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253 replies to this topic

#226 fsolis89

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 06:57 PM

South Texas.  Family ranch is about 55 miles north of Laredo and 70 miles south of San Antonio along I-35.

 

Pretty dark country skies and great for galaxy viewing! Some MOOs in the distance. :D

 

clear skies.



#227 gmartin02

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 01:44 AM

Just observed from one of my favorite spots: Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station in Hawaii (9200 ft elevation).

 

First time viewing there since 1991. Here is a pic from January 3rd showing my airline travel setup: 6" Mak.

 

Attached File  telescope_processed.jpg   228.11KB   13 downloads

 

Almost no star twinkle on that night. I was able to see the Tarantula Nebula (really washed out) only about 1.5 degrees above the horizon, along with a couple of other NGCs in the LMC that were a little higher above the horizon.



#228 robosharkatlanticron

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 10:34 AM

Two favorites at the moment!

 

Duxbury Beach, Duxbury Ma.

 

 

Singing Beach, Manchester-By-the-Sea



#229 james adams

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 02:11 AM

My wife and I are considering a trip to the southwest this spring and would like to do some observing in dark locations below 7500' elevation. We'll be in an RV. What can you folks suggest? Thanks!

 



#230 gmartin02

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 02:15 PM

My wife and I are considering a trip to the southwest this spring and would like to do some observing in dark locations below 7500' elevation. We'll be in an RV. What can you folks suggest? Thanks!

 

Around where in the southwest (what states and what areas) will you be travelling to? 



#231 CCD-Freak

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 12:29 PM

Maveric Ranch RV resort in Lajitas, Texas.  It is right between Big Bend National  Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park.  It is a Dark Sky community (Bortle 1) and the RV park requests people turn off their outside lights by 9 PM.  I am there right now at the Casitas in Lajitas RV rally.  I have enjoyed showing the participants the moon and a few deep sky objects and we are planning a 6am gathering to look at the planet lineup at dawn.

 

Attached File  Casitas-in-Lajitas_JL-sm.jpg   161.28KB   8 downloads

 

John

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#232 CCD-Freak

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 12:34 PM

The Davis Mountains State Park near Ft Davis Texas and McDonald observatory is another great Dark Sky Park  just a mile or so from the site of TSP.  DMSP is my favorite park in the Texas State Park system.  I have been going there since the 70s.

 

John

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#233 mogur

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 02:26 PM

I gotta move to Texas when I retire! :cool:



#234 Cdp347

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Posted 24 January 2016 - 07:59 PM

Does anyone know any good veiwing locations for a Maryland observer? Live too close to cities near baltimore. The light pollution is terrible.

#235 Sam M

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Posted 24 January 2016 - 10:18 PM

Does anyone know any good veiwing locations for a Maryland observer? Live too close to cities near baltimore. The light pollution is terrible.

 

 

I like the Dickey Ridge visitors center on Skyline Drive.  Pretty good for under two hours from DC.  

 

Closer to Charm City, you might check out Howard Astronomical League, or Westminster Astronomical Society. 

 

Let us know what you find.


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#236 Cdp347

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 03:33 PM


Does anyone know any good veiwing locations for a Maryland observer? Live too close to cities near baltimore. The light pollution is terrible.



I like the Dickey Ridge visitors center on Skyline Drive. Pretty good for under two hours from DC.

Closer to Charm City, you might check out Howard Astronomical League, or Westminster Astronomical Society.

Let us know what you find.

HAL is perfect for me! It's only 20 minutes from my location and they have a good park to view from publicly, however they do have member events there in which they let begginners try and view from their equiment. I appreciate the assistances Sam M.
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#237 Eric Seavey

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 02:15 PM

I have been searching for reasonable locations near Orange County in California, that are easy to get to for a couple hours astrophotography or viewing.  Of course it is not going to compare to dark sites in the middle of the dessert, but they are MUCH darker than the city.  You are not really supposed to be here after dark, but I have gone there 4 times and only once did the police see me, who were friendly to me.

This first location is decent for astrophotography and not so much for viewing because of the glare from the highway, forget dark adaptation:

https://www.google.c...fcf6f22!6m1!1e1

 

A much better site that is 10 minutes longer driving is this up at about 2000ft elevation on a parking lot of the San Juan Loop Trail Head across from a Candy Store:

https://www.google.c...31824799fd66ccf

 

Enjoy!



#238 tchandler

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 11:01 PM

The Pilkington Outlook, a small turnout along a county road atop the valley wall along the Grand River. This time of year, during snowmelt, the soft murmur of rushing water rises from the unseen river below. There's some light pollution to the south but views to the northwest are terrific. Frequently go there and will do so again soon hopefully in time to send the Pleiades to bed for another season.

 

Just realized I have no photograph. I'll see if I can fix that...



#239 Philler

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 09:06 PM

Here's my top dark sky sites that I have personally observed from that I can't wait to return to.

Cimarron National Grassland, listed as Bortle 2 dark gray, but IMO almost Bortle 1. Located about a half hour north of Elkhart, Ks in the SW corner of Kansas. Has several areas camping/picnic areas.

Black Mesa Preserve trail head area north of Kenton, Ok. (Bortle 1). So dark that if you red flashlight goes out you may have trouble finding you car. You loose part of the south sky due to the cliffs to that side otherwise the rest of the skies are very open and are super dark in all other directions.

Clayton Lake State Park, north of Clayton NM. an hour of so SW of Kenton, Ok. I was told something like this is a gold certified International Dark Sky location--and I believe it! After observing there a couple of nights ago, I consider it one of the darkest sites I have ever used.

Another personal favorite is the Double R Guest Ranch north of Mullen, Ne. (Bortle 1), but last August, the mosquitoes were really bad.

Maybe I should just sell my house and move to one of there places.

Edited by Philler, 15 March 2016 - 09:17 PM.

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#240 CCD-Freak

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 09:16 PM

Here's my top dark sky sites that I have personally observed from that I can't wait to return to.

Cimarron National Grassland, listed as Bortle 2 dark gray, but IMO almost Bortle 1. Located about a half hour north of Elkhart, Ks in the SW corner of Kansas. Has several areas camping/picnic areas.

Black Mesa Preserve trail head area north of Kenton, Ok. (Bortle 1). So dark that if you red flashlight goes out you may have trouble finding you car. You loose part of the south sky due to the cliffs to that side otherwise the rest of the skies open and are super dark in all other directions.

Clayton Lake State Park, north of Clayton NM. an hour of so SW of Kenton, Ok. I was told something like this is a gold certified International Dark Sky location--and I believe it! After observing there a couple of nights ago, I consider it one of the darkest sites I have ever used.

Another personal favorite is the Double R Guest Ranch north of Mullen, Ne. (Bortle 1), but last August, but the mosquitoes were really bad.

Maybe I should just sell my house and move to one of there places.

Have you ever been to the Okie-Tex Star Party? It is held on the south side of Black Mesa.  

Clayton Lake SP is a favorite place for me too. 

 

John

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#241 Philler

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 09:33 PM

I'm planning on going to the Okie Tex SP this year, John. I drove down the road leading to the Billy Joe camp and looked it over when I was there a few days ago. It looks like a terrific dark sky area with lots of room for everyone. Hope to see you there, John.

Edited by Philler, 15 March 2016 - 09:38 PM.

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#242 CCD-Freak

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 10:37 PM

I think you will like it.  Okie-Tex is my favorite star party and I have been there 18 time if I count correctly.  Drop by and say HI.  Look for our flags.

Attached File  OTSP flags.JPG   373.94KB   4 downloads

 

John

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#243 Philler

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 10:40 PM

I'll look for the flags. Which one are you John in the picture?

I'm also seriously thinking about going to the Nebraska Star Party the end of July thru first week of August.

Edited by Philler, 18 March 2016 - 10:41 PM.


#244 CCD-Freak

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 01:02 PM

I'll look for the flags. Which one are you John in the picture?

I'm also seriously thinking about going to the Nebraska Star Party the end of July thru first week of August.

 

I was behind the camera.  Here is another picture....I am the "fuzzy one" on the left.  Well we are all fuzzy! 8^)

 

Attached File  OTSP-buddies-xsm.JPG   413.93KB   6 downloads

 

Hope to see you at Okie-Tex.

 

John

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Edited by CCD-Freak, 19 March 2016 - 01:03 PM.


#245 afredj

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 07:54 PM

Hello CN readers. I've only been looking at the sky for less than 2 years, but I'd like to share one of my favorite places, Brockway Mountain on the Keweenaw Peninsula of the Northern Peninsula of Michigan. Not much elevation, but nearly perfectly dark sky and 360 degree views. Sometimes the aurora can wash out the sky a bit, but that's OK with me.

 

http://www.lakesuper...an/344drivesMI/

 

https://www.google.c...411!4d-87.91137


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#246 krp

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 07:08 PM



Hello CN readers. I've only been looking at the sky for less than 2 years, but I'd like to share one of my favorite places, Brockway Mountain on the Keweenaw Peninsula of the Northern Peninsula of Michigan. Not much elevation, but nearly perfectly dark sky and 360 degree views. Sometimes the aurora can wash out the sky a bit, but that's OK with me.

 

http://www.lakesuper...an/344drivesMI/

 

https://www.google.c...411!4d-87.91137

 

 

I concur, it's the darkest place I've been in the Midwest. I went to Brockway for the Perseids last August. The only problem was there were a lot of cars (with headlights) coming and going, but perhaps it's quieter most other nights.

 

20681899932_787fb010c6_c.jpg

Two for One by Kevin Palmer, on Flickr

 

20681899842_08540fab0f_c.jpg

Brockway Aurora by Kevin Palmer, on Flickr



#247 cam1936

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 07:17 PM

A bit of a long shot, but does anyone from Alberta know anything about the "Berry Creek" observing site East of Castor? It has a clear sky chart:

http://www.cleardark...CrkABkey.html?1

#248 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 07:22 PM

I also go to a spot in the area named Granite Pass on warmer nights. It is right off of Kelbaker Rd about half way between I-40 and Kelso Dunes at about 4000 ft elevation. It doesn't have any developed campsites, and is just a dirt road, but does have several primitive camping areas people have carved out over the years. Very remote (I have never seen another car there.)

 

 

We spent two nights there in February. Overhead the SQM-L measured 21.7, 21.3 near the horizon. Good viewing the first night but the next night, the wind blew hard, at least 40 mph. I regularly observe where i measure 25 mph- 30 mph normally during the day..

 

Jon



#249 WyattDavis

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 08:15 PM

With admittedly little broad experience at dark sites, I say Okie-Tex! It's dark, it's beautiful on the Black Mesa, and the people are really great. I am going for a week this year, will tent camp, and will take my road bike for some epic rides to from Oklahoma to New Mexico and Colorado. I go to the TASD dark site in Oklahoma when I can, and it is much closer to my house in Dallas. But, Okie-Tex is my annual solo vacation for starlight and relaxation. What's not to like about that?  :waytogo:



#250 WyattDavis

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 08:17 PM

I think you will like it.  Okie-Tex is my favorite star party and I have been there 18 time if I count correctly.  Drop by and say HI.  Look for our flags.

attachicon.gifOTSP flags.JPG

 

John

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I met John there two years ago. John, your SkyBox is a really cool setup! 


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