Friday, November 27, 2015

Our First Star Party: Star Gazing Floridan Neighborhood, Camping and Lollygagging

I recently participated in my first star gazing party since 6th grade. From 4th to 5th grade I was in Astronomy club, on special night's we'd camp out in the school and stay up until the morning hours to gaze at Jupiter and Saturn through a massive telescope. We even e-mailed (new technology!) what the teachers said were "astronauts in the stratosphere". I haven't been tent camping since even longer, I think I was six or so?! It was fun to attempt star gazing with friends recently.

Amber's adorable tent set-up. I crashed on the ground next to her air mattress. 

We drove past Gainesville to enter an out-of-the way neighborhood that, fascinatingly, had amateur observatories EVERYWHERE! We'd never seen anything like it. The area had no street lights and was far enough from the city to ensure amazing star visibility. Once night falls, you can't use anything but a red-tinted light because you're eyes don't have to re-adjust to the dark with it.



Not far from our tent, one of the many amazing at-home observatories.


The campgrounds had cute star buns and details. The showers had an appropriate name!


And this was the star party go-cart.


We ended up getting a discount on our stay there (From $40, yikes!) to $5.00 each because the night was a bust! The previous night was warm with gorgeous visibility, the night we stayed with completely cloud-covered and cold as hell! I wore two pants, three pairs of socks, three scarves two jackets, a sweat shirt and a hat and I still felt some chill! Mark, who didn't pack layers, was bouncing around to warm as the night got cooler.

Edit: There was some confusion, the photos below were created the night we went camping. They're made in-camera with a technique known as "light painting".


So what do when it's cold and there's no stars to gaze at? Take silly pictures (the dark photos above were taken with a camera on a slow shutter speed and our red lights), drink a little beer, tell ghost stories, and make silly pictures with our red lights! We'll camp again, but not until the warm weather, me-thinks! /Comments Off
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