RCA Virtual Star Party for August


Weather permitting, Mark Lowenthal will be broadcasting another live streamed EAA powered RCA virtual star party on YouTube this Friday, August 3rd starting at 10:30pm. The first broadcast back in May was a bit on the experimental side, with live-chat and audio problems, but the 2nd broadcast in June went more or less as planned with most of the kinks ironed out. Ten deep sky objects were observed, including some requested via live text-chat over the course of the two hour broadcast.

Mark will be observing with his 16” goto-dob and ZWO ASI294 Pro camera from his backyard in northeast Vancouver. This camera-telescope combination provides roughly a half degree field of view. He operates his dob with SkySafari for telescope control and SharpCap for camera control and live-stacking of captured images. Viewers can log in to YouTube and observe the same screen view Mark sees while operate his computer using SkySafari and SharpCap and see the object being observed as its image appears and builds up detail on screen. You can also text chat with Mark during the broadcast in order to comment, ask questions and to submit requests for observations. The observing focus this time will be on objects in the Milky Way in northern Sagittarius up through Aquila and Delphinus to Cygnus, and also Cepheus and Cassiopeia. If weather foils attempts at observing this Friday, broadcasting the following Friday at the same time will be the backup plan.

You can view the YouTube live event webpage at any time before or during the event at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79fEZtSeP4A

Prior to the event, you can go to this webpage and set an alarm to remind you when the broadcast time approaches. More information is available in the EAA section of the RCA forum, with help on how to use live chat on YouTube for users that may have not used this feature before — including detailed instructions for planning to submit an observation during the broadcast (field size, object size, magnitude limit, etc) and also some very important instructions on how to activate the live-text chat feature in YouTube.