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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Where is the best seeing in North America? new [Re: ToxMan]
      #5544988 - 11/29/12 05:34 AM

I hear tell that Southern Baja California has some of the best seeing around... From what I can figure, compared to most places, coastal San Diego has very good seeing.

Jon


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Tom Polakis
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/20/04

Loc: Tempe, Arizona
Re: Where is the best seeing in North America? new [Re: Mike Phillips]
      #5545578 - 11/29/12 01:47 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

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





The seeing in northern Arizona is comparable to that of Chilean observatories, as long as you know where to set up. It doesn't need to be a tall peak, either. The best site would be a small rise over the surrounding terrain, preferably overlooking a cliff that faces the prevailing southwest wind.

That's how the Discovery Channel Telescope is sited. Rather than anecdotal statements, Lowell Observatory astronomers made measurements over a number of nights, and showed a median value of 0.84 arcsec FWHM, with a first quartile average of 0.62".

Here is the site testing paper

I have always wondered how the legendary Florida sites would stack up if they were measured in the same manner.

Tom


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siriusc
professor emeritus
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Reged: 04/03/07

Loc: Racine, WI
Re: Where is the best seeing in North America? new [Re: Tom Polakis]
      #5545675 - 11/29/12 03:00 PM Attachment (7 downloads)

Hi Clark,

I agree with Luis. The Florida Keys, they have my vote. I think a home located on the north end of Pig Pine Key (latitude +24) would be spectacular for planetary imaging, this dark sky site would place jupiter at an altitude of 87 degrees! You'll need to get out of the wind though which picks up at night and have two anti dew straps attached to the end of a SCT, or build yourself an observatory.

Cheers, Dan

Edited by siriusc (11/29/12 03:40 PM)


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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: Tom Polakis]
      #5546204 - 11/29/12 08:36 PM

Quote:


The seeing in northern Arizona is comparable to that of Chilean observatories...
Here is the site testing paper
Tom




Thanks Tom. This looks like a really good read.


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DesertRat
Post Laureate
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Reged: 06/18/06

Loc: Valley of the Sun
Re: Where is the best seeing in North America? new [Re: CMacD]
      #5546275 - 11/29/12 09:19 PM

When Lowell sent A.E. Douglass out west for a site survey he stopped down south at Tombstone and later Tucson before heading north. For 1894 that was in itself a step forward compared to where they used to place observatories. Douglass encountered bad weather in the south and was being rushed by PL. Later they regretted not taking more time.

By the way he also stopped at Tempe later!

One fellow who sometimes posts here (Mike Wirths) has a B&B down in Baja Mx: www.bajadarkskies.com If you want to spend some time there I think it would be a great location.

Glenn

Edited by DesertRat (11/29/12 09:28 PM)


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mikey cee
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/18/07

Loc: bellevue ne.
Re: Where is the best seeing in North America? new [Re: DesertRat]
      #5546305 - 11/29/12 09:39 PM

The best plasce is the place where you are. Make the best of it and be thankful. Grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

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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: mikey cee]
      #5546394 - 11/29/12 10:47 PM

Quote:

The best place is the place where you are. Make the best of it and be thankful. Grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.




LOL - Unless you live in southern Ontario like me. I have to chuckle when I read of places that get 300 clear nights a year. They must have stolen them from us because it seems we only get about 65 clear nights a year That's why my portable observatory needs to find a nice place to live.


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