The last public night sky viewing event of the Western Colorado Astronomy Club's 2018 season was hosted by Grand Mesa Observatory on November 9th. Despite the cold temperatures there was another relatively large crowd, with approximately 100-150 people showing up throughout the course of the night. In addition to the usual cast of scopes belonging to WCAC club members, a bonus treat was the attendance of a number of members of the Black Canyon Astronomical Society (BCAS), who brought along their very-impressive array of telescopes that included a 20" reflector, 10” reflector, and an enormous pair of binoculars. The public was just as eager as the other astronomers to get a look through those monsters, but with so many scopes present there were barely any lines! The planets that had graced the summer sky had mostly disappeared over the Western horizon, but quite a few people got good looks at Saturn and Mars through the variety of telescopes and binoculars on hand. The crowd was also treated the myriad deep sky objects now visible in the Fall skies, with some highlights including the Pleiades Star Cluster and the Andromeda Galaxy. And as always, a number of groups toured the observatory complex throughout the night, with director Terry Hancock putting on another impressive display of technology.
The astronomy club and Grand Mesa Observatory are already looking ahead to planning the 2019 public events!