105 sleep-deprived but cheery people joined us for the 20th Annual Group Photo during the mid-afternoon hours of Saturday, August 30, 2008.... This number included 14 children, and there were at least 3 well-mannered astro dogs ... The weather was better than in some past years, being sunny but actually rather mild in temperature. Official total Star Party attendance was considerably down this year, probably mostly due to the terribly high gasoline prices. This factor undoubtably reduced the group photo attendance, as did the fact that after many days of great observing weather, the Saturday weather forecast was for clouds and much colder with a chance of rain, which led to a number of tired but satisfied astronomers packing up Saturday and skipping the Group Photo. ..... Featured in one of his favored "upfront" positions is Bernie K., again this year wearing his flashy, tie-dyed OSP T-shirt! Two rows back from him is Sean L. of Sean's Astronomy Shop. Jan Keiski. is just to the right of center in the second row back, also wearing a tie-dyed OSP shirt. Past OSP Directors Chuck and Judy Dethloff stand high in the far back, with Chuck also sporting a flashy Committee tie dye shirt. Present Director Larry Godsey unfortunately isn't in this year's photo due to his other duties in the Main Tent area. See page bottom for this year's group photo close-up slice!
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There has been only one year in OSP history when weather was so bad that no Group Photo was taken, and that was 1990 in the Steens. 2008's weather was great for observing on basically every night except the last one (Saturday). Clouds moved in during Saturday morning, but there was sunshine during the Group photo. By Saturday evening there were strong west/northwest winds and the temperatures plummeted to around 50 degrees at dusk, fortelling a night of poor or no observing. But by the time of Dave Powell's star talk, skies cleared up and stayed that way most of the night! But the winds continued, and temperatures were bitterly cold with a heavy frost by morning, so few people did much serious observing Saturday night. But it stayed dry. Overall, 2008 OSP featured more of the clear night-time skies that have been so characteristic of this site during the 16 years that we've used it!
We were glad to escape any close encounters with the forest/range fires that smoked up horizons over Oregon during summer 2008, and once again we suffered no more than the normal summer fire restrictions, such as no barbeques.
Be sure to check back during October for more added content! This will include the first time I have published any of the UVB studies I have been doing up at OSP the past few years (ultraviolet light intensity, aka sunburn danger).... Click here for a brief overview of OSP UVB, and for much more detail about the subject please visit my pages about UVB in Oregon, and sunburn risk in the tropics.
Our 2008 close-up is from the left side of the group photo. Featured are Chuck and Judy Dethloff, Founders of the OSP, and Jim Todd, our long-time and invaluable supporter at OMSI.