Today (June 21st) is the Summer solstice, so it is now officially Summer. And the longest day/shortest night of the year.
I think that amateur astronomers have mixed feelings about Summer. It’s annoying that the night is so short (tonight, even without the Moon, it would be truly dark for only a few hours), and you have to stay up pretty late before it starts. On the other hand, you can stay up through all of it and still get to bed long before it’s time for breakfast. And usually, you can stay up all night without freezing.
I must apologize for not posting here for a very long time, and for not having much to share with you. The Moon image above is the only thing I’ve photographed lately, and that was only a quick capture while I was in the middle of testing a new telescope, a Stellarvue SVX80T. As the name suggests, this is an 80mm triplet refractor. It’s kind of ridiculously expensive for such a small ‘scope, but that’s because the optics are hand-figured at Stellarvue’s California facilities and shipped with an optical test report. I haven’t finished my own testing of the ‘scope yet, but so far, I like it.
A week from now I’ll be leaving for the Golden State Star Party in northern California, which I have never attended before. My motorhome, Starship Gamma Pictoris, needed some repair work before making this long trip, and I’ve been tied up with some new product development projects for my business-to-business customers. For the August New Moon I will, of course, be going to the Oregon Star Party, and have been asked to speak there on the future of amateur astronomy (it involves electronic imaging!). That presentation is still just an outline, so there are way too many things to do, and I can’t promise that it won’t be another long wait for my next post. But I do hope to have some images for you then.