A Possible Move to New Mexico in 2015
Posted 18 April 2013 - 07:32 PM
Posted 18 April 2013 - 09:31 PM
Posted 18 April 2013 - 09:43 PM
Posted 19 April 2013 - 05:44 PM
Posted 20 April 2013 - 04:48 AM
Also curious about good observing sites in the area. I noticed from the light pollution map that it is very dark outside the cities.
Yeah, in that part of the world you can drive out any old road, stop wherever you want, and you're in at a great observing site. No lights, no trees ...
The flip side is that in many ways it's a pretty bleak part of the world. Barren, inhospitable, deeply impoverished. I kinda like it, but a lot of people wouldn't.
Posted 20 April 2013 - 09:38 AM
Posted 20 April 2013 - 10:11 AM
Posted 20 April 2013 - 11:08 AM
Posted 20 April 2013 - 01:39 PM
If St George is too hot for your liking, you might want to SERIOUSLY rethink New Mexico, or anywhere else in the Southwestern US for that matter. Up in some of the mountainous areas you'll find it a bit cooler but still, hot is the way it is in the warmer months.
My company does have a location just outside St. George. But it is a little to hot for my liking, especially when you are driving around all day in a stepvan. I also may be limited to where I am able to transfer to based on job openings.
Posted 20 April 2013 - 03:10 PM
Posted 20 April 2013 - 06:08 PM
My wife is more of a fan of city life, but I like to be out where it is quiet. I think the Farmington area would nice. Small city but close to great observing areas. Here I drive 50 miles to a green zone to observe, out there 50 miles or less would get me to gray zone. That in addition to 270 days of clear weather is very attractive.
What are your other choices in the New Mexico region? I believe Farmington is an industrial region/hub for the oil and gas industry, there are some places in NM that are more interesting.
Posted 20 April 2013 - 06:32 PM
Posted 21 April 2013 - 08:58 AM
Posted 21 April 2013 - 09:09 AM
Possibly Albuquerque area if Farmington doesn't pan out. I work for a uniform rental company so an industrial area is good for business. I am pretty flexible but my wife not quite so. She needs to be near amenities. Otherwise a small town would be fine with me. Farmington is about half the size of Springfield Ma where we live now.
Albequerque is a university town as well, with a very attractive campus and cafe/restaurant/shop district on the main street bordering campus. Lots of cultural, shopping, and other civilized amenities in Albequerque. For you, an hour or two in several directions takes you well out of Albequerque's light dome into semi-arid, moderately high-elevation spots ideal for observing. IMHO Albequerque is a much more likely choice to keep your wife happily content with the move than is Farmington.
Posted 21 April 2013 - 09:17 AM
Posted 23 April 2013 - 06:37 PM
Posted 24 April 2013 - 01:17 PM
We thought long and hard before leaving Fl where we lived for 40 years before moving to NM. We are in the SW, not northern where you are thinking about, as we want to be able to observe year round without freezing to death, but even so, we are asked all the time how we like it. Here is a letter that is on the bottom of our web site. (There are a dozen pages with lots of photos for those who wish to dream a little…)
The photo is our recently completed dome for our 42" Dob
Life living at the NMAV
I receive quite a few emails from astronomers asking about what life is like living here at the NMAV, so here what we have found after just two years…
History: We just purchased our property here in Oct of 2010, and so far five other astronomy families have purchased property here for their retirement, so obviously we are not the only ones who find that this area had just the right combination of the things we were looking for.
Location: We are 20 minutes from Deming, and 30 minutes from Silver City - the best of both worlds. We live out in the desert under very dark skies with good seeing, yet town and all the conveniences are 20 minutes away. There are many other astronomy places in the southwest where you are far from civilization, and have to live the life of a hermit. Can you imagine a 100 mile round trip to the grocery store? How about two hours or more each way to go to Home Depot? Forget about going out to eat, or playing golf, or having any kind of social life… Las Cruces is a fairly large town where you can find anything. It is just one hour away down the interstate.
Astronomy: This area is heaven compared to FL. No more underwater observing! The super transparent air allows you to see so much more, yet the seeing is very good since we live out on the grasslands. In most mountainous areas the seeing is very turbulent which seriously degrades viewing. We have observed here numerous times with both our 16" and 24" telescopes, and every time we have found the seeing to be excellent. We held a small star party in October of this year, with about 24 friends attending. Five telescopes were set up, including 24 and 30 inchers. Galaxies were bright and contrasty, globulars were full of tiny diamonds, and nebulae stood out from the background sky like in photographs. You have to experience the observing here to believe it. The sky seems to be clear or mostly clear every night. Even during the July-August rainy season many nights are observable. We recently finished our new observatory and have had first light on our 42" scope. I won't even try to describe what those views are like. You have to experience it yourself to understand why we moved here.
Social Life: Jeannie and I are not hermits. We have joined the Deming Country Club, where we play golf two days a week, and The Silver City Astronomy Club, where we have met many new friends, and attend functions now and then. News travels fast, so we have already met some local astronomers. I also joined the Silver City RC Flying Club, and their super flying site is only 15 minutes from our house. The Deming Camera Club also provides some fun, such as a trip to a Ghost town. If only there were more hours in the day.
Climate: We love it here! The average 20 percent humidity is wonderful, and the breezes keep even the warmest days comfortable. We find the summers here delightful compared to Florida, where we were forced to leave 6 months every year due to the oppressive heat and humidity. If you walked outside you immediately began sweating, and walking the golf course was out of the question. Here at 4800' it is cool every night, so during the summer months the house stays cool most of the day, and the airconditioning doesn't even come on until the afternoon. We do occasionally reach 100 degrees in late afternoon, but even then sitting on the back porch in the breeze is very comfortable. As soon as the sun sets the temperature starts dropping, so there is no more of those Florida summer nights where it is too hot to observe in the dome. In the winter the average days are in the 50s and 60s, and nights in the 30s. When you are in the sun it feels great! I have walked the golf course at 45˚ in the morning in a sweater and felt wonderful. The dry air really does make the hot days feel cooler, and the cold days feel warmer. However, in December and January we had an unusual cold spell where the temperture ran an average of 20˚ below normal for 6 weeks. We still worked on the construction of the dome every day, but we simply waited until later in the day to get started. We are so much farther south (31˚) than most of the US that when we think it is cold most of the northerners wish they had our temperatures. The only bad thing to say about the area - which is true anywhere in the southwest, is sometimes it gets too windy and dusty. In 2012 we had three dust storms. They are not like the ugly things Phoenix gets, but they do run you inside for a few hours until they pass. March is the worst month for high winds…
Neighbors: We find the few neighbors who already lived here to be very friendly. They are all older people so the neighborhood is very quiet! Many local astronomers have come by to visit and check out the village. Some have purchased land and are awaiting retirement. Others are awaiting the sale of their houses back home so they can move out here. All who have come to see the place say that it is an astronomer's dream. It looks like the NMAV will be a success, and in the next few years we expect to have many more astronomers living here.
Homewise: We sold our FL home 2/11, and started our move west in March. The shop was moved in March, and while here we placed an order for a new modular home. While the house was being set up we made another trip back to FL to supervise the moving of our household goods, and were able to move into the new place in June. Of course it takes a bit of work to move and get things back in order, but as soon as we were able we started construction of our new observatory. The first light for the refigured and recoated 42" was 4/5/13.
If you want to chat about the NMAV, send an email with your phone number, and I'll give you a call.
Tom and Jeannie
Loving the desert life
Posted 24 April 2013 - 02:51 PM
Thanks for the info, looks like a great place. My wife and I hope to take a trip out there next year to check things out. As far as looking to the north, I live in Massachusetts so observing in the cold doesn't bother me. My wife is a city gal so living in a rural area is not an option. If I have any questions I will send you a PM.
Posted 24 April 2013 - 07:53 PM
Posted 25 April 2013 - 04:41 PM
Posted 25 April 2013 - 07:21 PM
As for summer heat, few bother with AC as it gets into the 100s for o ly about a week. The winters are cold and windy ut much drier than in MA
There is no astro club in Farmington area, but the community college there, San Juan has a program thet have an observatory the ondoor kind with stars projected and dooutreach with scopes every so often
I would beleased as could be to live uo there rather than here in soggy Oregon..even tho we have a great club here in Eugene and an hour outa town there is serious dark skies
Posted 26 April 2013 - 01:04 PM
Posted 26 April 2013 - 04:33 PM
Living that far out in the country requires some changes in lifestyle. No just running down to the store for a quart of milk or a loaf of bread here. Also, while it's only 20 minutes to town, that means emergency services are also a good ways away and response may not be quick.
Undoubtedly skies in that high desert area are spectacular, but anyone contemplating a move to a place such as this should consider all aspects. In addition, while the nearest town are about 20 and 30 miles away, it should be remembered that we're not talking major cities here. Deming, for instance, will have pretty much everything you need - BUT, it may not have some of the things one wants or is used to. For info, Deming has a population of about 15,000 while Silver City is about 10,000.
Posted 26 April 2013 - 06:34 PM
I would want to be close to one of those towns. I basically narrowed it down to Farmington and Albuquerque. It also depends on an opening at one of those locations. It is more likely to be the Albuquerque area because it is a larger location. The good thing is I would still only be an hour away from dark skies even in Albuquerque.