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Anybody on Long Island observing tonight?

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#1 Mr. Marbles

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 03:06 PM

Mind if I drop by? I'm home in Nassau County visiting my family. The weather, for the past month or so, has been so putrid Upstate where I reside. I'd like to get some looks at Jupiter since I've been so starved.

#2 GeneT

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 03:11 PM

I would be interested in knowing where people view on Long Island, and how dark the skies are from the observing point.

#3 Peter Glus

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 03:44 PM

its prety windy today, so most of us might pass. plus that moon is huge.

Most LIs go to the beaches or the east end for dark skys. some head upstate to catskills, etc.

I generally just stay put and enjoy objects somewhat immune to light pullution

#4 Mr. Marbles

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:21 PM

There is quite a bit of light pollution on Long Island, but the forks are good ~ Milky Way is visible throughout. In Southold on the North Fork, there is a public observatory named the Custer Institute. I guess Montauk is the best location but like 2 and half hours from where I live in Nassau County (the Long Island county closest to New York City). I've observed from the end of Jones Beach a few times, not sure how it made out in Hurricane Sandy.

Dark skies are a lot more accesible where I currently live in Upstate NY. Supposedly they are freakishly dark in parts of the Adirondack Mountains, I'll have to get up there one day.

#5 rguasto

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:35 AM

I observe from my yard on the Northeastern shore of LI. Skies aren't bad to the North (long Island Sound) and East (somewhat rural). Forget the West with the glow of Manhattan. Was out last Night - sorry I didn't see the post earlier, as you would be very welcome. The wind was howling though and the seeing very poor. Spent and hour anyway :)
-Rob

#6 mark8888

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 12:27 PM

Dark skies are a lot more accesible where I currently live in Upstate NY. Supposedly they are freakishly dark in parts of the Adirondack Mountains, I'll have to get up there one day.


How is the seeing in upstate NY generally... and are there a lot of clear nights per year? I really like upstate NY, its gorgeous in the autumn especially :grin:

#7 clintwhitman

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:53 AM

Hey Dan you need to transport yourself back to when this photo was taken. The brand-new 1965 10" F8 Cave was the largest telescope on Long Island all setup in its converted Chicken coop. I was told by the Original Owner of the Cave you could see the milky way from horizon to horizon.
:foreheadslap: (aveman

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#8 Doc Willie

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 07:42 PM

Check the Astronomical Observer's Society web page aosny.org and their Yahoo group. They have frequent observing nights at the Custer Observatory and the Sue Rose observatory. You might contact a local through them.

#9 Doc Willie

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 07:45 PM

How is the seeing in upstate NY generally... and are there a lot of clear nights per year? I really like upstate NY, its gorgeous in the autumn especially :grin:


It depends where. "Upstate" is a big place. There are very good skies in a few spots in the Catskills and many in the Adirondacks. In the Mid-Hudson Valley, we get one decent night in four, on average. Same weather pattern almost as western Pennsylvania, where I grew up.

#10 Tony Flanders

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 05:58 AM


How is the seeing in upstate NY generally... and are there a lot of clear nights per year? I really like upstate NY, its gorgeous in the autumn especially :grin:


It depends where. "Upstate" is a big place.


Indeed! Big and varied.

I suspect the question was more about clouds, transparency, and dark skies than seeing per se. In my experience, seeing (atmospheric steadiness) is fairly constant over the Northeast except for local variations due to topography.

Much of upstate New York has pretty dark skies -- especially if you're taking Long Island as the standard.

Cloudiness is about the same as anywhere else in the Northeast as long as you're not downwind ofLake Erie or Ontario -- in which case it's disastrous in the winter.

#11 mark8888

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 09:20 PM

Thanks guys, good info! Yeah I know upstate NY is a big area, I just didn't want to ask the OP where exactly upstate he was talking about, as he apparently lives there, and not everyone wants to get so specific.

Good to hear about the Catskills and Adirondacks, I haven't observed in either place.

> In my experience, seeing (atmospheric steadiness) is fairly constant over the Northeast

Is the atmospheric steadiness ... decent for astronomy? (I've observed in NY but only at very low aperture, like 70mm, so although the steadiness seemed good to me I know it's not enough to really judge)

>Cloudiness is about the same as anywhere else in the Northeast as long as you're not downwind ofLake Erie or Ontario

Which areas are downwind of Erie and Ontario? Looking at a map, I guess it would be... Michigan, maybe Ohio? Not sure...

Any idea how dark it is, or in general how the astronomy is, in and around Albany, Saratoga Springs, or New Paltz? :confused:

Basically, I'm trying to figure out which places in NY State might be good places to live where one can do decent astronomy from home, and also might be large enough population centers that one could work and have a nice town or little city nearby... :smirk:

#12 Tony Flanders

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 10:06 PM

Is the atmospheric steadiness ... decent for astronomy?


Not as consistent as in the southern U.S., but we have our fair share of good nights.

Which areas are downwind of Erie and Ontario? Looking at a map, I guess it would be... Michigan, maybe Ohio?


Prevailing winds in the temperate zones are from the west, and on the nights that would be clearest without the lake effect, winds are from the northwest. Michigan is downwind of Lake Michigan. Far western NY is downwind of Lake Erie. Buffalo in particular is famous for its heavy snows. Rochester gets lake-effect snow from Ontario. The effect can extend as far as Albany on occasion.

Any idea how dark it is, or in general how the astronomy is, in and around Albany, Saratoga Springs, or New Paltz?


Albany's a big city, as small cities go. It puts out a mighty lot of light, as I know to my sorrow. (My country home is 25 miles to the southeast.) Nonetheless, it's surrounded by semirural areas that aren't half bad as suburbs go. Famed deep-sky observer Sue French does most of her observing from her backyard near Schenectady.

Saratoga is on the north edge of the Albany metro area. Once you get north of there, you're into Adirondack State Park, and it gets dark in a hurry.

New Paltz, like any city, puts out plenty of light. However, it's pretty small, and it's in one of the remoter areas of the immediate Lower Hudson valley. You could do a lot worse.

It's a more or less ironclad law that anywhere with jobs also has lots of light pollution. They are causally related.

You should take a look at the Dark Sky Finder.

#13 E_Look

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 12:57 AM

I live in Nassau County. I view the night sky from my driveway (yucky) and my backyard (just about as yucky). I envy those of you who either are in a dark spot or with a minimum of trouble access one. I just don't have the time.

#14 mark8888

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 12:32 PM

Just wanted to thank you Tony, thats very good information. Looking forward to doing astronomy in the Adirondacks at some point!






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