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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Do you go observing by yourself to ur fav place? new [Re: SeptemberEquinox]
      #5688555 - 02/19/13 09:39 AM

Two weekends ago my closest darksite was unoccupied (went on a Sunday - otherwise there's usually a few people). I'd done that before on a night with some moon, but not the other night. Nice and black, lots of coyote yipping and owl hooting, but not a big deal.

Then I put my iPod on.

The second I did, the hairs on the back of my neck went up. Never realized how much I use my ears to keep track of what's safe and what's not. With the earbuds on, I felt like someone/thing was creeping up on me from behind. Without, I was good. Weird. Obviously, I left them off the rest of the night.

Oh, and I set-up at a trailhead parking site, and before sundown a group of 20-something guys came with their sports cars and practiced drift driving on the lot. Dinner AND a show! Nice kids, no problems, and no one ran me or the scope over.

I always meet someone interesting at that place.

Paul


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Motokid600
super member


Reged: 06/27/10

Loc: Berlin, New Jersey
Re: Do you go observing by yourself to ur fav place? new [Re: jeff heck]
      #5689145 - 02/19/13 03:56 PM

Quote:

Yes, all the time. I am too old to be spooked or scared. Some say I,m crazy but mom got me tested, whatever that nerd show qoute is.




Thats a.. cemetery. Isn't it? *BLEEP* that takes the cake for all time spooky observing sites. I'm sure the dead make good observing companions

As for me. If I can't find a buddy to go with me my .44 makes for a loyal companion. So na.. no worries.


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Do you go observing by yourself to ur fav place? new [Re: Motokid600]
      #5689183 - 02/19/13 04:11 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Yes, all the time. I am too old to be spooked or scared. Some say I,m crazy but mom got me tested, whatever that nerd show qoute is.




Thats a.. cemetery. Isn't it? *BLEEP* that takes the cake for all time spooky observing sites. I'm sure the dead make good observing companions

As for me. If I can't find a buddy to go with me my .44 makes for a loyal companion. So na.. no worries.




Well, with telescopes we view the past, why not view from a place we all end up at in the future???? They're also very quiet, and dark (ever seen a well-lit graveyard?)


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James_826
member
*****

Reged: 02/09/12

Loc: Beggs, Ok
Re: Do you go observing by yourself to ur fav place? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5689255 - 02/19/13 04:48 PM

I would say 90% of the time I am mostly alone in the backyard, well unless you count my dog. Tesla likes to curl up next to the mount. I am only about 10 minutes from my club's dark site and I bring the dog with me during the day, but I have been worried about bring her at night. So far I have left her at home and just go to the dark site when there are groups. I would like to take her up there and go when there is no one else out there, but I fear she might take off after some wild life. We have had issues with tweekers in the past at our dark site.

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nirvanix
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: Saskatoon, SK
Re: Do you go observing by yourself to ur fav place? new [Re: SeptemberEquinox]
      #5689317 - 02/19/13 05:18 PM

I observe alone on my 15 acres of bush in northern Saskatchewan. There are bears, moose, elk, eagles, etc. Last August when I was there many gunshots were fired on the other side of the river. Guess someone was getting an early start on hunting season? Or maybe they thought my dob was a cannon - it's a little red of neck round there.

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Carol L

*****

Reged: 07/05/04

Loc: Tomahawk, WI 45N//89W
Re: Do you go observing by yourself to ur fav place? new [Re: SeptemberEquinox]
      #5689421 - 02/19/13 06:12 PM

Quote:

Carol!! I love your articles, I just wish we can receive the magazine earlier :\. Loved your Jupiter sketch!!

So many great stories, thank you for sharing.




Thank you, Sean!


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torsinadoc
sage


Reged: 02/04/13

Loc: Fayetteville AR
Re: Do you go observing by yourself to ur fav place? new [Re: nirvanix]
      #5689465 - 02/19/13 06:44 PM

Quote:

I observe alone on my 15 acres of bush in northern Saskatchewan. There are bears, moose, elk, eagles, etc. Last August when I was there many gunshots were fired on the other side of the river. Guess someone was getting an early start on hunting season? Or maybe they thought my dob was a cannon - it's a little red of neck round there.




I have a patient that I told to get rid of his guns. At follow up they were gone but he refused to get rid of the cannon in his front yard! He will still shoot it off into the national park! I think/hope he uses blanks


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nirvanix
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: Saskatoon, SK
Re: Do you go observing by yourself to ur fav place? new [Re: torsinadoc]
      #5689844 - 02/19/13 10:13 PM

Quote:


I have a patient that I told to get rid of his guns. At follow up they were gone but he refused to get rid of the cannon in his front yard! He will still shoot it off into the national park! I think/hope he uses blanks




Too funny! I hope he wears a napoleonic hat when he's firing off his cannon.


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bumm
sage


Reged: 01/07/11

Loc: Iowa
Re: Do you go observing by yourself to ur fav place? new [Re: Motokid600]
      #5689948 - 02/19/13 11:15 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Yes, all the time. I am too old to be spooked or scared. Some say I,m crazy but mom got me tested, whatever that nerd show qoute is.




Thats a.. cemetery. Isn't it? *BLEEP* that takes the cake for all time spooky observing sites. I'm sure the dead make good observing companions

As for me. If I can't find a buddy to go with me my .44 makes for a loyal companion. So na.. no worries.




I have a cemetery right behind my house. I usually don't observe IN it, but occasionally I'll take a walk back through it to get a view to the south away from the perpetually lit parking lot of the church off to the west.
As for guns, I have them and enjoy shooting, (my favorite is the 1911 .45,) but one can only use them when his life is in danger, which is highly unlikely in this part of rural Iowa. In the outside chance I might be seriously bothered by meth types or just punks out at one of my dark sky sites, I do have a sort of collapsible club that helps me relax.


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stevew
Now I've done it


Reged: 03/03/06

Loc: British Columbia Canada
Re: Do you go observing by yourself to ur fav place? new [Re: SeptemberEquinox]
      #5690060 - 02/20/13 12:49 AM

It's truly amazing how a small Raccoon can sound like an 8ft 400lb Bigfoot when your alone in the dark.

Steve


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stevew
Now I've done it


Reged: 03/03/06

Loc: British Columbia Canada
Re: Do you go observing by yourself to ur fav place? new [Re: stevew]
      #5690066 - 02/20/13 12:57 AM

My biggest fear is stumbling across a nervous astronomer with a gun.

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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Do you go observing by yourself to ur fav place? new [Re: stevew]
      #5690335 - 02/20/13 08:10 AM

Quote:

It's truly amazing how a small Raccoon can sound like an 8ft 400lb Bigfoot when your alone in the dark.

Steve






There was one time I was really sure there was someone out there... We had the motorhome at our secret spot, it was less than 10 miles from the US Mexico border right on a smuggling route that bypassed the normal check points.

About midnight I heard what sounded like someone taking careful steps every 15 seconds or so through the surrounding brush. I was quite fearful. Went inside, woke up my wife, to her what was going on. Got a big flashlight and went outside to look.

I couldn't see anything, just the sound.

After a couple of minutes, I just caught a glimpse of a large owl flying away...

Jon


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Do you go observing by yourself to ur fav place? new [Re: torsinadoc]
      #5690339 - 02/20/13 08:14 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I observe alone on my 15 acres of bush in northern Saskatchewan. There are bears, moose, elk, eagles, etc. Last August when I was there many gunshots were fired on the other side of the river. Guess someone was getting an early start on hunting season? Or maybe they thought my dob was a cannon - it's a little red of neck round there.




I have a patient that I told to get rid of his guns. At follow up they were gone but he refused to get rid of the cannon in his front yard! He will still shoot it off into the national park! I think/hope he uses blanks




Yep, only a red neck would shoot across a river at a guy with a cannon............


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kansas skies
sage


Reged: 12/02/12

Loc: Kansas, USA
Re: Do you go observing by yourself to ur fav place? new [Re: stevew]
      #5690846 - 02/20/13 01:00 PM

Quote:

My biggest fear is stumbling across a nervous astronomer with a gun.




Approach with caution!


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Mike B
Starstruck
*****

Reged: 04/06/05

Loc: shake, rattle, & roll, CA
Re: Do you go observing by yourself to ur fav place? new [Re: kansas skies]
      #5691214 - 02/20/13 04:01 PM

Quote:

My biggest fear is stumbling across a nervous astronomer with a gun.



Would that fear expand to include a "yard cannon"?
I think my Dob qualifies, when properly shrouded, anyway... tho it's generally not loaded, so yer safe to approach.

*ME*, on the other hand- i'm known to fire off bad puns with Gatling-gun ferocity, so you've been warned!


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Greyhaven
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/11/04

Loc: Greater downtown Maine
Re: Do you go observing by yourself to ur fav place? new [Re: SeptemberEquinox]
      #5691455 - 02/20/13 06:14 PM

I guess I feel best when observing alone even when I didn't have my own observatory. The only real exception to this is when my oldest son visits, He's the only one in the family that has ever shown any interest in the hobby, so someday all my astronomy gear will be his. He's a single Dad, and that means between gymnastics,girl scouts and school activities he gets to spend far less time with me although we do get a few nights observing each year. Dark site have always been a lone thing for me and I only had two times when I got a little nervous 1st time, sun was setting I had set my equipment up and was relaxing on the tail gate of the old truck when I heard a heavy grunt a cow moose was standing no more than 50' from my spot. Moose are common around here so we know the signs of one that's maybe upset at you being there. She seemed calm and soon went back into the woods .The only bad thing was I was on the tail gate of the truck and the camera was on the floor in the cab. 2nd time was the same location and all of a sudden a group of leather clad bikers showed up. They were off to the side of the clearing when one of the bikers said hey that guy's got a real telescope over there!!! Quick I thought (what would John Dobson do)WWJDD. Soon most of the group were looking me and the scope over so I asked "Does anyone want to look at the moon?" Worked like a charm in just a few minutes they were on their way (I guess they had to be in before the streetlights came on) unlike us astronomers.
Be Well
Grey


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Do you go observing by yourself to ur fav place? new [Re: SeptemberEquinox]
      #5693815 - 02/22/13 12:01 AM

I love my observing buddies. So much so that once or twice a year I plan a big observing trip with them. You can read about our last two big trips here on CN.

http://www.cloudynights.com/item.php?item_id=2673

http://www.cloudynights.com/item.php?item_id=2804

Now as much fun as it is to share an observing adventure with like-minded individuals, for me my best observing is done solo. I have no qualms about heading off into the wilds alone for multiple nights of observing, and I observe a lot (a couple times a week, weather permitting) from my new home site, also solo.

I enjoy both, but if I could do only one or the other, my pick would be long solo trips to off the grid very dark sky sites.

I've encountered meth tweakers, bears, wolves, mountain lions, scorpions, rattle snakes and drug traffickers at remote observing sites in various locations. I haven't been killed or eaten yet.

Regards,

Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (02/22/13 12:09 AM)


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MikeBOKC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: Do you go observing by yourself to ur fav place? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5694184 - 02/22/13 08:33 AM

Do NOT watch Deliverance . . .

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Mike B
Starstruck
*****

Reged: 04/06/05

Loc: shake, rattle, & roll, CA
Re: Do you go observing by yourself to ur fav place? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5694569 - 02/22/13 12:08 PM

Quote:

I haven't been killed or eaten yet.




This brings up a curious angle on the matter; is it possible to be eaten, yet not killed? Perhaps this is an IRS question?

Our li'l group's darksky site, in the dry-grass + oak hills of central-coastal CA, has none of Jim's larger beasts... more the crawling variety. I s'pose that wouldn't include tweekers, tho i could be mistaken on that.

When asked by the squeamish about rattlesnake concerns, we tell them "no worries, the tarantulas scared them off long ago."


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jpcannavo
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 02/21/05

Loc: Ex NYCer, Now in Denver CO!
Re: Do you go observing by yourself to ur fav place? new [Re: Mike B]
      #5695637 - 02/22/13 09:06 PM

Setting aside issues of safety, my best observing memories are from a cross country trip with a 10 inch Dob. There is something about the solitude, under a dark sky, with the silhouette of mountains in the distance. Just you, the sounds of coyotes and 10's to millions of light years of distance. There is a magic to that, that nothing else quite reproduces.

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