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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Open House and Star Parties

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Greetings and Salutations to All my Kith and Kin and All the Ships in Outer Space:

On Wednesday 20 May 2009, an Open House was held at the University of Maryland Observatory, beginning at 2100 Hours.

The evening began with a lecture by Professor Robert Olling, discoursing on Planet Quest, a National Aeronautics and Space Administration program which seeks to find habitable planets in Outer Space.

The lecture was very interesting and informative, and I even asked a couple of questions.

I inquired if a particular mission had failed when a reentry parachute didn't open, and I asked about how scientists name the newly discovered distant planets.

After the lecture, we went to the observatory to look through the telescopes at Saturn and the M-13 Globular Cluster.

I plan on attending Friday 21 May 2009, at 2000 Hours, when there will be a lecture and book signing at the University of Maryland Observatory by an astronaut, Tom Jones.

Then, Saturday 23 May 2009, if the skies are clear, I'll drive over to C. M. Crockett Park in Midland, Virginia, to set up my Meade ETX-60AT-BB telescope, and participate in a star party hosted by the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club.

I'm very much looking forward to finally orienting and using my telescope for the very first time.

Once I finally figure out how it works, I'll start having a LOT of midnight fun, driving my pickup truck, and camping out!

There's star gazing all Summer long at The Mountain Institute in Spruce Knob, West Virginia!

In June, there's going to be a really BIG star party in the Shenandoah National Park, with hiking and camping, in addition to the regular star gazing.

Unfortunately, except for the University of Maryland Observatory, entrance fees, camping fees, parking fees, and membership dues are required at all of these places and events.

But, once I learn how to use my telescope, I reckon I'll use my pickup truck to go exploring and find my own places, where I can camp out and star gaze, and it won't cost me a cent.

At least, that's what I hope for.

Thank you.

John Robert Mallernee
Official Bard of Clan Henderson
Armed Forces Retirement Home
Washington, D.C. 20011-8400

NOTE: "My unpopular and controversial personal opinions are independent of my Scottish clan."

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