Woolly Hollow State Park Star Party, July 18, 2009

by Jim Fisher

An old friend, beautiful Woolly Hollow State Park, and a new friend, Park Interpreter Kathryn Tidwell, hosted CAAS for its annual July star party on the swim beach at Lake Bennett on the evening of Saturday, July 18, 2009.   An estimated two hundred star party guests – many returning from previous years’ events at Woolly Hollow – were treated to a truly gorgeous evening sky that was highlighted by the summer Milky Way, an Iridium “flareâ€? satellite and several bright meteors, one of which was honored with a round of applause.

The evening started with a spectacular sunset over the lake while “Bubble Boysâ€? Carl Freyaldenhoven and Bill Sanders, with an assist from “Bubble Girlsâ€? Casey Sorrows and Carolaina Ferren, made their special soap art on the shores of Lake Bennett.  Carl also brought his display of Coke cans which demonstares the relative masses of the planets.  The International Dark Sky Association, Arkansas Section’s display on light pollution issues greeted visitors as they entered the pavilion leading to the observing field.

CAAS members Don and Carolaina Ferren, Rocky and Carol Togni, Lance and Linda Sorrows, Allen Lee,  Carl Freyaldenhoven, Bill and Kay Sanders,  Pat and Sandy Morris, among other members set-up their scopes for close-up views of Jupiter, Alberio, the Ring Nebula, and various galaxies and star clusters.  At least 2 non-members brought their own scopes.   For those who stay to the end, 11 p.m. rolled around way too soon.