Monday, August 17, 2009

Cypress Hills Summer Star Party (SSSP 09)

This year's edition of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) Saskatchewan Summer Star Party (SSSP 2009). We left Saskatoon and it looked to be a promising weekend for star gazing. Apparently the weather had other ideas. We arrived on Thursday night in the rain. It rained and was foggy/hazy most of the day on Friday and that night. It was cold and windy on Saturday until it started raining just after lunch. It poured buckets the rest of the day and all night. It continued to rain all day Sunday until we arrived home. 300-400 people with telescopes and not one got used. It was the first time in 15 years that the entire weekend was rained out.

The picture below is a shot of the weather on Sunday just before we left.

And wouldn't you know it, back to work Monday, was clear, hot and sunny. Now tonight, it's cloudy and going to rain. We just can't win this summer. I don't know who is being punished, but man they must have done something bad to deserve this.

On the bright side, there were some great speakers, good food, fantastic door prizes and good times getting to know other astronomy enthusiasts. For example, Alan Dyer was there. He is a wonderful film maker, astronomer and photographer. I bought a copy of The Backyard Astronomer's Guide, co-written by Alan Dyer. He had a book signing, so I got mine by him. The other bonus was staying in a condo with my family. Always good times when you hang out with family. We played mini golf as well.

One cool thing I got to do was be involved with the door prizes. My Dad was able to get a huge amount of door prizes. I was able to donate two of them - a Galileoscope and one of the meteorites that I found from the Buzzard Coulee fall from November 20, 2008. Below is a picture similar to the one I donated.

The people were the highlight of the weekend. There were lots of great people who are very smart and fun to hang around and have a good time with. So, all in all, even though the skies didn't agree, the weekend turned out to be fun.


  1. Man, too bad about the weather, this stupid hobby of ours, cool you gave away a telescope and meteorite, good for you!! At least you made the best of a bad situation and still pulled out some fun, and an autographed book to boot.

  2. Hey Bob. Good to hear from you. Yeah, well, I should have expected the weather. Hasn't been very good since I bought my scope. I had fun donating those two prizes. I got to go up front and present the meteorite as a major prize, so that was worth it. All in all, I'm glad i went. There is a star party by Drumheller from Sept 18-20 I might try to go to. Let me know if you're interested at all. I'd probably be tenting or something like that.

  3. Nice post and photos.
    I need to set up a blogroll for astronomy.
    After I got my Celestron, it was cloudy for 5 straight weeks.

    I looked at your dragonflies. Nice.

    thanks for the visit,

  4. Thanks for stopping by. Yeah, we've been fighting clouds all summer and have missed some big events. Appreciate the comments on my photos.

  5. Astro-Nuts, just in case you get second post, I don't know what happened, lol. Well I want to say again, too bad for a weather, but I am glad that you were able to enjoy your time despite the bad weather. Family time is precious. Thanks for sharing, and wishing you a good weekend. Anna :)