Last Tuesday June 18, 2002, Mark Vincent spent the night on the top of 14,258 foot Mount Evans (in Colorado). The observatory is operated by Denver University. At the peak there is an observatory with a 28 inch telescope. The following is a description of the trip to Mt. Evans and is from Gary Garzone (the Longmont Astronomical Society’s newsletter editor).
We got a tour of the building with good old friend Dr. Bob Stencel from Denver university. Dr. Bob went way out of his way for us by doing this free night for us amateur guys in the big boys astronomy world to look at what ever we wanted to through highest telescope in the world. I know it looked bad with all the smoke and stuff in the air but remember you are above most of it at 14,000 plus feet in elevation. The over head sky was good along with west and north, but east and south were pretty smoke filled so we stayed in upper sky most of the time. You are not going to believe this but at 2:30am or so they spotted another fire at Echo Lake area, so we were told to get off the summit right away, because that is where the road to the summit begins, 14 mile road to the top. This is the year of fires ! for sure, pretty scary anymore.
The seeing at 14,258 feet is so much better than anything I have ever experienced, with views of moon craters at high powers were awesome. The Ring nebula you could easily see the 14.5 and 16 mag stars in the middle of ring. M 13 my eye got stuck on the eyepiece I think, trying to count all the stars. Even my 30 scope at lower elevations does not come close to how good the views were on the Summit. I did bring my 16 scope because I thought there would be a line at 28 inch scope, but I must have died and went to heaven, no lines at scope all night. We set up my 16 and several scopes in panorama viewing area on top by the parking lot. Some casual people who just happened to be there were treated to some awesome views thru my 16 scope and others. Dr. Bob has done so much for us amateur people, he is a star himself.
Thanks Bob, want to do it again maybe yet this Summer.
(You may need to scroll to the right to see all of the panorama.)