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Worth it to bring my telescope to Alaska in June?

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#1 aerospace

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 06:33 AM

Wasn't sure where to post it...anyway

I'm going on a trip to Alaska for the month of June and am wondering if it will be worth it to bring my telescope. Anyone live in Alaska? It's rather large about 6" x 3.5 feet, plus tripod so I don't want to take it if it's not worth it.

Alaska is known for clear skys which is good, but also 20 hour days which isn't. Will it be epic or useless? This would be mostly for viewing the planets/moon and not wildlife.

Many thanks!

#2 Tapio

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 06:37 AM

No darkness there in June, I'm afraid.

#3 Gert K A

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 06:44 AM

I don’t live in Alaska, but I have been up north in the summer.
If you got a 20 hour day the remaining 4 hours will not be dark at all.
Bottom line: I would not bring a scope of that size, sry.

#4 Tony Flanders

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 07:26 AM

I'm going on a trip to Alaska for the month of June and am wondering if it will be worth it to bring my telescope.


I don't see much point, unless you're interested in wildlife. You'd be lucky to find any planets in the bright blue sky, and they certainly won't look very impressive. Especially since Jupiter will be gone and all the other planets will be too low.

You don't say where you will be; Alaska is a huge state and stretches farther north to south than the entire U.S. West Coast. It also has very varied climate and vegetation.

In the tundra, a telescope would indeed be very useful for viewing wildlife.

#5 csa/montana

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 09:29 AM

Welcome to Cloudy Nights! We do have a member here residing in Alaska, hopefully he will stop by & give his input. We visited Alaska & I'm afraid like others have said, viewing the night sky will not be the highlight of your trip! You did not say how you are traveling; but a scope over 3' long would be cumbersome to pack. Perhaps a pair if binoculars would be a better tool to take with you for wildlife and a glimpse of anything you might be able to see in the "not-so-night" sky.

Regardless, you are in for a wonderful trip to a most beautiful place!

#6 Paco_Grande

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 10:57 AM

It does go night night for a couple of hours in June, but it's not worth taking a telescope, unless it's for terrestrial use - then yes! Binoculars would make more sense.

Spend a week traveling around on a ferry. Awesome way to see Alaska.

http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/

#7 J. Barnes

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 11:19 AM

I would say bring binos instead. I was on deployment in Anchorage a few years back right around the Summer Solstice. As I remember, it was somewhat dark for maybe an hour either side of 2 AM. Probably more twilight than anything else. I should have known I was in for little sleep when curtains on the barracks windows were thicker than the blankets and sheets on the beds. :question:

#8 jchaller

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 11:24 AM

Even as far south as Anchorage the sky doesn't get truely dark at that time of year. As I remember, the sun was below the horizon for about 4 hrs. I'd leave the scope at home, but definitely take a good pair of binoculars for viewing wildlife.

#9 J. Barnes

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 11:37 AM

I might also add, if you plan on leaving the city limits, bring enough mosquito repellant to fully bathe in. ;)

#10 Pharquart

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 09:34 PM

I was in Anchorage on the summer solstice one year. "Twilight" is the best description of the darkest the night got. I could read a newspaper (albeit with some difficulty) outside without supplemental lighting at midnight.

Brian

#11 aerospace

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 04:40 AM

Thanks for the thoughts I will be bringing binoculars as well as a camera with 21X zoom. The trip is Vancouver to Anchorage and back twice so it covers a range. Best to leave telescope at home I guess.

#12 Tony Flanders

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 06:12 AM

Thanks for the thoughts I will be bringing binoculars as well as a camera with 21X zoom. The trip is Vancouver to Anchorage and back twice so it covers a range. Best to leave telescope at home I guess.


By land or by sea?

By the way, coastal Alaska is not known for its clear skies. Quite the contrary; it's one of the wettest and cloudiest places in the world. Less so in the summer, but the "dry" season in this part of the world is wetter than the wet season in most places.

Hop across the mountains into Canada and you're in a whole different universe.

#13 Paco_Grande

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 08:50 PM

Alaska, Yukon, what have you, they're kinda like the desert. "If you don't like the weather, wait 10 minutes."

Except when it snows. This was June 2013. Haines Junction, Yukon. :) We got rained on more in Canada than in Alaska. You just never know.

Do the ferry, man. You won't regret it. Unless they hit a rock and sink. :lol:

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