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OR/WA Columbia Gorge Astronomy group

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#1 sleepy

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 08:17 PM

Just starting a brief thread in the area for Southern WA/ Northern OR/ Columbia Gorge region.

We have a nice area to observe in and tons of sites within the area which are dark.
Here's a short list of sites I've checked out and enjoyed:

Skyline Rd...15 mins from The Dalles/ Blue Zone
http://cleardarksky....nRdORkey.html?1

Wapinita Air Strip..38 mins from The Dalles/ Grey Zone
http://cleardarksky....pntArORkey.html

Skywatcher Observatory...33 mins from The Dalles/ Grey Zone
http://cleardarksky....rObORkey.html?1

SkyView Acres...1 hrs from The Dalles/ Grey Zone
http://cleardarksky....cktSPWAkey.html

Trout Lake... 1hr 7mins from The Dalles/ Grey Zone
http://cleardarksky....tLkWAkey.html?1

Hope to hear from you.

Cheers
Sleepy

#2 Sky Captain

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 08:42 PM

Nice list of choices, can't wait for nicer weather! :jump:

#3 cliff mygatt

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 09:50 PM

I have been to Skyview acres. Great location but a neighbor leaves an outdoor light on and won't cooperate. Still, very dark and has nice concrete pads to set up on. Good Luck!

#4 sleepy

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 10:55 AM

Nice list of choices, can't wait for nicer weather! :jump:


Ditto.

#5 Sky Captain

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 11:14 AM

I have been to Skyview acres.

...and has nice concrete pads to set up on



Thanks for the heads up Cliff.


...but a neighbor leaves an outdoor light on and won't cooperate.



Thats too bad, one light can certainly mess it up.
We were viewing at a dark spot in Salmon Le Sac a few years back and the only neighbor in the area let us unscrew the bulbs on the front of his garage while we were viewing.

#6 Sky Captain

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 11:15 AM

Here's a short list of sites I've checked out and enjoyed:



Which one is your favorite?

#7 sleepy

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 03:18 PM

Skyline Rd...!
Its rated a blue but its more a blue bordering on grey.
2275 above sea level and no light domes coming from civilization.
Skywatcher Observatory is cool too if you dont mind listening to the Deschutes and some canyon walls blocking the horizon....But its bloody dark.

#8 Spaced

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 03:21 PM

I don't have first hand knowledge of this, so I could be dead wrong . . .

. . . but it's my understanding that the owner of Skyview Acres experienced major health problems about three years ago, and that the site has not been available since. I'm pretty sure that was the case, at least temporarily, three years ago, because that was when Tacoma Astro. Soc. started using my place near Goldendale instead of Skyview Acres for their summer kids' astro camp. I know the owner used to host the Klickitat Co. Star Party there, and that it hasn't existed for the past couple of years.

Incidentally, Sleepy, I'm glad you started this thread. I'll be interested to check out a couple of the grey area sites you listed, when I can get down there.

#9 sleepy

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 03:27 PM

Any of you guys with Rose City astronomers?
They use the Wapinita airstrip for their gigs, its nice, but always breezy.

#10 sleepy

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 03:35 PM

I'll be interested to check out a couple of the grey area sites you listed, when I can get down there.


I spend quite a bit of time on The Deschutes in a grey/black zone which isnt on CSC yet, but the fishing is great, all camp sites are by the water and the milky way will cast a shadow because its so dark.

Once again, if you are willing to give up 20 degrees of sky because of the canyon walls then you will be in heaven.

#11 square_peg

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 01:00 AM

Any of you guys with Rose City astronomers?
They use the Wapinita airstrip for their gigs, its nice, but always breezy.


They also use Kah-Nee-Ta and Camp Hancock. I haven't been to Kah-Nee-Ta yet but Hancock is a winner, though it gives up some horizon, too.

#12 square_peg

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 01:09 AM

I spend quite a bit of time on The Deschutes in a grey/black zone which isnt on CSC yet, but the fishing is great, all camp sites are by the water and the milky way will cast a shadow because its so dark.


Where do you go? Beavertail?

#13 sleepy

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 11:10 AM

Never camped at BT but it offers a nice viewing area before dropping into the canyon.
Im always fish upstream of Maupin and camp at Harpham Flats when I bring the scope.

#14 sleepy

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 10:31 PM

Snowing further/ dob collecting dust/ anyone wanna play darts or something?......I have beer.

#15 sleepy

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Posted 24 December 2010 - 11:51 AM

Beers gone.........CSC = white across the board.

BTW, here's a general LP map for the gorge, The Dalles being in the cross hairs.

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#16 square_peg

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Posted 25 December 2010 - 04:40 PM

The 2 sites in the black there are Hancock and OSP.

#17 sleepy

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 05:16 PM

Saw the sun today for the first time in a good while.
Even the dogs where in awe.

#18 sleepy

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 10:43 PM

Looks like some possible pockets of sky headed our way guys...I will take partly cloudy in a heartbeat.

#19 Spaced

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 01:14 AM

I think it's supposed to be nice after tomorrow for several days up here in Puget Sound country.

#20 sleepy

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 06:28 AM

yawn...3am, scopes acclimating, it's gonna be a beautiful session.


4am with 10f4.7 dob/10mm ep...not too bad for a cell phone shot.

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#21 mgimmey

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 03:01 PM

I started the Columbia Gorge Astronomers Club in 2000 when I was living near Stevenson Washington. At one point there were over 70 people on the e-mail list. There were no dues or fees to join, all you needed was just an interest in astronomy.

With the help of the Skamania County Parks and Recreation and the Goldendale Observatory, we held several star parties at Rock Creek Park in Stevenson and the Goldendale Observatory.

We also did a few meetings the the Discovery Center in The Dalles. Attendance at these events was very good.


I moved out of the area in 2003 and because of this, club activity stopped. I still get several e-mails a year asking about the Columbia Gorge Astronomers Club, and many times I have considered trying to start up the club again. However many factors keep me from doing this.

I would really like to see another Astronomy club started up in the Columbia Gorge area.

Mike Gimmey

#22 sleepy

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 03:38 PM

It would be great to get a hold of those people some how.
Its always been a privledge playing sidewalk astronomer and having folks see stuff they have never seen.

Let me know if there is something I can do to help.

#23 sleepy

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 01:56 AM

Skies were somewhat ok on this end tonight.... carved through the Virgo group from my back patio.
Good times.

#24 square_peg

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 03:10 AM

Still cloudy here. :(

#25 sleepy

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 03:43 AM

Looks like you have a possible session coming up according to csc......yay!






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