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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Where is the best seeing in North America?
      #5542036 - 11/27/12 12:35 PM

If you had a choice where to image from on a nightly basis anywhere on the North American continent summer and winter where would it be?

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skywatch
sage


Reged: 02/06/08

Loc: Ottawa 45.3085N 76.175W
Re: Where is the best seeing in North America? new [Re: CMacD]
      #5542307 - 11/27/12 03:09 PM

Mt Wilson has pretty good seeing but too much light pollution.
-Rolf


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Rankinstudio
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 04/05/08

Loc: Southern UT
Re: Where is the best seeing in North America? new [Re: skywatch]
      #5542594 - 11/27/12 06:27 PM

Southern Arizona?

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DesertRat
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/18/06

Loc: Valley of the Sun
Re: Where is the best seeing in North America? new [Re: Rankinstudio]
      #5542750 - 11/27/12 08:14 PM

I've observed in many places from the gulf coast to New Mexico mountains and other high places in the west. Southern Arizona is good especially at higher elevations, not so good from desert valleys. The seeing in the swamps of SE Texas was remarkable if you don't mind the bugs and other assorted creatures rustling in the dark, not to mention the fog that rolls in and dew that has to be seen to believe. But very steady skies which I miss. I'm sure Florida is pretty good too - but never observed there.

Rolf got it right - for seeing and comfort its hard to beat SoCal, I've had great seeing from a hill in Pasadena.

Some of the best seeing in North America is in Mexico along the coastal mountains in the west. Its dry, clear and often has very stable air.

Glenn


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Brian Albin
Seeker


Reged: 08/22/06

Loc: Western Oregon
Re: Where is the best seeing in North America? new [Re: DesertRat]
      #5543233 - 11/28/12 02:26 AM

Has anyone tried the California Islands?
I mean Catalina and the rest of that group. I never hear any mention of them.
San Clemente and Santa Rosa are probably the furthest from the light of Los Angeles of the group.


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Freddy WILLEMS
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Reged: 11/13/05

Loc: Hawaii, Honolulu
Re: Where is the best seeing in North America? new [Re: Brian Albin]
      #5543236 - 11/28/12 02:37 AM

Hawaii suck..... for now

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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Where is the best seeing in North America? new [Re: DesertRat]
      #5543505 - 11/28/12 09:53 AM

Quote:

Southern Arizona is good especially at higher elevations, not so good from desert valleys.
Glenn




Sounds like Southern Arizona has possibly the best of most worlds. Nice transparency for a good portion of the year, nice climate most of the time, and good seeing also. I am building a trailer robotic observatory and looking into all the factors for its placement. I may well have both wide field and planetary capability so seeing could certainly be an issue. If I can drive the trailer there then it is on the list. Most of the time we have to suck up what our local weather brings us but I like the idea of setting up where the weather is best and leaving it there. So everyone's input truly helps. Thanks,


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tim53
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Where is the best seeing in North America? new [Re: CMacD]
      #5543731 - 11/28/12 12:02 PM

Coral Gables, FL.

-Tim.


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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Where is the best seeing in North America? new [Re: tim53]
      #5543906 - 11/28/12 01:31 PM

Quote:

Coral Gables, FL.

-Tim.




Is that a Donald Parker quote?


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Mike Phillips
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Reged: 02/21/06

Loc: Swift Creek, NC - 35.682 N, 78...
Re: Where is the best seeing in North America? new [Re: CMacD]
      #5543951 - 11/28/12 02:05 PM

I like this thread, it came out on Google Plus in a recent hangout we had. I don't know if it is possible to get hard facts, but it would be a great exercise in data analysis to get location and historical seeing accounts over time. This way you could see with facts the conditions over time and what the influences might be.

Mike

PS I recall Percival Lowell sent an expedition to AZ for his Mars Observations. Initially there was excitement about Arizona, but I think they grew disappointed after a few oppositions no? My answer was Florida as well, but what do I know living in rare-good-seeing NC


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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Where is the best seeing in North America? new [Re: Mike Phillips]
      #5543965 - 11/28/12 02:15 PM

Quote:

I like this thread, it came out on Google Plus in a recent hangout we had. I don't know if it is possible to get hard facts, but it would be a great exercise in data analysis to get location and historical seeing accounts over time. This way you could see with facts the conditions over time and what the influences might be.

Mike




Hey Mike - I was thinking. Just for fun it might be nice to create a script that grabs the "seeing" forecasts from the clear sky clock and add them together for a whole year and create the average seeing for the continent. I wonder if there are archives of this stuff that we could tap into now?


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Sunspot
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Reged: 03/15/05

Loc: Surprise, AZ
Re: Where is the best seeing in North America? new [Re: Mike Phillips]
      #5543967 - 11/28/12 02:17 PM

Percival Lowell liked northern Arizona because the seeing was much better than Boston. The seeing in northern Arizona is quite nice, but the story I heard while working at Lowell was that the people on the exhibition preferred Flagstaff for the bars and brothels.

Paul

BTW, I have heard that southern New Mexico has some fabulous seeing (see nmsouthernskies.com ). They were at the ASAE in Tucson and told me that sub .5" seeing is common.

Quote:

I like this thread, it came out on Google Plus in a recent hangout we had. I don't know if it is possible to get hard facts, but it would be a great exercise in data analysis to get location and historical seeing accounts over time. This way you could see with facts the conditions over time and what the influences might be.

Mike

PS I recall Percival Lowell sent an expedition to AZ for his Mars Observations. Initially there was excitement about Arizona, but I think they grew disappointed after a few oppositions no? My answer was Florida as well, but what do I know living in rare-good-seeing NC




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Mike Phillips
Post Laureate
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Reged: 02/21/06

Loc: Swift Creek, NC - 35.682 N, 78...
Re: Where is the best seeing in North America? new [Re: CMacD]
      #5543969 - 11/28/12 02:17 PM

That would be a great and easy start. I don't think CSK is archived though? That aside, the forecast is typically off as most folks can attest to. If we did get a good seeing by season and geography map should we weight it by % of clear skies too?

Mike


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bunyon
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/23/10

Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Re: Where is the best seeing in North America? new [Re: Sunspot]
      #5543976 - 11/28/12 02:21 PM

I think, perhaps, regions are being painted with too broad a brush.

"Southern Arizona" - down in the desert or up on a peak? Same for Southern NM - at 10K feet in Cloudcroft or at White Sands. I have precisely one data point for each but had great seeing in Cloudcroft and terrible in White Sands.

It will also vary over seasons. Most of the areas listed have periods of good seeing. But, if you're asking this question, I don't imagine you're interested in a few weeks a year. I'd look to see where the big scopes are located and follow that.


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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Where is the best seeing in North America? new [Re: bunyon]
      #5543997 - 11/28/12 02:33 PM

Quote:

I'd look to see where the big scopes are located and follow that.




Excellent idea, but, as I would like to "park" my roboscope trailer somewhere for years on end would there be a big scope place that would allow me to do that? Ultimately that is what I am looking for.


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bunyon
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/23/10

Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Re: Where is the best seeing in North America? new [Re: CMacD]
      #5544053 - 11/28/12 03:14 PM

Well, I was just talking more in general.

But you might see if there is a piece of land on a smaller mountain near one of the observatories.


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luigis
sage


Reged: 07/27/10

Loc: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Re: Where is the best seeing in North America? new [Re: bunyon]
      #5544103 - 11/28/12 03:34 PM

Probably Barbados or any Eastern Caribbean Island, the laminar flow from the wind stabilizes the atmosphere.

In the US I'd guess the keys in Florida for the very same reasons.


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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Where is the best seeing in North America? new [Re: luigis]
      #5544184 - 11/28/12 04:33 PM

So I just set up a windows task to run every night and grab the midnight "Seeing" image from the clear sky clock for north america. After a while I should have some data. How accurate the data is ... I will average them in a month or so to see if any trends develop.

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skywatch
sage


Reged: 02/06/08

Loc: Ottawa 45.3085N 76.175W
Re: Where is the best seeing in North America? new [Re: CMacD]
      #5544282 - 11/28/12 05:42 PM

Quote:



Hey Mike - I was thinking. Just for fun it might be nice to create a script that grabs the "seeing" forecasts from the clear sky clock and add them together for a whole year and create the average seeing for the continent.




I believe this has been done. I'll see if I can dig it up.

-Rolf


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ToxMan
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 01/23/11

Loc: Tucson, Arizona, USA
Re: Where is the best seeing in North America? new [Re: skywatch]
      #5544425 - 11/28/12 07:28 PM

There are some dark skies in southeastern Arizona toward Portal, north of Douglas. Also, there is some elevation. Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association has its Cochise site down there. Great for deep sky imaging and observing. It is about 2 hours drive.

For planetary imaging, flat open Arizona desert is usually just fine. But, you see some very rapid temperature changes. So, any devices, ie fans, are almost a must in the extremes of summer or winter; not so bad in fall and spring.

Unlike some parts of the US, we don't contend with dew as much. And, we have less rain. Which will come back to haunt us when the Colorado can't support an ever growing population. When that happens, it will just be coyotes and astronomers out here. A lot of ancient cultures just suddenly disappeared, like the Hohokam, Sinagua, Anasazi, Mogollon...and, I can't help think a lack of water was a major factor each time.


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