©2012 Ted Saker, Jr. All rights reserved.
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(Page Created: 25 April 2012)

There's no page for TSP 2011 as I was unable to attend.  However, TSP 2012 made up for the absence immensely.  Six straight clear nights under very dark west Texas skies made this the best edition of all.  Only on one night did conditions appear unfavorable early in the evening, and I took the opportunity to get some much needed sleep.  Yet, skies cleared after several hours, and I awoke just in time to take the cover off the scope and image for the balance of the night. 

The incredible nights did not come without some drawbacks.  This year's TSP was held early in the calendar, so the Milky Way did not rise until after midnight and did not arrive at a suitable imaging altitude until late in the evening. Being that it's galaxy season, that was a minor thing. The other problems experienced are innate to the site--cold temperatures at night (requiring numerous layers of warm clothing) and the ever present west Texas winds (which bent, but did not break, one of my new tent poles). Other than those minor inconveniences, there is absolutely nothing to complain about.

The drive to TSP would not be complete without a stop at KD's BBQ Pit in Midland, Texas.  There's nothing like it--Texas barbeque is often imitated, but never equalled--and KD's is the real deal. 

Real Texas BBQ at KD's Pit, Midland....

...and beautiful downtown Ft. Davis.

Did I mention that conditions were about as perfect as can be?  Daytime high temperatures climbed into the middle 70s in the mountains with beautiful blue skies infrequently marred by small cumulus.  The week began with nighttime temperatures falling to the upper 20s, but to the middle 40s by the end of the week.  The temperature climb produced some pesky nighttime clouds, but only occasionally did they interfere with astronomy. 

Images from the 2012 Texas Star Party

M 83 Spiral Galaxy "The Southern Whirlpool" in Hydra.

30 min. L, 30 min. R, 30 min. G, 30 min. B.
Taken at TSP 2012.

M 17 Emission Nebula "The Swan" in Sagittarius. 

30 min. L, 30 min. R, 30 min. G, 30 min. B.
Taken at TSP 2012.

M91 Barred Spiral Galaxy in Coma Berenices. 
30 min. L, 30 min. R, 30 min. G, 30 min. B.
Taken at TSP 2012.

NGC 4123 (L) Edge on Galaxy and M100 (R) Spiral Galaxy in Coma Berenices. 
30 min. L, 30 min. R, 30 min. G, 30 min. B.
Taken at TSP 2012.

    Pictures from around TSP 2012

Dr. Tom Mote on the Sky Pad

Upper Observing Field


The TSP Shade Tree Gang rides again.

Shade Tree Gang members

Craig & Bob

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All astronomical images were acquired with an SBIG ST-8XME camera with AO-8, SBIG CFW-10 with Custom Scientific LRGB filters (for tricolor images),

AstroTech AT6RC Ritchie-Chretien optical system (@f/9), and Losmandy Gemini G-11 GEM.

Clear (and Dark) Skies!

To the TSP 2013 page
To the TSP 2010 page
To Ted's Astropix Directory