Winter Star Party Trip

West Summerland Key, Florida

February 19-23, 2006
Winter Star Party
Jim & Chris at the Winter Star Party

February 19th - February 23rd

Below you will find numerous photographs taken during my trip to the Winter Star Party which is held every February on West Summerland Key in the beautiful Florida Keys.

Myself along with friends Jim Janusz and Scott Hammonds met up in Florida to attended this year's event. We also caught up with Georgia imagers Chris Hetlage and Bob Holzer.

Roughly 600 amateur astronomers from all over the world converge on the tiny island of West Summerland Key to experience winter observing and imaging under the warm tropical skies... far from the cold and snow of more northern climates(at least for me)... Jim is from Palm Desert, California and Scott is from Jacksonville, Florida.

Daytime temps were in the low 80's with nights in the low 70's. We also had excellent seeing for planetary imaging as well as CCD imaging. All of the photos on this page were taken with a Canon EOS 20D and either a Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 L or EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L lens.

The WSP snowman greets everyone at the entrance to the Star Party just off Route 1

A Takahashi Mewlon 300 on the main observing field

Tippy D'Auria gives his welcome address to open the star party on Monday afternoon

Nice paint job!!

Jim and Scott prepare the scopes for a night of imaging

Our astro camp

The whole gang
L to R: Chris Cook, Scott Hammonds, Jim Janusz, Bob Holzer, Chris Hetlage & son

Scopes galore!

Astronaut Story Musgrave gives an afternoon talk by the firepit

Astrophotographers R. Scott Ireland & Tony Hallas discuss Photoshop techniques

R. Scott Ireland's workshop on "Advanced Photoshop - Masking and Compositing"

L to R: Tony Hallas, Sean Walker, R. Scott Ireland and Chris Cook

The southern most point in the USA.

Evening light decends on the WSP

Is it dark yet?

Palm Sunset

Sunset in the Keys

Last light on Scott's beautiful new Astro-Physics 160EDF refractor
L to R: Scott Hammonds, Jim Janusz, Chris Cook, Sean Walker

NOTE: Astroimages taken during the trip will be posted shortly to the "Current Images" section! Stay tuned....

All text and photos are © Copyright Chris Cook


© Chris Cook 2006