On Friday night, June 26, the SCDVA team set up our show at the home of radio station owners Gary and Cindy Daigneault. Their lovely home is situated in Twentynine Palms, near the boundary of the Joshua Tree National Park.
The occasion celebrated a presentation supporting the continuing efforts to build the "Sky's the Limit" Observatory and Nature Center.
The evening started with a warm welcome from the hosts and then the typical pre-dusk setup and prep work that was, mostly, like usual. The setting was in the Daigneault's back yard where a flagstone patio and koi pond lined area offered a great stage for the guests to enjoy the festivities.
As darkness fell and the projection equipment became operational, the group from "Sky's the Limit" began their power point presentation. They began with an introduction about the site and updates to the progress that has been made and then outlined the hopeful plans that, yet, need to be accomplished. The audience of around twenty, listened attentively as the final comments were presented, and then, it was our turn to take the screen.
We had Sagittarius rising, so, the best of the M stuff was easy to start off with. 51 and 57 hit the screen first and then it was the regular lineup. 16, 17, 20, 8, 27 and then some NGC stuff. Most of the folks watching were seeing our show for the first time, and as new comers, had never seen the sky like this, before. The dazzling images fed the amazed and awed group with the best of the early summer night skies offerings as we spread the message about dark skies and importance amateur astronomy in our community.
Soon, the crowd had dwindled to a handful and things slowed till it was time to break down. Our single screen setup was quickly disassembled and the gear was packed. The Milky Way was overhead and brilliant as we called it another great night of star gazing with the neighbors.