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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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1965healy
The Snarkster
*****

Reged: 06/23/07

Loc: San Antonio, TX
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5584204 - 12/22/12 02:35 PM

Quote:

Quote:

My trailer is so small someone could easily walk right up to it while in operation and touch or take whatever they pleased.





This would be my major concern leaving something like this completely
unattended, in a public place. You will be at the mercy of anyone going
by it. Your best bet would be on someone's private land, that is
occupied, so at least it could be watched somewhat.




Can you post a pic/sketchof your rig so we can have some idea of what you'retalking about?


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Christopher EricksonModerator
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/08/06

Loc: Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5584218 - 12/22/12 02:50 PM

One of the challenges here in Hawaii is that the weather is very localized because of the influence of the Easterly trade winds combined with the height and size of the volcanoes.

Here in Waikoloa Village, we have had 3.09" of rain so far this year and 310 clear nights. 1/2 hour away in Waimea/Kamuela, they have had about 120" of rain and maybe 60 clear nights.

Waikoloa Village averages about 4-12" of rain a year and about 300-330 clear nights.

Some areas here on the Big Island can get more than 240" of rain a year. They are fun places to visit but I would sure hate to live there!


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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: 1965healy]
      #5584480 - 12/22/12 06:25 PM

Quote:

Can you post a pic/sketchof your rig so we can have some idea of what you'retalking about?




Here is the thread about the build - http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5488192



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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5584487 - 12/22/12 06:29 PM

Quote:

Your best bet would be on someone's private land, that is occupied, so at least it could be watched somewhat.




That would be ideal Carol, I agree. Perhaps over the next couple of years I will meet someone that lives in southern Arizona, New Mexico, or Texas with a heart for astronomy and has 5'x 7' that they are not using Perhaps I will ask around at the WSP in Feb.


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1965healy
The Snarkster
*****

Reged: 06/23/07

Loc: San Antonio, TX
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: CMacD]
      #5584787 - 12/22/12 10:10 PM

Not where I can post links. Suggest you Google Extech VB300. This is a 3 axis G Force/Shock Sensor contained in a USB dongle. You might want to make a "dummy" scope to mount, attach this and take your rig for a spin. The unit records data that you can analyze using their software. For about $200.00 you can pre-test the road worthiness of your rigs suspension. People have used these to find out just what kind of abuse their "fragile" cargo has been exposed to. Using it BEFORE you mount your scope might save you some costly surprises at the end of your journey.

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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: 1965healy]
      #5584823 - 12/22/12 10:34 PM

Quote:

Suggest you Google Extech VB300...




Cool little device.


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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #5584830 - 12/22/12 10:45 PM

Quote:

One of the challenges here in Hawaii is that the weather is very localized because of the influence of the Easterly trade winds combined with the height and size of the volcanoes.




Very interesting Chris. The mountains can be great benefactors for clear skies and terrible demons just a few miles down the road! Any data that I glean from satellite images still needs to be tempered with local anomalies. I've noticed that the Happy Jack area around the Discovery Telescope in Arizona seems to have a range that may produce behavior like that.


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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: CMacD]
      #5594916 - 12/29/12 07:06 PM

Now that December is almost over I thought it a good idea to show where the best seeing was for the month. It turns out to live on either north coast was rather dismal. The best places for owning an observatory this past month have been in mid to southern Arizona or southern Florida. I would say the Canadian arctic or Alaska as that has been by far the best place on this continent to observe but the conditions for the waking hours of the day have been rather nippy and you don't get to see very far south. Although the nights have been very long



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Christopher EricksonModerator
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/08/06

Loc: Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: CMacD]
      #5595023 - 12/29/12 07:50 PM

Quote:

Now that December is almost over I thought it a good idea to show where the best seeing was for the month. It turns out to live on either north coast was rather dismal. The best places for owning an observatory this past month have been in mid to southern Arizona or southern Florida. I would say the Canadian arctic or Alaska as that has been by far the best place on this continent to observe but the conditions for the waking hours of the day have been rather nippy and you don't get to see very far south. Although the nights have been very long




Some notes about astronomy in Alaska, since I lived there for 25 years...

* From about April fifteenth to September first, you only get one star to look at. Sol. Land of the Midnight Sun!

* "Alaska" is too general of a reference. One fifth of the USA is Alaska. You could cut Alaska in half and make Texas the third-largest state.

* Over half of Alaska's population lives in Anchorage and that is where most-all of the best jobs are. Anchorage has considerable light-pollution in the winter, with all of that white stuff on the ground.

* The planets don't get very far above the horizon when you live above 60 degrees North latitude.

* COLD...

* Anchorage has about 30 or so clear, starry nights a year.

* Fairbanks hovers between -30F and -65F during the winter.

* Juneau will show you a whole-new dimension to rain.

* If you have a passion for astrophotography, after a while, Northern lights become just one more form of light pollution.

* Alaska is Jet-Stream-Central.

* In the spring, the mosquitoes arrive before the snow is gone.


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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #5595294 - 12/29/12 11:08 PM

Quote:

* COLD...

* Anchorage has about 30 or so clear, starry nights a year.

* Fairbanks hovers between -30F and -65F during the winter.




OUCH! That is one place I do NOT plan to visit in the winter


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Alex McConahay
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/11/08

Loc: Moreno Valley, CA
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #5595308 - 12/29/12 11:16 PM

So, just why did you move to Hawaii?

Alex


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Christopher EricksonModerator
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/08/06

Loc: Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: Alex McConahay]
      #5595328 - 12/29/12 11:31 PM

Quote:

So, just why did you move to Hawaii?

Alex




Um... I forget...


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Christopher EricksonModerator
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/08/06

Loc: Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: CMacD]
      #5595466 - 12/30/12 01:53 AM

Quote:

Quote:

* COLD...

* Anchorage has about 30 or so clear, starry nights a year.

* Fairbanks hovers between -30F and -65F during the winter.




OUCH! That is one place I do NOT plan to visit in the winter




Actually, observing the Northern Lights while comfortably-dressed for arctic weather on a cold Alaskan night is an awesome experience that you will never forget. It should be on everyone's bucket list!


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Alex McConahay
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/11/08

Loc: Moreno Valley, CA
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #5595707 - 12/30/12 09:01 AM

I'll be there this March......

Alex


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Tom and Beth
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #5597064 - 12/30/12 10:37 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

* COLD...

* Anchorage has about 30 or so clear, starry nights a year.

* Fairbanks hovers between -30F and -65F during the winter.




OUCH! That is one place I do NOT plan to visit in the winter




Actually, observing the Northern Lights while comfortably-dressed for arctic weather on a cold Alaskan night is an awesome experience that you will never forget. It should be on everyone's bucket list!




It is on mine! Hopefully they won't be prying me cold dead caboose from the ice the following morning


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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #5597480 - 12/31/12 07:40 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

* COLD...

* Anchorage has about 30 or so clear, starry nights a year.

* Fairbanks hovers between -30F and -65F during the winter.




OUCH! That is one place I do NOT plan to visit in the winter




Actually, observing the Northern Lights while comfortably-dressed for arctic weather on a cold Alaskan night is an awesome experience that you will never forget. It should be on everyone's bucket list!




Oh - ok. I concede. Its probably "A nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there."


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AB9MS
member


Reged: 10/19/12

Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: CMacD]
      #5598703 - 12/31/12 08:24 PM

On that map, I assume dark is clear skies and white is lots of cloud cover. I make that assumption form the white blob on the WI/IL border SW WI. I recall about 2 clear nights last month. I work from 9PM to 6AM so the timing for clear nights and me not at work don't line up much. Cool map though.
Lewis


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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: AB9MS]
      #5599187 - 01/01/13 08:23 AM

Quote:

On that map, I assume dark is clear skies and white is lots of cloud cover. I make that assumption form the white blob on the WI/IL border SW WI. I recall about 2 clear nights last month. I work from 9PM to 6AM so the timing for clear nights and me not at work don't line up much. Cool map though.
Lewis



The map is made from two sources at the moment. The "Earth at night" image and the Clear Sky chart prediction of the astronomical seeing for midnight. I have started to acquire and infrared weather image for North America to be added to those to provide the "actual" conditions as well (as mountain ranges can be rather finicky with the cloud cover). So to answer your question the brightest white contains the glow from city lights while the light grey to dark blue represent from cloud cover to good seeing (the light grey being an average amount of clouds over the month - as daily images have been added together and then contrast stretched).


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Hermie
sage
*****

Reged: 04/20/05

Loc: Cloudy HKG
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: CMacD]
      #5599211 - 01/01/13 08:55 AM

Clark,

I think if you can find anywhere in the southern US you are on the way. I used to live in LA for a while, and anywhere south of that is pretty good seeing and fairly clear skies. Don't chase perfect - just look for somewhere to set up!

Of course, if you can get Hawaii or Australia go for it!

Your rig is mobile. Get started anywhere you can in SOCAL/Arizona/NM and go from there. Don't forget the seeing! Keep to the coast if you can.

Good Luck!

Hermie


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Christopher EricksonModerator
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/08/06

Loc: Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: Hermie]
      #5600200 - 01/01/13 07:34 PM

Quote:

Clark,

I think if you can find anywhere in the southern US you are on the way. I used to live in LA for a while, and anywhere south of that is pretty good seeing and fairly clear skies. Don't chase perfect - just look for somewhere to set up!

Of course, if you can get Hawaii or Australia go for it!

Your rig is mobile. Get started anywhere you can in SOCAL/Arizona/NM and go from there. Don't forget the seeing! Keep to the coast if you can.

Good Luck!

Hermie




Be advised that about 75% of Hawaii is horrible for astronomy and another 15% is marginal. The remaining 10% that is great for astronomy is primarily located in specific areas of the Big Island and Maui. Oahu/Honolulu is packed with people/light pollution and the best places to stargaze are now closed to public access.


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