Grand Mesa Observatory was host to a very special birthday gift from the fabulous wife of "turning 35" Danny. Katie wanted to give Danny, who loves the stars, a very special gift for his birthday. To do so, she rented telescope time at Grand Mesa Observatory along with an astrophotography lesson from Director Terry Hancock. Katie and Danny had a private tour of the observatory complex, after which they spent a number of hours in the main observatory, enjoying hors d'ouvres, taking long exposure images of the deep sky object “Barnard's Loop” with Terry, learning how to process the data, and eventually celebrating with birthday cake, candles, and singing from the observatory staff.
A week or so later, Danny and Katie returned and Danny was surprised and thrilled that Katie had a second gift for him - a glossy print of Barnard's Loop from the data they had taken! This amazing picture is already proudly hanging in their home as a reminder of this unique birthday experience, and the couple has even reported back to observatory staff how enthralled they were with their experience at GMO. Danny has subsequently helped enhance the electrical setup in the PodMax research and science dome at the observatory, and the couple will no doubt be fantastic volunteers and friends to the observatory going forward.