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General Astronomy >> Light Pollution

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Seldom
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/05/12

Loc: N of Cedar City Light Dome
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: Starman81]
      #5355812 - 08/07/12 12:43 AM

My back yard's blue; that's why I dusted off my 6" f8 25 year old homemade Newt, and why I'm trying not to get Obsessed. Light gray's a 15 minute bike ride. Dark gray's an hour.

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Starman81
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/06/08

Loc: Metro Detroit, MI, USA
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: Seldom]
      #5355834 - 08/07/12 01:10 AM

Quote:

My back yard's blue; that's why I dusted off my 6" f8 25 year old homemade Newt, and why I'm trying not to get Obsessed. Light gray's a 15 minute bike ride. Dark gray's an hour.




Congrats on your first post. Reading this thread, I hope you know how lucky you are! But then again, there are always trade-offs living in less densely populated areas.


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TechPan6415
sage
*****

Reged: 07/29/12

Loc: Aspen, Co
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: Seldom]
      #5355841 - 08/07/12 01:20 AM

The short answer? Zero, I can't live like that, polluting the air I am trying to look through with yet another automobile....?

I need to see the milky way across the entire sky far more than I need to see it in a telescope. For me, there is certain nourishment I get in being able to see the ground with dark adapted eyes with only star light.

I spent 19 years in the L.A. area growing up…and eventually figured out I was going to die pretty early on in life if I did not leave. So in 1994, I left and never looked back. The main reasons? Air pollution, life pollution and light pollution, that place would have killed me years ago….

So I have lived in some of the darkest skies I have ever seen for over 15 years, Aspen has a great light pollution ordinance. If I step out the front door of my apartment, hang a left and walk for about 400 feet, I hit a trail that leads to thousands of square miles of pure wilderness…and it gets even darker. A five minute drive up one of the windy roads gets rid of all of the tiny light pollution we might even have, it's as dark as it gets, especially in the dry air at 12,000 feet up.

If I had to live in a city, I would not be able to own a telescope, I would not see the point. But I have not owned one out here because to be perfectly honest, I felt like I never needed it. A pair of decent 10x25 binoculars pretty much did the trick.

This astronomy thing, It's not about telescopes, gear, deep sky objects, etc. It's about seeing one of the many truths that mankind's fear based ignorance has obscured from his very eyes as history as worn on. I gave up a lot for years, broke, expensive rents, you name it…but I had my nourishment, my truth.

So now I have a big ol' scope coming…should loads of fun getting reacquainted with it all.

But drive to see dark skies….?….to me that is like driving across state to get a glass of water…insane. Mankind lies, but the deep sky, the mountains, the streams and the animals, they do not…I can't live with liars, so I don't.

Yeah, I consider my self lucky, but not for the reasons you might think...
I am lucky because I engaged in ecological common sense at an early age, refused to live any other way, and that saved my life.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: TechPan6415]
      #5356107 - 08/07/12 09:05 AM

Congratulations on living your dream under dark skies, away from the maddening crowds. However, many are not so fortunate to leave behind necessary jobs, etc. to move out of the cities. So driving many miles to observe dark skies is the best way many can enjoy these skies, & the trips are very well worth it to them.

You say the astronomy thing is not about telescopes, gear, deep sky objects, etc.; yet this is the very definition of astronomy. This is what gives joy to so many people, no matter how little or how great their equipment is, to see the wonders of the night skies.

BTW, I'm also very fortunate to live away from population and enjoy dark night skies; but I also greatly admire those that are willing to drive considerable distances to enjoy the skies; that's dedication to a hobby they love! It's easy for those of us to simply step out our doors, but those that won't let LP stop them from the hobby they so enjoy, my hats off to all of them!


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TechPan6415
sage
*****

Reged: 07/29/12

Loc: Aspen, Co
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5356157 - 08/07/12 09:34 AM

Quote:

Congratulations on living your dream under dark skies, away from the maddening crowds. However, many are not so fortunate to leave behind necessary jobs, etc. to move out of the cities. So driving many miles to observe dark skies is the best way many can enjoy these skies, & the trips are very well worth it to them.




Thanks, but with all due respect I think you have missed the point...even though the use of a telescope is, astronomy itself is not a dream or hobby to me. The need to have the proper bearing of the night sky unpolluted was and is a vital part of my diet as a human animal, just like any other species who knows it's habitat, this was not a choice, but a life or death situation for me.

It was not so much the aim of my post to say people are wrong in traveling to be able to see a proper night sky...you don't know what you are missing if you never smell, hear, taste or see it...

It was more to perhaps reach out to that troubled soul who is more like I was, who's very life may depend on it...to inspire them to realize that no matter what anyone says or no matter what technology brings, we still only have 24 hours in one day. So just rid your self of the doubt and DO it, get the heck out of there and start living the life that you were always meant to. Otherwise you are living a lie.....and light pollution is a symptom of that, being one of many ways mankind obscures the vital truths from him self and everyone else.

I have over a month until I get my scope...I'll check back in once I get it and have used it....you know...get busy living, or get busy dying.

Peace...


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: TechPan6415]
      #5356172 - 08/07/12 09:44 AM

We can't speak for others; perhaps they enjoy where they are, and what they are doing, rather than assume they are "troubled souls". What works for one, does not work for everyone. Many love the hustle-bustle of cities, where there's much to be offered, yet they can still drive & enjoy the night skies.

Quote:

Otherwise you are living a lie.....and light pollution is a symptom of that.





It's good that we all have choices & most of us are happy with the choices we make in our lives. This forum shows that people are concerned and are trying to curb LP to make a better place for everyone; this is an incentive for all of us to do what we can to help in the LP fight.


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audioaficionado
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/24/12

Loc: Medford, Orygun, USA
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5357225 - 08/07/12 09:55 PM

It must be nice to have almost unlimited funds and live anywhere you want. I'm doing the best I can under the circumstances. My back yard nor my neighborhood aren't that great, but I'm still only an hour away from dark skies and the mountains. If I had a million bux, I'd be living up in those mountains and spending my full time devoted to my favorite hobbies. I'm living in a region where lots of people pay gobs of money to have vacations.

I've seen Saturn a thousand times with my naked eyes, but I couldn't see the rings or Titan until I had a telescope. Same with most other amazing objects out there in the universe.

My soul is far from lost. Different strokes for different folks.


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TechPan6415
sage
*****

Reged: 07/29/12

Loc: Aspen, Co
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: audioaficionado]
      #5357491 - 08/08/12 02:00 AM

Quote:

It must be nice to have almost unlimited funds and live anywhere you want.




Yeah, must be nice, I sure as heck would not know, lol! I am not loaded my friend, why do you think I had to wait not years, but decades to get another scope?

My wife and I live in city subsidized and price capped housing, you can not make over a certain amount in order to live there and you have to bid on them in a lottery with other folks, it takes years. The 880 square foot two bedroom, one bath condo we live in costs the same as one in say, the average U.S. city. Maybe in a few years, we will no longer qualify and have to buy free market, we are getting close, so that is my hope, maybe for another 600-800 grand we could gain another 100-200 square feet....whoopie...

Look, all I want to do is inspire someone, even if one person to take a chance and make the move. I was homeless at 15, I had to fight like heck to get where I am, 110% hard work….

That is why I won't settle when it comes to my natural surroundings, but like you say, different strokes….


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: TechPan6415]
      #5357704 - 08/08/12 09:25 AM

Now, let's get back to the OP's question of how many miles.

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Steve Daniel
super member


Reged: 06/03/12

Loc: Austin, TX
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5357834 - 08/08/12 11:06 AM

I live in red on the jshine dark sky map.
It's 80 miles to the boundary between blue and light grey.
I'm driving 400 miles for dark grey this weekend. Woohoo!


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: Steve Daniel]
      #5357922 - 08/08/12 12:04 PM

Have a fun time!

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Seldom
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/05/12

Loc: N of Cedar City Light Dome
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: Starman81]
      #5363849 - 08/11/12 08:05 PM

Quote:

Quote:

My back yard's blue; that's why I dusted off my 6" f8 25 year old homemade Newt, and why I'm trying not to get Obsessed. Light gray's a 15 minute bike ride. Dark gray's an hour.




Congrats on your first post. Reading this thread, I hope you know how lucky you are! But then again, there are always trade-offs living in less densely populated areas.




Looking at jshine's map, it seems that the amount of light pollution is directly proportional to the possibilities of employment. Aside from that, life in dark sky areas can be pretty civilized. It's an hour to a Costco and 3 hours to a major city, but UPS comes right to our door. West Virginia has a nice gray hole, and Green Bank has a nifty GoTo scope.


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Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: Seldom]
      #5365007 - 08/12/12 04:39 PM

Quote:

Looking at jshine's map, it seems that the amount of light pollution is directly proportional to the possibilities of employment.




Of course it is! Jobs attract people, and people use lights.


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JimMo
I'd Rather Do It Myself


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Under the SE Michigan lightdom...
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5365380 - 08/12/12 08:18 PM

I tried living in Colorado when I was 22. Went up to the mountains every chance I could. Couldn't make enough to stay and moved back east for a job.

Anyways, back on topic I drive 20 minutes south of the Detroit suburbs to get to a transition from red to orange, but it's on Lake Erie and it's darker to the E, SE, and S. I go there when I don't feel like driving further. Eight to ten times a year.

1:20 to get to a nice yellow spot SW of the SE Michigan light dome. I do this on new moon weekends when it's clear. 5-6 times a year.

4:00 hours + to grey and black skies in northern Michigan. Maybe once or twice a year and usually for more than one night and I camp.

Once every other year I'll go to a major star party. Last year was Oki-Tex and the Winter Star Party in '09, both about 1500 miles one way. These are at least a week to ten days in length including travel. This fall I will be going to either the Peach State(12 hrs.) or the Great Lakes Stargaze(3.5 hrs.)


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Seldom
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/05/12

Loc: N of Cedar City Light Dome
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5365417 - 08/12/12 08:42 PM

Quote:


Of course it is! Jobs attract people, and people use lights.



I thought that might have something to do with it.


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: Seldom]
      #5366095 - 08/13/12 09:50 AM

Drive about 50 miles outside of Denver to the DAS Dark Site (Blue Site)...and worth every mile of it...

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AJSmg
member


Reged: 06/15/12

Loc: New Almaden, CA
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: Steve Daniel]
      #5366954 - 08/13/12 05:32 PM

Frist off, I will drive 400 miles for a black sky, 1-2 times a year. Thankfully, my in-laws live in the middle of nowhere.

Weekly though, my change in method has changed how and where I observe.

I use to hall my scopes out to the barn (about 200 feet, yellow/green sky, in a deep 4000' valley) in manageable 30-40lbs chunks (10" Dob go-to, tak 102 on a g11, 12" cas on atlas), but then it dawned on me that I could just back up my station wagon, pile everything in, and make one trip.

The very next night I was off to a near by green mountain top, about 20 miles, and the next weekend was driving 40 miles to a blue/gray sky.

It was this habit of packing the car, that opened up the possibility of driving to a better location.

Now, even on an iffy Friday night, I pack the dob in the car. If it improves I drive 20-40 miles, if not, I drive 200 feet.

Edited by AJSmg (08/13/12 05:35 PM)


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vsteblina
sage


Reged: 11/05/07

Loc: Wenatchee, Washington
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: AJSmg]
      #5367011 - 08/13/12 06:01 PM

25 miles.

I don't understand why people have a hard time finding a job in the mountains. Never had problem and quite frankly had the choice of where I wanted to live in the mountain west.

I do believe that the Forestry degree was a big help.


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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: vsteblina]
      #5367489 - 08/13/12 10:39 PM

Quote:

25 miles.

I don't understand why people have a hard time finding a job in the mountains. Never had problem and quite frankly had the choice of where I wanted to live in the mountain west.

I do believe that the Forestry degree was a big help.




Don't let everyone know about that, or the mountain west will be ruined too!


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bassplayer142
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/03/11

Loc: Michigan
Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark new [Re: DarkSkys]
      #5368230 - 08/14/12 12:18 PM

I've driven a few times into the michigan thumb at about 2 hours. This weekend I'll be heading up near Huron Forest in Michigan at about 3 hours for gray skies. Next year I was planning Cherry springs, but it quickly changed to plans for Gordons Park in Ontario. A ~5 hour drive with a hour or so ferry for roughly bortle 1 skies. Probably the closest black skies around....

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