Channel 7 at River Ridge Observatory

posted by Jim Dixon

August 19, 2003

KATV Channel 7 came by River Ridge Observatory this morning for a live broadcast featuring CAAS members and Mars.

Over the last several days, David Reynolds prepared a video tape for Channel 7 that contined footage of CAAS members and well as a Mars “primer”. I haven’t seen all of it but what I saw was a very professional job. Well done, David.

Last night, David, Don Lewis, and I met at the site to get a video camera hooked up to Danny’s scope in the West Observatory. The sky was mostly cloudy so we cooled our heels until about 11 when Mars got above the tree line. We worked on the video for about two hours but, finally, by 1 AM we had Mars on the TV screen. David and I stayed the night and got up at 4 AM to reopen the observatory and reacquire Mars in the video camera. Shortly, the Edwards’s (Kyle, Anastasia, and Preston) arrived with Carl Freyaldenhoven and Don right behind them and Coy Scott not too far behind.

The KATV team, Jason Harper and Casey arrived at 4:30. They quickly set up and then we waited and chatted until our turn. We found that it is not just astronomers that have technical glitches as we lost some or all of our signal in the first two broadcast attempts but finally the third time was the charm. The Mars video was not incredibly clear but it was serviceable. Jason asked me to explain how we were capturing our images and why this particular approach is so special. As the morning progressed, Jason interviewed the members and was particularly impressed with Kyle’s images of the Moon. I didn’t overhear the other other interviews but apparently Don told Jason about the club and invited the public out to the August 30th Star Party at Pinnacle Mountain Star Party.

I’d say that despite poor skies, technical difficulties, and sleep deprivation, it turned out very well. I’d like to repeat what Don said earlier, thanks to everyone who came out and helped.