Daily Reports from the Mountain – 2022

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August 31, 2022
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August 20-21 (First Night)

The first night of MKSP 2022 wasn’t far from what was forecast, though we’d hoped for more clear sky than we got. It was overcast at dusk with intimidatingly dark cloud to the north. Our group of four saw a few stars through tiny holes and even had a naked-eye glimpse of Saturn – without enough time to point a telescope at it. When a very light shower began, I suspect everyone on the mountain went to bed. The shower passed, but the overcast persisted past midnight, 1 o’clock, and 2 o’clock, then – as Kobau skies do – mysteriously cleared around 3:00. I staggered out of “bed” to find a nearly cloudless sky, lit in the east by a brilliant waning crescent moon that still allowed the Milky Way from Cygnus to Aquila to show through in the west. I’d only taken 10×50 binoculars for my one-night visit, but they gave me lovely views of the Dumbbell Nebula in a star-studded field, Perseus’s double cluster and the Alpha Association, Pleiades and Hyades (gorgeous in spite of the nearby moon)… plus a memorable view of the Andromeda galaxy, directly overhead, nearly spanning the field of view! With the help of Stellarium, I tracked down Uranus and Neptune, and went from faintest to brightest planet when Venus appeared atop a cloud bank near the eastern horizon. As morning twilight set in, clouds multiplied and it actually rained for real after I retreated to shelter and more sleep.
Sunday and Monday will likely continue to bring a mix of cloud, clear sky and showers (the proportions I won’t even guess at), but consistent clear sky is predicted for the second half of the week.
A repeated word of caution about the Mt. Kobau Rd. Even some MKSP veterans called it rougher than they recalled. So, again, go slowly and steer carefully to the smoothest sections. We had a collection of trucks, sedans and SUV’s on the summit Saturday night with no reports of flat tires. With appropriate caution, we can preserve that record right through to next weekend!
Submitted by: Jim Failes

August 21-22 (Sunday Night)

No recent reports from the mountain to give you, but the tantalizing forecast of consistently clear weather has changed to, well, mostly consistent. The CSC (Clear Sky Chart) on the MKSP home page does indicate good observing opportunities on the next three nights. Beyond that, forecasting is a real challenge, but early indications are that Friday will be a chance to catch up on sleep, while Saturday will bring a starry conclusion.  Submitted by J. Failes.

August 22-23 (Monday Night)

No recent reports from the mountain to give you,  however, I (Roger Nelson) the webmaster, arrived at the base of the Mountain by that evening, but did not ascend.  I saw evening thunder showers, with clearing later after dark and awoke to clear skies. I can only assume that it was the same at the summit.

August 23-24 (Tuesday Night)

Tuesday night at MKSP was yet another example of how an uncertain-looking evening can turn into a great night. Reporting from the mountaintop, correspondent Roger Nelson says an evening sky characterized by scattered cloud, smokiness and a cold NW wind cleared out after 9 pm yielding to “excellent clear sky afterwards and through the night”. Good to hear! We can also report that afternoon thunderstorms in the southern interior have spared Mt. Kobau so far, and there are no new wildfire ignitions anywhere nearby in British Columbia or Washington State. Submitted by Jim Failes

August 24-25 (Wednesday Night)

In the evening Lee Johnson gave his presentation on Kobau Stars topic was “6 Degrees of Camelopards.”  Before the talk we encountered a rattlesnake on the road leading up the hill from the Parking Lot.

No Wednesday night reports from the mountain yet, but it was a clear night all night in my part of the Okanagan, and the MKSP clear sky chart indicates another very good night in store for tonight (Thursday).  Submitted by Jim Failes

And from the phone  booth down the hill on Thursday morning submitted by Roger Nelson: Report from the mountain. Yes it was great. usual start with clouds that cleared off by 11pm no rain I was up until 4:30 am looking at Saturn and Jupiter.

August 25-26 (Thursday Night)

In the evening Roger Nelson gave a presentation on “The new Website and telling the story of MKSP”

Thursday night was a mixed bag of clouds and clear skies plenty of the so search out various objects and planets. Today (Friday) we have similar weather to the other days this week evening clouds that will dissipate at nightfall. Roger from the mountain

August 26-27 (Friday Night)

In the evening Colleen O’Hare gave a presentation on “3D Printing and Astronomy”

Following that Murray Poulson gave a Binocular Star Walk in the field south of the Parking Lot.  This started around 10:30 pm, and we had a tour of the sky, in binoculars, with some jumping to work around the patches of Clouds, but managed to cover most of the time in an hour and a bit.

Friday night started with cloud and a Cold North wind. And Clearing, some members tried to observe a Jupiter Shadow Transit at 3:30 am. but the cloud returned at about 3:15 PM.  In the morning at dawn the skies were clear.

August 27-28 (Saturday Night)

In the afternoon we had the closing ceremonies, it was a cool blustery mostly cloudy day.  Some people packed up and left.

As the evening set-in the skies started to clear and we have this report from Jim Failes:  MKSP 2022 ended on an exhilarating note with clear skies winning an hours-long battle against patchy evening cloud — opening dramatically after 1 am to provide hours of horizon-to-horizon observing to the hardy who braved the pre-dawn chill. Orion rose well into the SE sky before daybreak, while Jupiter and Mars looked down from the high ecliptic. As dawn crept up from the eastern horizon, a train of Starlink satellites caught light from the yet-to-be-seen sun, and briefly dominated all celestial objects — a tight line of diamonds destined for the eastern horizon. Minutes later Venus would rise there, alternating between orange, white and yellow at an almost impossibly low altitude. A memorable night to cap the week-long event. We hope all MKSP’ers are now safely home or well on their way, with similar memories to savour.