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astronomania
sage
*****

Reged: 02/26/10

Loc: Marysville, Wa.
Re: Which star party has THE best skies? new [Re: Rich56]
      #5898149 - 06/02/13 04:28 PM

Mount Bachelor star party at Brothers.
http://www.mbsp.org/


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square_peg
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 03/26/04

Loc: Maple Valley, WA
Re: Which star party has THE best skies? new [Re: Tom Polakis]
      #5901023 - 06/04/13 01:57 AM

Quote:

The seeing at sites in the Western U.S. is best if you can be located above the surrounding terrain. I doubt that many sites do this better than the Oregon Star Party. That site has a great combination of darkness, altitude, and steady seeing.




Hard to beat the darkness and elevation of OSP. On a good night the constellations just disappear in a sea of stars. And if you never went out at night and just enjoyed the Ochoco National Forest by day it would still be worth the trip. Drawback is the infamous 'Mars dust'.


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Bernie Poskus
member
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Reged: 05/22/10

Loc: Broomfield, Colorado
Re: Which star party has THE best skies? new [Re: Rich56]
      #5912299 - 06/09/13 11:58 PM

I have been to the Nebraska Star Party, Okie-Tex and Texas Star Pary, each more than once. I would not want to say any of them have better skies than the other. All three are well worth attending.

My only complaint with Nebraska was the heat and the bugs, but the sky there is incredibly dark, and there are NO light domes, as Valentine (the nearest town, with a population of under 3,000) is about 27 miles away. It's a very mellow, laid-back star party.

Okie-Tex is also without light domes, and is incredibly dark. It does have some wind issues (in '07 or '08, they had an incident which forever christened that year as "Blokie-Tex" since several scopes blew over). But I've had some incredible nights there.

Texas Star Party is also without light domes, and of the three, in my experience, has the most consistent clear skies. I am saying that even after my first TSP, which was in '07, and had only one good night. The other four times I've gone, I had at least 3-4 good nights, and one time, every night of the week was spectacular.

Like I said, all three are worthy of your attendance.

Clear Skies.


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omahaastro
sage


Reged: 08/30/06

Loc: Omaha, NE
Re: Which star party has THE best skies? new [Re: Bernie Poskus]
      #5914238 - 06/10/13 10:52 PM

I do wish sometimes NSP were held during the spring or fall... and the heat/bugs would not be an issue. But one of the things that makes NSP such a great star party, is in catering to the whole family, as a summer vacation. Merritt Reservoir is an absolutely fantastic lake for recreation... you literally have your own, hundred foot stretch of sandy beach (fine, soft Sand Hills sand), there is a great children's program, the Valentine High School is a wonderful, air conditioned venue for speakers, Niobrara River has been ranked one of the ten best canoe/kayak rivers in the nation, it really is more than a star party with incredibly dark skies.

Another option is to tie it in to a trip to nearby Black Hills/Mount Rushmore and Badlands National Park.


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Rich56
member


Reged: 06/02/12

Re: Which star party has THE best skies? new [Re: omahaastro]
      #5914744 - 06/11/13 10:00 AM

Although I've heard a lot about TSP, doesn't it have high humidity?

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bicparker
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/07/05

Loc: Texas Hill Country
Re: Which star party has THE best skies? new [Re: Rich56]
      #5914820 - 06/11/13 10:53 AM

Quote:

Although I've heard a lot about TSP, doesn't it have high humidity?




You're kidding, right?


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Rich56
member


Reged: 06/02/12

Re: Which star party has THE best skies? new [Re: bicparker]
      #5914839 - 06/11/13 11:03 AM

Quote:

You're kidding, right?




No, I'm not actually. I've been in desert regions where there's been high humidity...it does happen.


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bicparker
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/07/05

Loc: Texas Hill Country
Re: Which star party has THE best skies? new [Re: Rich56]
      #5915004 - 06/11/13 12:42 PM

Rich,
I was just kidding you here.... TSP is dry dry dry, except when it is wet. The reason for my comment was that the average humidity there ranges from 12-20+% and it is often in the single digits during TSP.

We have had very rare times of humidity and even dewfall at TSP, but that is something for which one doesn't typically prepare during this event (unless you just happen to have your dew heaters in your go kit). Normally, if it is humid there, it has been raining.

Humidity does happen in the desert, or in this case, mountains surrounded by desert. It is just not something that I would characterize as a typical facet of TSP.


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Bernie Poskus
member
*****

Reged: 05/22/10

Loc: Broomfield, Colorado
Re: Which star party has THE best skies? new [Re: bicparker]
      #5916186 - 06/12/13 12:52 AM

David speaks the truth. TSP will be a humid star party when they move it to Houston, which will likely never happen. It is so dry and dusty there that the second time I went (first time, we did hit moisture repeatedly), I came down with a cough, and when I saw my doctor (because it wouldn't go away), he asked me if I'd been to a dusty place lately. When I told him I'd been to West Texas, he said I'd had an allergic reaction to all the dust and put me on steroids (good thing I'm not a track and field athlete). Now, when I go down there, I start on nasal spray and allergy meds a week before I go so that allergic reaction doesn't even have a chance to start.

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Dave Mitsky
Postmaster
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Reged: 04/08/02

Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth
Re: Which star party has THE best skies? new [Re: Bernie Poskus]
      #5939969 - 06/25/13 03:13 PM

It was actually rather wet at times at this year's Texas Star Party. There was enough rain on Friday that there were puddles on the grounds of the Prude Ranch.

Dave Mitsky


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George N
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/19/06

Loc: Binghamton & Indian Lake NY
Re: Which star party has THE best skies? new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #5941847 - 06/26/13 06:03 PM

Quote:

The seeing at the Winter Star Party can be superb but it doesn't have extremely dark skies.

Dave Mitsky




Iíve only observed in Florida from the Atlantic coast, with bright sky in one direction, the over-ocean darkness in the other.

However, I have a friend who *lives* about a half-mile from the WSP site (with EdgeHD C-14 on a Titan mount), and another mutual friend who lives in south Florida, with lots of star party experience (including CSSP). They both recommend the Chiefland Star Party as the best compromise in Florida: darker sky, still often excellent seeing, almost as far south.

The guy who lives in the Keys is a marine biologist who often observes from Dry Tortugas and claims that island in the Gulf is excellent. However, he says we really need access to the mountains of Cuba Ė high, dry, dark, very far south, excellent Caribbean seeing.

Iíve also heard great things about the Keck visitorsí center at Mauna Kea, but they donít have a star party there Ė yet! People think youíre crazy going to Hawaii with heavy winter clothing.


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Dave Mitsky
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/08/02

Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth
Re: Which star party has THE best skies? new [Re: George N]
      #5943064 - 06/27/13 12:52 PM

They aren't bad but I wouldn't call the skies at the Chiefland Astronomy Village terribly dark either. The Cedar Key Star Party's Shell Mound dark site is a bit better.

http://www.observingsites.com/ds_fl.htm

Dave Mitsky


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Zamboni
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/03/05

Loc: Colorado Springs
Re: Which star party has THE best skies? new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #5943261 - 06/27/13 03:00 PM

I may be biased, but I'm partial to the skies at Rocky Mountain Star Stare near Gardner, CO. Exceptionally dark, dry, unobstructed and high altitude. Can't beat it.

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Jeff Morgan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 09/28/03

Loc: Prescott, AZ
Re: Which star party has THE best skies? new [Re: George N]
      #5943410 - 06/27/13 04:48 PM

Quote:

However, I have a friend who *lives* about a half-mile from the WSP site (with EdgeHD C-14 on a Titan mount), and another mutual friend who lives in south Florida, with lots of star party experience (including CSSP). They both recommend the Chiefland Star Party as the best compromise in Florida: darker sky, still often excellent seeing, almost as far south.




How are the skies at WSP these days? I have not been there since 1997. At the time the west and northwest were not good, but south was fine. And of course WSP has some huge built in advantages:

1) 11+ hours darkness per night;

2) You can reach declination -66 degrees;

3) Laminar airflow results in consistently excellent seeing; and

4) You can do it all in a short-sleeved shirt during the winter.


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Rich56
member


Reged: 06/02/12

Re: Which star party has THE best skies? new [Re: Jeff Morgan]
      #5943530 - 06/27/13 05:55 PM

Rocky Mountain Star Stare? I've heard of it but not nearly as much as TSP or OSP.

Anybody ever been? and what did you think?


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MRoedel
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 11/10/06

Loc: Michigan
Re: Which star party has THE best skies? new [Re: Rich56]
      #5943959 - 06/27/13 10:54 PM

My wife and I went to RMSS in 2004. The skies were quite good. Lightning every afternoon.
We went to Weekend Under the Stars (Wyoming) the following year. Slightly darker, no daily afternoon lightning storms, +1000' higher elevation, pretty severe altitude sickness by the third day.
The following year we went to the NBANB Star Party on Mount Carleton in New Brunswick, Canada. The skies were darker yet. No light domes, but it was the end of black fly season. We both got a few bites. The park wasn't restricted to astronomers. No lighting etiquette. Most people were sleeping by midnight. Darkest skies I've seen so far.

Edited by MRoedel (06/27/13 11:08 PM)


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hbanich
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 06/17/05

Loc: Portland, Oregon
Re: Which star party has THE best skies? new [Re: MRoedel]
      #5949981 - 07/01/13 04:10 PM

I'm surprised Tom Clark hasn't chimed in - or did I miss your post Tom? - but on several occasions he's said/written that OSP has the best combination of darkness, transparency and seeing of any of the star parties he's been to, and he's been to all the well known SP's across the country.

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SkyHound
sage


Reged: 03/20/05

Loc: Dark Skies Il.
Re: Which star party has THE best skies? new [Re: hbanich]
      #5962718 - 07/09/13 06:14 PM

Mia Kea Star Party 9000 feet Hawaii...Nothing can touch it...

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kfiscus
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA
Re: Which star party has THE best skies? new [Re: SkyHound]
      #5962800 - 07/09/13 07:09 PM

LONNNNNG drive.

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Tora
super member


Reged: 10/09/09

Loc: Illinois
Re: Which star party has THE best skies? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5963280 - 07/09/13 11:56 PM

Quote:

LONNNNNG drive.




and wet....


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