Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu uh, User

General Astronomy >> Light Pollution

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | (show all)
George N
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/19/06

Loc: Binghamton & Indian Lake NY
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: City Kid]
      #5333140 - 07/24/12 01:44 PM

To get to a yellow/green border area I need to walk outside my house. To get to a blue area (a state park in PA) I need to drive about an hour, and to get to a gray area (Cherry Springs) I need to drive a little over 3 hours (depending on fracting truck traffic) or 5.5 hours to my Adirondack camp.

Bottom line: I only drive to observe if going to a star party or if Im pretty sure of at least two clear nights, with no more than 2 or 3 hours of moonlight to contend with. I very much prefer to camp and take the scopes down the morning I'm heading home.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ih8usrnames
super member


Reged: 08/08/11

Loc: Wheaton Illinois
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: City Kid]
      #5333162 - 07/24/12 01:57 PM

I am partially colorblind so I do not know what color I am driving to but I do know it is a Bortles 4.5 by lingering over it on Cleardarksky

Does the scale go Yellow, Green, Blue, Grey, Black?

I already drive 70 miles 1-2 times a month just to get to a 4.5. If there were cheap camping nearby (Summer) I would drive twice the distance at least once a month to get to Blue or Grey. I would consider it in the winter too if cheap hotel were nearby.

Thee closest Blue spots to me are:
near Silver Lake State Park, Mi - 232 miles
Mount Sterling, Wi - 244 miles
Dagget, Mi (UP) - 292 miles


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rainycityastro
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 03/29/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: ih8usrnames]
      #5333814 - 07/24/12 09:07 PM

I have to drive about 3.5 hours to get to a grey area. I can get to a blue area within about 2 hours.

Living in possibly the cloudiest city of USA, the big problem is clear skies and not dark skies for me personally. But I'd be willing to drive 3.5 hours each way once a month.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
City Kid
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/06/09

Loc: Northern Indiana
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: rainycityastro]
      #5333845 - 07/24/12 09:32 PM

Quote:

I have to drive about 3.5 hours to get to a grey area. I can get to a blue area within about 2 hours.



So is it worth the extra 1.5 hours to get to the grey zone rather than observe from the blue zone?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
oldtimer
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/13/08

Loc: Lake County Illinois
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: Illinois]
      #5335389 - 07/25/12 07:11 PM

The Chicago sky glow is tough to escape. A green zone is about 90 miles and thats an overnighter for me. The closest blue zone is about 149 miles and thats got to be a weekend. Most of my club's observing sites for one nighters are in orange and yellow zones from 40 to 70 miles.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
bunyon
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/23/10

Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: oldtimer]
      #5335613 - 07/25/12 09:39 PM

For me, no, 1.5 hours isn't worth it, on a routine basis, to get to a gray zone out of a blue. Unless I'm staying awhile.

Also, local conditions are important. My usual spot for a one-nighter is a green, while a blue is only 10 minutes further away. But I haven't found a decent spot in the small blue area. There is either no horizon or lots of local light or it's on private property, etc.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mak17
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 02/08/11

Loc: Central Florida
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: bunyon]
      #5335717 - 07/25/12 10:44 PM

115-135 miles to get to the closest blue zones which are much better then yellow zone 20 miles from home - totally worth it. I go to the blue zone sites every other or every third month. Closest "grey" zone would be about 160 miles. I'm yet to check out the "grey" so cant say if its worth the extra 25 miles or not. 500 miles to the closest black zone (dry tortugas national park) which will require both driving and taking a ferry as well as a new travel scope. If the difference between a blue zone and a black zone is the same as the difference between a yellow and a blue I cant wait to get there.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
JayinUT
I'm not Sleepy
*****

Reged: 09/19/08

Loc: Utah
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: mak17]
      #5335819 - 07/25/12 11:51 PM

61 miles or 1 hour and ten minutes to a wonderful gray, bordering on black. 42 miles to a decent blue zone site or a 45 minute drive. Yes, the extra 20 to 30 minute drive is worth it.

Then there is 3 to 4 hours to some of the darkest sites in the lower 48 on Federal land. I get to these in the summer once or twice. Notch Peak one of the darkest sites in Utah is 3.5 hours away. I try to go there at least twice a year in the fall and early spring/late winter.

I'll offer a XT10 if anyone is out here in SLC for a weekend and want to observe. You can ask Chris from NC or FirstSight on the quality of the observing sites. Just a friendly offer (of course I'll bring the XT10 with my 14 inch to the observing location). Yes, I observe year round and am equipped for low temps and if your dressed, I have an outdoor heater I can setup to keep you warm, or at least thawed if your here in the winter.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5336177 - 07/26/12 08:40 AM

Quote:

61 miles or 1 hour and ten minutes to a wonderful gray, bordering on black. 42 miles to a decent blue zone site or a 45 minute drive. Yes, the extra 20 to 30 minute drive is worth it.

Then there is 3 to 4 hours to some of the darkest sites in the lower 48 on Federal land. I get to these in the summer once or twice. Notch Peak one of the darkest sites in Utah is 3.5 hours away. I try to go there at least twice a year in the fall and early spring/late winter.

I'll offer a XT10 if anyone is out here in SLC for a weekend and want to observe. You can ask Chris from NC or FirstSight on the quality of the observing sites. Just a friendly offer (of course I'll bring the XT10 with my 14 inch to the observing location). Yes, I observe year round and am equipped for low temps and if your dressed, I have an outdoor heater I can setup to keep you warm, or at least thawed if your here in the winter.




This is one thing I like about this hobby. I haven't been in it long, but most are more than willing to share their equipment with a fellow skywatcher. I do travel for work, and can't take a scope with me, but do plan that next time I go, I'm going to do some research and find a local astronomy club and contact them when I get there as many clubs do either loaners or public viewings. I would think if you are a member of an astronomy club, it's kind of an unspoken collateral agreement. Of course, I would be willing to accept responsibility for the scope and pay for it should I break it (very unlikely). One thing I could bring (carryon), would be some eyepieces.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: Americal]
      #5336182 - 07/26/12 08:46 AM

Quote:

I just got back from a 5 hour trip to black( 7.5 NELM) skies in the White Mts. Worth every minute of the road time. The transparency and seeing were so fine the last night it really recharged my batteries. I camp so I like to spend more than one night when I make a long trip like that but I think those of us in the west are more conditioned to the greater distances. I try to stack other daytime activities to "punch a couple other tickets," too.
To give you a direct answer I'd make that 5 hour trip 3 times a year but I pick the times carefully.




"I think those of us in the west are more conditioned to the greater distances." So, how many of us drive as much as an hour to/from work every day? Would you be willing to drive at least as far as you do to work?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
JoeR
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Columbus, OH
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5337014 - 07/26/12 05:03 PM

Our green zone is 1 hr 45 min away. Our black zone is 3 hours across state lines. I've never seen it and probably never will. I spend 90% of my time in an orange/red zone a 15 minute drive from home. We only have clear skies maybe 30 days out of 365 and those usually don't coincide on weekend moonless nights.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
gmartin02
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 04/11/05

Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: JoeR]
      #5338637 - 07/27/12 03:37 PM Attachment (44 downloads)

I live in the Orange zone in the north part of Los Angeles County. It takes me 1 hour to drive to a Green zone (up I-5), 2 hours to drive to a Gray zone (14-> US 395), and 5 hours to drive to a Black zone (north part of Death Valley NP).

I used to do the Green zone 1 hour drive about once per month, but I figured that if I have to take the time to pack the car and drive at least one hour, adding an extra hour of generally little or no traffic road time isn't that much different, so I now do the 2 hour Gray zone trip about once per month. I make the 5 hour Black zone drive about 2 to 3 times per year.

Now that I have a 4-wheel drive vehicle, I have access to more places that were "challenging" for my little Hyundai Elantra.

Last weekend I made a trip to a site named "Papoose Flat" in the Inyo Mountains (up the graded but in some places steep Mazourka Canyon road that starts in Independence, CA) - about a 3 1/2 hour drive. This is a Gray zone site, is at about 8600 ft. elevation, and usually has not much water vapor in the air above - very comparable to Grandview Campground in the White Mountains where many people go, but about 45 minutes shorter drive.

In addition to being away from light domes, some Gray zone sites are definitely darker than others. Here in California, sites like Papoose Flat & Grandview Camprgound, and others can be accessed that are high elevation sites (above 5000 ft.). High elevation has the advantage of getting above much of the particulate matter and water vapor in the sky, making for much better observation of "faint fuzzies". It is amazing how all aperture sizes of scopes perform better with super dark skies. I think smaller scopes show even more of a difference between super dark sites and brighter sites that big scopes (but I usually only take the 12.5" Dob when I go super dark).

The attached picture is from the scoping spot I used near Papoose Flat last weekend. That's Mount Whitney in the background across Owens Valley. What an awesome place!

Greg


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
DarkSkys
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 10/11/10

Loc: In the dark desert of Eastern ...
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: gmartin02]
      #5338826 - 07/27/12 05:54 PM

I can drive an hour and a half and be at a low altitude gray zone, or and hour and a half and be at a high altitude Blue/Green zone. Also i could drive 30 min and be at a blue zone.

I'd drive a few hours each way once a month if that what it took.

Edited by DarkSkys (07/27/12 05:56 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Lou3
super member


Reged: 07/19/12

Loc: PA, USA
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: City Kid]
      #5339197 - 07/27/12 10:25 PM

I live in a red zone that's packed with tall trees. I'm willing to drive 20 minutes one a week, an hour once a month, and maybe two hours once every 4-6 months. For the two-hour trip, it would depend on the ease of the drive, the safety of the area, and lodging.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
killdabuddha
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/26/11

Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: Lou3]
      #5352314 - 08/04/12 09:27 PM


1.5 hours to mag 6.5 skies every weekend. Dunno what this translates as according to blue/gray/black or according to the Bortle scale, etc. We still have to learn these. To enjoy mag 7 skies we'd have to go 4.5 hours, which we haven't yet.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
gmartin02
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 04/11/05

Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: killdabuddha]
      #5352395 - 08/04/12 10:40 PM

Quote:


1.5 hours to mag 6.5 skies every weekend. Dunno what this translates as according to blue/gray/black or according to the Bortle scale, etc. We still have to learn these. To enjoy mag 7 skies we'd have to go 4.5 hours, which we haven't yet.



I bet you aren't going to get mag 6.5 skies this weekend

Just kidding - I knew you meant every moonless weekend.

G


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Starboat
member


Reged: 03/14/12

Loc: Texas
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: gmartin02]
      #5352512 - 08/05/12 12:34 AM

I live in a yellow zone; 40 miles to blue zone; 100 to black site. Another great black site 175 miles away we do for multiple nights only. Usually 2 of these trips per month.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
planet earth
Carpal Tunnel
****

Reged: 09/07/10

Loc: Ontario Canada
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: mantrain]
      #5352647 - 08/05/12 05:13 AM

I've been driving 1.5 hours about 90 miles North to my brothers place in the country since the mid 70's which has 6 to 6.5 mag skies and no neighbours really close by.
I'll stay for 2-3 days usually and go about 1-2 times a month.Even if weather is not great, I find it's good to get out of the city.
I leave my 12" scope there most of the year.
Clear Skies
Sam


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
killdabuddha
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/26/11

Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark [Re: gmartin02]
      #5352867 - 08/05/12 10:38 AM

Quote:

Quote:


1.5 hours to mag 6.5 skies every weekend. Dunno what this translates as according to blue/gray/black or according to the Bortle scale, etc. We still have to learn these. To enjoy mag 7 skies we'd have to go 4.5 hours, which we haven't yet.



I bet you aren't going to get mag 6.5 skies this weekend

Just kidding - I knew you meant every moonless weekend.

G




LOL. I moved from Chicago to NJ and have been pleasantly surprised. BUT...the first thing that I wowed my wife with was the moon, with the 20x60 binocs that I brought with every visit while we were dating. (Ok...chuckle) The irony is that we have to travel TO SEE THE MOON for her because of our tree line. OTH, I get to combine beach time (surfin and metal detectin) with the Belleplain visits so I'm not complainin. Think we're gonna have to get filters tho. Also lookin forward to comparin this with Cherry Springs.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Starman81
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/06/08

Loc: Metro Detroit, MI, USA
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark [Re: killdabuddha]
      #5355230 - 08/06/12 06:04 PM

15 minutes to a red zone, 45 minutes to an orange zone and 1 hour to a yellow zone... A blue zone is 3 hours away for me (Port Crescent State Park), but I have not made the trek yet. The yellow zone site is the favorite for clear, moonless nights.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | (show all)


Extra information
0 registered and 3 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  LivingNDixie, richard7 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 11110

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics