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Shot Rock Vista Picnic Area - Northern California

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#1 aa6ww

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 12:51 AM

I was talking to a friend at work today about how I sometimes get on google maps, and scan around California for abandon cul-de-sacs or dead end roads, so me and some friends can venture out to these sites and see how dark the skies are for astronomy.
He mentioned that coming down from sking, he sometimes stops at an open area called Shot Rock Vista Picnic Area, that has a large open flat clear Cul-de-Sac, and always thinks of me going out there with my telescopes to do astronomy at.
Today during lunch, we went on Google Maps, and he showed me this location:

http://www.satellite...tate=CA&ftyp...


If you zoom in on where the red tick mark is, you can see the large open flat area he was talking about. It looks like a very nice observing location for how close it is to where I'm at in Sacramento.

I'm wondering if anyone has ever been to this location or has observed here or at least, looked at the skies at night from this location, and did some astronomy there.

It seems there are open areas all around this general area, but he particularly though this open parking area, would make for a nice site for observing with a few friends.

Has anyone ever been out to this location in California?

....Ralph

#2 MEE

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:55 AM

Do a google search with the exact following words:

shot rock site:observers.org

Should pull up posts from a Northern California Astronomy group about the area.

You can go to www.observers.org for the main site and perhaps ask some questions to the observers there.

Looks to be a good area.

#3 aa6ww

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 03:45 PM

Do a google search with the exact following words:

shot rock site:observers.org

Should pull up posts from a Northern California Astronomy group about the area.

You can go to www.observers.org for the main site and perhaps ask some questions to the observers there.

Looks to be a good area.


That's interesting, maybe its one of their many locations they visit. They are a very intelligent and devoted group of astronomers, I think probably some of the most focused group of astronomers I've ever heard of. I never got involved with them for observing because I was told they prefer dobsonian telescope users and don't like people using laptops. Since I generally use two red screen on each of two laptops I use and just have my C14, I don't fit in unfortunately.

...Ralph

#4 ThreeD

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 05:04 PM

I've not been to the location you pointed out but I've heard of it. If you are looking for sites along the 50 corridor you might check out IHOP (Ice House Observation Park). It's one of the locations used by The Sierra Star Gazers. The few times I've been there I've been pleasantly surprised by the great seeing. The skies are darker and the seeing seems better than what I'm used to at Blue Canyon.

The real drawback is that while Peavine Ridge Road isn't traveled much after dark, there will inevitably be a few cars drive by so you need to take care to shield your eyes. You are a bit off the road (a 100'?) so the headlights don't shine on you but they are visible. Luckily they are to the North and more observing is done towards the South. Also, like any place in the Sierra's, you are in the forest and things do slither and go bump...

#5 mountain monk

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 07:26 PM

I've heard it mentioned here several times---perhaps someone will speak up.

Dark skies.

Jack

#6 Alvin Huey

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 05:06 PM

Ralph,

That is one of our observing locations...and you are more than welcome there. 14" is no slouch.

Two red screens on you laptop is fine...I also use two pieces on mine.

We generally like to try and keep at least half the lot free for potential folks who drop in to use the rest room, etc...which happened just once in the many time I've been there. Room for about 4 large scopes plus 4 or so smaller ones. The skies are very good. Typical NELM is 7.

Lastly, it is buried in snow and generally not useable until May and closed by Nov. It is at 7600 feet.



#7 Bill Weir

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:34 PM

I never got involved with them for observing because I was told they prefer dobsonian telescope users and don't like people using laptops. Since I generally use two red screen on each of two laptops I use and just have my C14, I don't fit in unfortunately.

...Ralph


Alvins response sure shows why "hear say" isn't admissible in court. ; )

Bill

#8 aa6ww

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 02:30 AM

I never got involved with them for observing because I was told they prefer dobsonian telescope users and don't like people using laptops. Since I generally use two red screen on each of two laptops I use and just have my C14, I don't fit in unfortunately.

...Ralph


Alvins response sure shows why "hear say" isn't admissible in court. ; )

Bill


that's good to know. I was a part of their forum till my email got hacked into 2 years ago. I never tried their forum since I started using a new email address. Its good to know though.

Thanks!!

...Ralph

#9 TonyF

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 04:43 PM

I've been meaning to check out Shotrock one of these days. It's a long drive for me but may be worth it.

TonyF






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