopes were chosen because they are lightweight and easy to operate. Blackstock has also volunteered to get several of the older scopes back into working order. Staff members, Jenny Heckeroth, Fred Andrews, John Millott, Scott Lewis, Charles Poplinger and Carolyne Cathey, were provided two training sessions by James Blackstock and John Wilder.
At the next Star Party on Saturday, November 17, interested gazers should gather at Ford House Visitors Center for a chance to talk with astronomers while observing the night sky. Meet behind the museum at 7:00 p.m., 735 Main Street, Mendocino. Bring your own telescope and flashlights! Be sure to dress warmly. In case of rain or fog, our backup plan is an indoor program. Sponsored By: Ford House Museum/Visitor Center; Out of This World in Mendocino; Mendocino Area Parks Association (MAPA); and California State Parks. For more information: 707-937-5397, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.mendoparks.org