Hello  {!firstname},

There is nothing quite like it.

You get up in the morning, work all day, then stargaze for most of the evening.

Rinse, repeat.

But it's worth it. Who the heck needs sleep?

I have always maintained that you should not plan to attend a Star Party based on
weather forecasts.  

Because the forecast changed from hell to heaven in a matter of days.

We arrived Thursday night, to wonderful clear skies.  

Splendid observing.  Yippee!

Nothing like a bunch of newbies, intermediate and advanced amateurs
hanging out together.

The "ooh's " and "aah's " when a bright meteor would fly over is always

A few hours of sleep, and then:

We setup shop on Friday  and got down to business. Warm, Sunny day.

Many customers and friends dropped by to say "Hello" and catch up on new observing
activities and talk telescope gear. 

And even buy some new stuff. How 'bout that?

We had a lot of interest in the new Mallincam All Sky camera, and I chatted with friends
Glenn Norman and Francois Van Heerden on Friday night as we sat around waiting
for the "sucker holes" to dissappear.  (They didn't, till well after 2am, so I was told).

Basically, the Mallin All Sky Camera, lets you capture the sky with a wide angle camera
system and record all that's going on.   
Including  meteors, and other night sky phenomena, without you having to think about
it as the feed is continuous.

 We also featured the New Celestron Nexstar Evolution telescope at Starfest,
 and there was much interest in it's features and performance.

Always great to see Sky News Editor, and author Terence Dickinson, who
showed me a copy of his just released book, available shortly.
I handed him a mini Mars bar to munch on while we talked about the latest
issue of Sky News magazine, which was just superb.

Saturday night was another great evening with wonderful speaker, Carolyn Porco
talking about her research on the planet Saturn.  Brilliant lady she truly is!

Then, the moment everyone was waiting for.  The Door Prizes.

A bevy of goodies, like a Celestron Nexstar Telescope, Meade ETX Observatory Telescope
man it was a long list of stuff!

There were a lot of happy smiling faces for sure.

Saturday night blessed us with clear skies again.  I was able to observe the new Comet Jacques
through my buddy Rob Lenz's 12 inch f5 custom made dob.

It's in the constellation of Cassiopeia, and its about 6th to 7th magnitude, so check it out if you can.

I also successfully  checked it out with a pair of 10 x 50 binoculars.  

Rob has been coming to Starfest for at least 18 years, I believe.

And Rob was also kind enough to play some classic Link Wray guitar  CD tunes as background music.
Rob knows I'm a huge Link Wray fan.

So, that wrapped up another very successful Starfest, and if you can make it next year,
I'll look forward to seeing you there.

A real big thank you to the hard working organizers of amateur astronomers and volunteers
that put this event together every year.   They really are a special group of people.

Clear Skies,

Ray Khan

PS If you still have not got to a Star Party this year, then consider coming up to Manitoulin Island
      on the Labour day weekend, to Gordon's Park for dark skies, and a lot of hooting and hollering.
      Hosted by my buddy Paul Beduhn and his bosses, Rita and Terry Gordon.  Hope to see ya there!
      I'll be giving a presentation Saturday night after Pot luck dinner on "Choosing and Using Telescope eyepieces".