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"Darker" site in NJ to view Fridays meteor shower?

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#1 92hatchattack

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 05:55 PM

Hey everyone. I am just getting into astronomy and have just started kinda researching scopes and binoculars and ready The Backyard Astronomer's Guide at the moment. I live in central NJ and have an interest in viewing this Fridays meteor shower with my son.

As I am new, I do not belong to any clubs yet, or know of any local observing sites. Does anyone know of any area within around 45 minutes of Middlesex County that is darker and better for observing than where I may be here in Sayreville? Im kinda looking for a nice wide open spot that is public and I wont get run off my owners or the police or anything.

Will the meteors be visible in my light polluted area?

Thanks for your time everyone!

---Joe

#2 Tony Flanders

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:07 PM

I'll let New Jersyites answer the immediate question.

But if you're hoping to view the Leonids, you should be aware that they're expected to be quite weak -- maybe one meteor every 5 or 10 minutes at a pristine site. Moreover, they don't really get going until the small hours of the morning.

My bet is that most people who go out to view the Leonids will see more Taurids than Leonids. The Taurid shower has been going on for some weeks now -- low level but very long lasting.

I saw a nice meteor last night but it was neither a Leonid nor or Taurid.

#3 92hatchattack

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:20 PM

Yeah. I saw one when the power was out from the storm, but I am thinking I am SOL in my location now. This is what I get by saying "Eh, I'll join a club when I get some gear" I probably could have had access to a place where I could kick back in a lawn chair with some hot chocolate and relax for the evening.

I guess its time to start researching clubs and their available observing sites. Hows Geminids shaping up to look in December?

#4 killdabuddha

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:44 PM


We're in central NJ and go to Woodbine when we can, the Belleplain State Forest recreational fields, about an hour-and-a-half from us here in Trenton.

http://www.observing.../ds_nj.htm#high

Cheers

#5 92hatchattack

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 06:02 AM

Yeah Woodbine is a pretty big hike for me. Id say about 2 hours. At that point I may be better off heading out into PA. Anyone ever visit High Bridge? It doesnt look to have the best skies and the horizons arent great, but on the other hand it looks to be about 50 minutes from me and actualy about 10 minutes from where my familys summer cabins are. Could work out nicely for me as a local spot.

#6 killdabuddha

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 11:01 AM


We haven't made the trek yet, but Cherry Springs State Park in PA has the darkest skies in the east. You mite ask over at the LP forum.

#7 Pinbout

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 11:18 AM

jenny jump should be good for you. I'm going to waywayanda tonight.

the last time I was there I saw the most #%#$@ awesome @#$#@ long meteor streak across the sky. almost like a rocket with boosters firing with different colors in the streak.

#8 92hatchattack

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 05:54 PM

We haven't made the trek yet, but Cherry Springs State Park in PA has the darkest skies in the east. You mite ask over at the LP forum.


Interesting..... Is it really the darkest place on the east coast? I would have thought up in Main would have been darker from looking at dask sky maps. Shows how much I know.

On a side note, how do you like your Pentax binos? I am looking at picking up the 10x50's

#9 92hatchattack

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 05:55 PM

jenny jump should be good for you. I'm going to waywayanda tonight.

the last time I was there I saw the most #%#$@ awesome @#$#@ long meteor streak across the sky. almost like a rocket with boosters firing with different colors in the streak.


That sounds awesome! I hope I get to see something like that one day!

#10 LateViewer

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 07:26 PM

Not in NJ, and a three hour trek for you, and me, is Stone Tavern Farm in Roxbury NY.

It is private. It is a horse farm and they charge $20.00 to set up. It is the darkest location to the NY/NJ area without going to Cherry Springs or going up to the Adirondacks. Great horizons and very very dark. Blue on the Clear Skies Chart.

I was there on Wed night and it was great. I saw several meteors.

Dress warmly it was cold!

Al

#11 92hatchattack

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:39 PM

^^^ Sounds nice. Can you pitch a tent and stay the night there? Can you see the Milky Way? I tell ya, I'm dying to see the MW again. The last and only time I saw it was probably nearly 20 years ago when I was about 10.... something I'll never forget being in amazement of, but the memory has faded and I need to get my eyes on her again.

#12 LateViewer

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 01:08 PM

Yes you can pitch a tent and stay. Yes you can see the Milky Way.

#13 killdabuddha

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 02:52 PM

On a side note, how do you like your Pentax binos? I am looking at picking up the 10x50's


We REALLY like our Pentax PCFs. Folks often choose the Nikons Extremes for their wider FOV, but ours are uber-clean all the way out, which the Nikons are not. And they're built like a tank. Started with the 12x50, then got the 20x60 within a few months, and now we have our 12.5" bino. Had they been less than stellar, doubt we woulda continued so fervently along the bino- line, to the point even of refusin to give up one eye for a good size scope. Use with absolute confidence.

#14 92hatchattack

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 03:52 PM

Thanks killdabuddha. I too was at one point deciding between the pentax and Nikon 10x50, but I finally decided whats the point of a wider FOV if the extra FOV is just going to be blury anyway? I am choosing the 10x50 because I want to handhold and use them to get more farmiliar with the sky. Cant wait to pick them up next month. "Santa" is bringing them for me and my 8 year old.

Thanks LateViewer, sounds awesome!

#15 Pinbout

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 07:48 PM

a few months, and now we have our 12.5" bino.



I'm finishing up a pair of 8inf3.5 mirrors possible bino...

just don't have

$$$

for 2 parracors :tonofbricks:

#16 Bill Whitehead

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:38 AM

Joe,

Forty Five minutes from where you live is a tough one. The two darkest sites in NJ are Jenny Jump and Belleplain. I've never been to Belleplain, but JJ has a club, UACNJ, and we have a house, several observatories, and best of all we have electricity. Two other possibilities are Sandy Hook and Voorhees. Voorhees has a club with an observatory and its off of 78. I don't know how far that is from you. Sandy Hook has decent skies, but it is closed because of hurricane damage.

I go to JJ at least once a month. We have a good group of people who meet up there and do astrophotography and observing. Send me a private message if you want to know more about it.

Cheers,

Bill

#17 LateViewer

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 09:41 AM

Sandy Hook? Really? I assume looking East and South?

#18 csrlice12

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:32 AM

Move. CO is nice, so is NM, UT, NV and AZ for viewing. :lol:
Sorry to hear of the light pollution problems. Makes me really appreciate living out west in the high desert. Here, Dew/Frost is rarely any problem. Once you get away from Denver/Colorado Springs, there's lots of dark skies. I live in Denver (WhiteZone) and can be to a blue zone in an hour at the DAS dark site. Being in a white zone hasn't stopped me though. Saturday it was partly cloudy and I just put the scope in my back yard and checked out Jupiter and the Pleadies; even in a white zone, theres something to look at....but if you've ever seen black skies (and I have); the first time in black skies, you won't need a scope.....it's wonderous enough on its own. In fact, you'll probably forget you even brought the scope for the first couple of hours....

#19 killdabuddha

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:10 PM

a few months, and now we have our 12.5" bino.



I'm finishing up a pair of 8inf3.5 mirrors possible bino...

just don't have

$$$

for 2 parracors :tonofbricks:


Possible? But you must, you must. Wow that's fast. Can't wait to see what you make. Be sure to chat me up when yer ready, so that I can disabuse you of any "difficulty" notions.

(Quote edited by moderator)

#20 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 02:19 PM

We haven't made the trek yet, but Cherry Springs State Park in PA has the darkest skies in the east. You mite ask over at the LP forum.


Well, there are darker locations east of the Mississippi (Spruce Knob in West Virginia, for example) but none have the ease of access, space, and amenities that Cherry Springs State Park has. OTOH, gas well drilling has brightened the skies at CSSP.

http://www.youtube.c...XaieJrH3tA&lr=1

http://www.youtube.c...channel&list=UL

Dave Mitsky (long-time observer at CSSP and Spruce Knob)

#21 killdabuddha

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 02:31 PM


Well, there are darker locations east of the Mississippi (Spruce Knob in West Virginia, for example) but none have the ease of access, space, and amenities that Cherry Springs State Park has. OTOH, gas well drilling has brightened the skies at CSSP.

http://www.youtube.c...XaieJrH3tA&lr=1

http://www.youtube.c...channel&list=UL

Dave Mitsky (long-time observer at CSSP and Spruce Knob)


*FRACK!*

#22 92hatchattack

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 06:21 PM

Joe,

Forty Five minutes from where you live is a tough one. The two darkest sites in NJ are Jenny Jump and Belleplain. I've never been to Belleplain, but JJ has a club, UACNJ, and we have a house, several observatories, and best of all we have electricity. Two other possibilities are Sandy Hook and Voorhees. Voorhees has a club with an observatory and its off of 78. I don't know how far that is from you. Sandy Hook has decent skies, but it is closed because of hurricane damage.

I go to JJ at least once a month. We have a good group of people who meet up there and do astrophotography and observing. Send me a private message if you want to know more about it.

Cheers,

Bill


Hi Bill, Yes I have been checking on both of these. I have already talked to UACNJ a bit via email and plan to join one of their clubs in early 2013. Have you ever been to Vorhees? Turns out its under an hour from me. And even better, its less that 10 minutes from where my family has summer cabins that I am at almost every weekend from April to September! Pretty sweet deal. Whats it like there?

Shame to hear about Cherry Springs. Just how noticable is the extra light pollution from the site?

#23 Bill Whitehead

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 06:40 PM

Joe,

I haven't been to Vorhees. I think its in a red zone. JJ is in a yellow zone and might be green.

Cherry Springs is still great. But it is kind of far. I've heard a lot about Stone Tavern Inn NY. I'm thinking of going there this winter.

Peace, Bill

#24 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 02:57 PM



Well, there are darker locations east of the Mississippi (Spruce Knob in West Virginia, for example) but none have the ease of access, space, and amenities that Cherry Springs State Park has. OTOH, gas well drilling has brightened the skies at CSSP.

http://www.youtube.c...XaieJrH3tA&lr=1

http://www.youtube.c...channel&list=UL

Dave Mitsky (long-time observer at CSSP and Spruce Knob)


*FRACK!*


http://www.gao.gov/a.../650/647791.pdf

Dave Mitsky

#25 killdabuddha

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 03:11 PM



Well, there are darker locations east of the Mississippi (Spruce Knob in West Virginia, for example) but none have the ease of access, space, and amenities that Cherry Springs State Park has. OTOH, gas well drilling has brightened the skies at CSSP.

http://www.youtube.c...XaieJrH3tA&lr=1

http://www.youtube.c...channel&list=UL

Dave Mitsky (long-time observer at CSSP and Spruce Knob)


*FRACK!*


http://www.gao.gov/a.../650/647791.pdf

Dave Mitsky


Tanks. ( :bawling: ) Here's anuther little ditty

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=z0fAsFQsFAs

:step: :wron:






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