On June 10-12, 2011, Outside Magazine and the Aspen Chamber Resort Association held the second annual Outside in Aspen event in the beautiful mountain town of Aspen, CO. This two-day extravaganza brought together a large gathering of athletically minded outdoor enthusiasts together with professional athletes from the world of cycling, kayaking, mountain climbing, rock climbing, hiking, fly-fishing and more. Participants could "team up" and learn from the pros on these heart-pumping, adrenaline fueled activities. "Base Camp" served as the event's headquarters where workshops, demonstrations, a symposium and "The Great Gear Giveaway" prize drawings took place.
Celestron's Marketing Manager, Michelle Meskill and I, flew out to Aspen to take part in this special, one of a kind, yearly event. During the day, we had our booth set up at Base Camp headquarters and conducted planetary (Venus and Jupiter) viewing sessions in broad daylight through the CPC 1100 and the soon to be released SkyProdigy 130. Nobody could ever imagine it was possible to view planets in daylight, but our telescopes proved otherwise. We welcomed guests to try out Celestron's Sport Optics products including the newly released Granite 10x42, Nature 8x42 and Outland X 8x25 binoculars, as well as the Regal 100 F-ED spotting scope. We also displayed a wealth of new handheld, portable digital devices such as our popular TrekGuide, reTrace Lite, CoursePro Elite and the LCD Handheld Digital microscope-the perfect gear for any Outdoors enthusiast! During the evenings, we relocated across the street at The Sky Hotel and conducted successful private star parties and for all registered participants at the Outside in Aspen Welcome Party and the Aprẽs Pool Party. With crystal clear, high elevation skies, celestial objects such as Saturn and the Moon were as crisp and detailed as ever. Party goers marveled with excitement upon seeing these objects through large telescopes for the very first time. It was a nice way of adding new elements for those who enjoy and participate in outdoor sports activities.
Next year's Outside in Aspen event is forecasted to be even bigger and better than ever. We're sure stargazing will once again be a welcomed part of the program and be open to the general public to enjoy. With an overwhelmingly positive response Celestron received at this year's event, we're hoping everyone will have the opportunity to observe in Aspen's clear, dark skies; it may just happen.