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Observing at the Palomar Observatory

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#1 av8or

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 01:39 PM

Hi all, just curious to know where I can set up my gear for observing near the Palomar Observatory, I'm planning on taking my gear there for the first time tomorrow night and have no direction. I don't even know if this is possible... Do I need reservations or anything like that? Thanks.

#2 csrlice12

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 01:43 PM

I belive they have an area reserved for people to set up their scopes.....I'd call about reservations, probably will need them though.

#3 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:39 PM

There are a few campgrounds in the area, the Fry Creek Campground and the Observatory Campground are down in a valley below the observatory. But I think that this time of the year, they are closed. There used to be a private campground owned by the Baileys, not sure if it open. And there was a state campground, not sure if it is still open.

The weather report is calling for heavy snow tonight, myself, I am thinking that tomorrow night is going to be poorly suited for observing in the San Diego area and that Palomar in particular will be snowed in.

Clear Sky Chart: Palomar Observatory

Little Blair Valley actually looks pretty good but with horrible seeing and Tierra del Sol/Boulevard looks viewable.

Clear Sky Chart: Little Blair Valley

TDS/Boulevard

Jon

#4 davidmcgo

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:22 PM

The Observatory Campground has one side that had concrete pads at each site for telescopes and red lights in the restroom. Not much shade in those sites and all first come first serve. Also likely still closed for the season. The mountains here do get winter.

Dave

#5 Starman1

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 03:43 PM

Palomar is in a "green zone" and there is a "blue zone" just a short distance away to the SE. Also, the blue zone is farther away from the ocean and much less likely to get clouded over (Palomar often is).
Since you're going to travel anyway, try a somewhat darker site.
If you're a photographer, fine, but for visual observing, Palomar is a little too bright, IMO.

#6 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:03 PM

Palomar is in a "green zone" and there is a "blue zone" just a short distance away to the SE. Also, the blue zone is farther away from the ocean and much less likely to get clouded over (Palomar often is).
Since you're going to travel anyway, try a somewhat darker site.
If you're a photographer, fine, but for visual observing, Palomar is a little too bright, IMO.


It's been several years since I have been up there. There are definitely better sites in San Diego county. One problem with the Observatory Campground is that it's down in a valley and it is surrounded by tall trees. It's beautiful but the horizons are restricted, no chance of catching omega Centaurus..

Jon






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