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Favorite Viewing Sites

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#51 Husk3r


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Posted 21 April 2011 - 04:21 PM

I'm so jealous of all of you out west. I live in Rhode Island where it's all red, orange and (sigh) white. I make the best out of what I've got and head out to Point Judith (41.362166, -71.485704). Stargazing by the ocean is nice but I'd love a dark sky.

#52 Thomas Karpf

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 09:20 AM

Colebrook River Burying Ground
I found that site while clicking in the yellow on http://www.cleardark...ml?Mn=telescope to try and find some place at least a little out of the way from Hartford that was in sort of darkish skies. It's quiet, and there the only lights visible were single bulbs quite a distance (perhaps a mile?) in a couple of directions.

The burying ground does not have any chains, and is not posted as closing at dusk. A couple of local gentlemen drove in while I was setting up and waiting for dusk and they told me that nobody would bother me there.

They also told me that they had seen people with LARGE telescopes up by the Colebrook Reservoir, but that they are sometimes chased out of there. I'd guess that would be somewhere around here: Colebrook Reservoir

#53 jpcannavo


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Posted 28 April 2011 - 07:17 PM

Contemplating a trip to Atlanta Ga. Are there some dark observing sites (bortle 1-3) within 100 miles? Also, in general, how is seeing in Georgia, anything like florida, which is known for its steady skies.

#54 JimMo


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Posted 29 April 2011 - 04:19 PM

Hi Joe,

Deerlick Astronomy Village has a members observing field, membership is really reasonable, and IIRC $5 bucks a night to observe. I've been there three times and have a friend who has a cabin there. It's also the home of the Peach State Star Party in the Fall.

Deerlick Astronomy Village

#55 Classic8


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Posted 09 May 2011 - 03:13 PM

I used to go to a little forest preserve near Kaneville, IL which wasn't all that dark but much darker than my driveway and only 25 minutes away. It was a little-used place for a while, and I saw 2 or 3 of Auriga's open clusters naked-eye. A stream ran through it and the wildlife made a lot more noise than I did. Then they put a streetlight in the middle of it. :mad:

#56 Greyhaven



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Posted 09 May 2011 - 04:44 PM

I can't compete with Csa/montana's great skies out side my door.But 45 min away these skies are available.
be well

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#57 rocco13


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Posted 09 May 2011 - 05:57 PM

There are multiple spots around Arizona that are fantastic, but of the handful that I've been to, I'd pick Five Mile Meadow. It's located about 30 miles north of Payson, and just up on the Mogollon Rim, at an elevation around 6900'. Just a slight bubble of light on the southern horizon from Payson, but not enough to interfere.

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#58 JayinUT


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Posted 10 May 2011 - 08:12 AM

I have to add another site if your in Utah. About an hour west of Delta, Utah is Notch Peak Wilderness Study Area. We observe up East Sawtooth Canyon and there are places to pull over and set up or at the end before the dirt road forks, is a parking area that works nice. The parking area has wonderful views but the views to the south are blocked up to around five to seven degrees above the horizon. This is a Bortle 2 site with the only white light coming from the distance highway or if a car comes up the canyon, which isn't common. The roads are rough and it is recommended that you go with someone else, have plenty of water and fluids, and that your spare is fill of air. I have pictures on my blog. It is in a gray zone on the pre-winter/snow sky charts and is about an hour east of Great Basin Natl Park, another great site.

#59 csa/montana


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Posted 13 May 2011 - 01:44 PM

Hello Carol, I bet your favorite is your backyard, I've found that is my favorite now. Camera assisted viewing has helped me fight these urban lights and of course the backyard is sooo convenient. GeneD

Yes indeed; I have no need to travel with the exception of walking down to my observatory. My skies average 21.5 SQM.

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#60 Badcat1022


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Posted 18 May 2011 - 05:01 AM

When I lived in Las Vegas we would go camping at Cathedral Gorge campsite. It has telescope pads setup. Also near Rachel NV close to Area 51 along the Extraterrestrial Highway. The Tikaboo Valley has a awesome view and dark skies, some of the darkeist skies in the nation. Now I live in Springfield MO and finding a dark site is tough but I have found a couple one is a campsite near Kisseme Mills and the only black is near the Ozark riverways.
Here is Cathedral Gorge campsite Posted Image Posted Image and powerlines in the Tikaboo Valley Posted Image

#61 ChrisBeere


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Posted 18 May 2011 - 05:25 PM

Kimworthy, south west England. One of the best sites for astronomy in England in my experience. SQM 21.61.

This is the view to the west

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#62 DaytonDennis


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Posted 30 May 2011 - 10:44 AM

Hello Carol, I bet your favorite is your backyard, I've found that is my favorite now. Camera assisted viewing has helped me fight these urban lights and of course the backyard is sooo convenient. GeneD

Yes indeed; I have no need to travel with the exception of walking down to my observatory. My skies average 21.5 SQM.

I'm extremely envious of your location, Carol. I'll have to start checking land prices in Montana as I plan on retiring in a few years. Montana is one of the few states I have yet to visit (I think I've been to about 46 of them so far)
As a NOOB, I haven't found a favorite yet, but am planning on spending a week in July during a new moon at Cherry Springs Park in PA. It's listed with a 2 on the Bortle scale - I only hoping for a couple of clear nights during my stay)


(also envious of those out west - I been to the Grand circle several times and truly enjoyed the night skies out that way)

#63 csa/montana


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Posted 30 May 2011 - 12:06 PM

You should try to visit Montana; you'd love it!

#64 DaytonDennis


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Posted 30 May 2011 - 02:48 PM

You should try to visit Montana; you'd love it!

I just might next year. I have really wanted to visit Glacier National Park as well as other parks in that part of the country. Just hope that gas isn't $10 a gallon by then! My dob fits fine in my Nitro and I could make a list of dark sites to visit on my trip!

Sorta back on topic, I have a question for you folks... As I mentioned earlier, I am staying at Cherry Springs Park for a week at the end of July the observation field has small observatories you can rent. Of the following, which would you rent and why? (I will have 5 other people - maybe - visiting with me, but all won't be in the observatory at one time, obviously). Here is what is offered:

Cherry Springs rents four, small observatories. Each has a concrete floor, 120-volt ground fault protected power outlet and red lighting controlled by a dimmer switch.
Observatory 1 is a 15' rotating Pro-Dome made by Technical Innovations, which has a slotted dome and is the best for imaging in high winds.
Observatories 2 and 3 are roomy, 12' clamshell domes made by Astro Haven that accommodate 3 to 4 people. The four-foot high walls provide wind shielding and can be partially closed for better shielding.
Observatory 4 is a 10' by 12' Sky Shed. This “open to the full sky” roll-off roof structure eliminates the thermal currents often associated with slotted/rotating domes.

Appreciate your comments (they also have a number of 4 - 6' concrete telescope pads in the field)

#65 cam1936



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Posted 15 June 2011 - 06:13 PM

Anyone in south central Alberta have a favorite viewing site that offers good mix or drive time and clear skies? Anyone close to Calgary want to head out to a dark site? PM me!

#66 Mike E.

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 05:42 PM

What would be the nearest major town or city near Kimworthy ?
I can not seem to find Kimworthy in my British road atlas, or on Google Earth.


#67 vsteblina


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Posted 17 June 2011 - 07:10 PM

Here are a several dark observing sites in Washington state. Dark as your going to get this close to Seattle and Spokane.

Meadows Campground, Methow Valley Ranger District, Winthrop, Washington.

Google coordinates: +48.709726 -120.672691

Forest Service campground. Access is via Hart's Pass road. No trailers, good dirt road. Do NOT drive this road if you are afraid of heights!! Forest Service road...no guardrails.

The rectangular object on google earth is the astronomy pad put in by the Forest Service.

Tommy Creek Trailhead, Entiat Ranger District, Entiat, Washington

This site is far enough east that you avoid some of the glow from the Seattle metro area. It is also far enough away from Wenatchee that its glow fades. The trailhead is paved road almost all the way. Not a perfect southern horizon.

Google coordinates: +47.937525 -120.542490

This trailhead is a popular trailhead for horses and dirt bikers. So park away from the actual trailhead. You need a trailhead pass to stay here.

Pacific Lake, BLM, Odessa, Washington.

This site is a dried up lake bed. It is far enough east that you lose the glow from Seattle, however, you will see the glow from Spokane. No fee.

Google earth coordinates: +47.409085 -118.704104

#68 Bill Llano

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 11:35 AM

Kodachrome Basin State Park,Utah
Grandview Campground, Inyo National Forest,Ca
Kennedy Meadows,Southern Sierra Nevada,Ca
Are all dark,no light domes, fantastic viewing ,weather permitting.

#69 HellsKitchen



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Posted 29 June 2011 - 07:12 AM

Found this location at the edge of a remote dirt road.... drove about 30km along it from the turnoff at the nearest hamlet to its other end at a T-intersection with a lightly trafficked but paved road.... during those 30km I passed ONE car.... in the middle of the day.

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#70 marcink


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Posted 29 June 2011 - 09:28 AM

For Chicagoans Green River Wildlife State area is the best bet and it has been serving many amateur astronomer clubs for years. It is around 100 miles west from Chicago, very good access, green zone, camping, gravel roads, restrooms. The park ranges are so kind to shut all the park lights for the clubs. This is my favorite spot.

Another choice would be Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife area in Indiana - a very charming place with lots of birds, beavers, deer and all kinds wildlife. It's in the yellow zone. The best observing sites are on the east side of the lake, especially gravel ice fishing parking, next to the Patrol Rd. This area may be closed seasonally though. Parking space no. 3 is OK. Camping site is not the best spot, due to the lamps.

The closest gray zone I know is 7 hour drive from Chicago - Ozarks Scenic Riverways. Campgrounds aren't the best choice due to the lamps. The park rangers recommended a meadow close to the old Klepzig mill - to get there, take 106 East from Eminence, then turn right (South) onto State Highway H, then left (East) onto Highway NN and continue until pavement ends. Turn left onto Country Road NN-522 and continue until you pass an old Klepzig mill on the right. A little bit further there are some old barn remains on the left - you can park there and walk in the middle of the field to set up your telescope. You'll know you drove too far, when you hit the river.

I have added all these places to the Dark Sky Finder

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#71 nomorestars


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Posted 03 July 2011 - 08:50 PM

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#72 nomorestars


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Posted 17 July 2011 - 12:15 PM

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#73 bherv


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Posted 18 July 2011 - 06:21 PM

Arunah Hill in Cummmington, MA. On a good night Milky Way visible down to horizon. 2000 foot elevation. Only an hours drive for me.

#74 Lee.S


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Posted 22 July 2011 - 02:55 PM

My back yard Lat 34 29 N Lont 104 13 W.A couple hundred square miles flat dirt, very few bugs,lots of sky in the eastern New Mexico plains..LeeS

#75 roscoe



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Posted 24 July 2011 - 01:13 PM

I'll second Barry's post, Arunah Hill's a great spot, and has an annual star party and several observing sessions.

About 20 miles north, is the town fairgrounds in Heath, Mass, right near the Vermont border. There's one streetlight that annoyingly can't be shut off, but it's possible to hide in the shadows behind one of the buildings. It's green zone, and blue's only a few miles north, there is some south and southeast sky-glow. but north and west, it's mag 5.5 most every clear night. There's also a cemetery next door to the east, the back section's pretty empty, a row of trees gets rid of the streetlight.
Don't go into the big field to the east of the cemetery, though. That's somebody's hay field.


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