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General Astronomy >> Light Pollution

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Heidilu
journeyman


Reged: 11/29/10

Difference from red zone to green zone new
      #5503997 - 11/04/12 02:14 PM

I live in a red zone that is on the edge of a white zone. I can travel to a green zone in about an hour to hour and a half. I own a 10" dob and have not viewed from anywhere but my backyard. I'm just curious how big of a difference I will see in the sky compared to what I'm used to. If weather permits, I may drive out that way this coming weekend.

Thanks!


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blb
Post Laureate


Reged: 11/25/05

Loc: Piedmont NC
Re: Difference from red zone to green zone new [Re: Heidilu]
      #5504062 - 11/04/12 03:00 PM

If you have never viewed from anywhere but your back yard in a red zone, you will be lost in the sky from a green zone with all the stars and milky way visible. It is an experance you will have to see to believe. It will make you not wont to observe from home anymore. Try it. you'll like it. If you can afford the gas, the gas filter is the way to go.

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Heidilu
journeyman


Reged: 11/29/10

Re: Difference from red zone to green zone new [Re: blb]
      #5504139 - 11/04/12 03:48 PM

Very cool! Thanks for the info. That's exactly what I was hoping for! I may be able to make the drive once or twice a month. We'll see how it goes. I'm planning on going to a state park. I need to find out their rules--see how late I can stay without staying overnight etc. I'm hoping to make it out to a blue/grey zone sometime this fall/winter.

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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Difference from red zone to green zone new [Re: Heidilu]
      #5505378 - 11/05/12 12:36 PM

I've got a Blue zone about an hour's drive away, live in a White Zone. Ain't even a close comparison....You'll be quoting that famous line, "My God, It's full of stars!"

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habitforming
member


Reged: 09/04/12

Loc: KY
Re: Difference from red zone to green zone new [Re: blb]
      #5505478 - 11/05/12 01:56 PM

Quote:

If you have never viewed from anywhere but your back yard in a red zone, you will be lost in the sky from a green zone with all the stars and milky way visible. It is an experance you will have to see to believe. It will make you not wont to observe from home anymore. Try it. you'll like it. If you can afford the gas, the gas filter is the way to go.




Haha, the "gas" filter! I've been researching filters for a while now, trying to decide where to spend my money (i'm in an orange zone). Little did I know I already have all the filter I need.

Well, I guess there's also the "time" filter...

Edited by habitforming (11/05/12 02:03 PM)


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Heidilu
journeyman


Reged: 11/29/10

Re: Difference from red zone to green zone new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5505714 - 11/05/12 05:12 PM

Quote:

I've got a Blue zone about an hour's drive away, live in a White Zone. Ain't even a close comparison....You'll be quoting that famous line, "My God, It's full of stars!"




Ha! looking forward to it..... I can't wait to take this scope out and see what it can really do!!


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Illinois
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/18/06

Loc: near Dixon, Illinois USA
Re: Difference from red zone to green zone new [Re: Heidilu]
      #5508053 - 11/07/12 08:54 AM

YES! BIG different! You can see milky way and LOT of deep sky objects easier in Green zone than red zone!

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SubaruB4
member


Reged: 11/14/12

Loc: Greenwich, CT
Re: Difference from red zone to green zone new [Re: Illinois]
      #5524420 - 11/17/12 01:59 PM

I've gone to a beach in a red zone, over the water about 30 miles away is a lot of LP from a power generation plant but from my view it's OK.. but not the best, I really want to see what a blue zone looks like, however for me that's about a 145 mile drive from me in upstate NY.

here is my view from a red zone, this was F11 ISO 100 30 min exp.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Behind me however I had a metal halide bulb about 250 Ft away and the road coming in has sodium vapor bulbs.


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Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Difference from red zone to green zone new [Re: SubaruB4]
      #5525655 - 11/18/12 08:10 AM

Quote:

I really want to see what a blue zone looks like, however for me that's about a 145 mile drive from me in upstate NY.




However, NW Connecticut is in the yellow zone. Not truly dark, but the Milky Way is quite dramatic nonetheless.


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Heidilu
journeyman


Reged: 11/29/10

Re: Difference from red zone to green zone new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5525707 - 11/18/12 08:49 AM

Well, last night we finally drove out to the state park that is considered to be in a green zone and it was AMAZING!!! Visible Milky Way just like you guys said! So many stars!!!!! I got lost trying to find things I normally can find with ease. I was able to see M110 and M33 which had been eluding me at home. it was an awesome evening!

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SubaruB4
member


Reged: 11/14/12

Loc: Greenwich, CT
Re: Difference from red zone to green zone new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5525807 - 11/18/12 10:21 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I really want to see what a blue zone looks like, however for me that's about a 145 mile drive from me in upstate NY.




However, NW Connecticut is in the yellow zone. Not truly dark, but the Milky Way is quite dramatic nonetheless.


to get to a yellow zone it's about 74 miles for me, I've had this dark sky map up for awhile now but I never know if I should do NY, MA or CT the blue areas are pretty far.. I'm in Greenwich, CT right at the NY/CT border

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Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Difference from red zone to green zone new [Re: SubaruB4]
      #5526354 - 11/18/12 03:39 PM

Quote:

I never know if I should do NY, MA or CT.




The area where all three states meet is a local dark pocket; I would choose among them based on which is the shortest drive and has the most convenient observing site.

To get significantly darker you would have to drive twice as far. Probably Southern Vermont or the Castskills.

To get really dark you'd have to go to the Adirondacks or far northeastern New Hampshire.


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SubaruB4
member


Reged: 11/14/12

Loc: Greenwich, CT
Re: Difference from red zone to green zone new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5526383 - 11/18/12 03:59 PM

I remember once about 5 years ago driving to Canada taking 91 north.. wow that was some of the darkest sky I've seen.. I must of been in the blue zone, but I will have to check out some more areas. But I think you mean this patch of green right?

http://www.jshine.net/astronomy/dark_sky/index.php?lat=41.97786911170172&...

It's funny if you look at the US as a whole it's like a huge dividing line between the West and East coast with the light pollution.


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Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Difference from red zone to green zone new [Re: SubaruB4]
      #5527338 - 11/19/12 04:53 AM

Quote:

I remember once about 5 years ago driving to Canada taking 91 north.. wow that was some of the darkest sky I've seen.. I must of been in the blue zone, but I will have to check out some more areas. But I think you mean this patch of green right?

http://www.jshine.net/astronomy/dark_sky/index.php?lat=41.97786911170172&...




Exactly. My country home is north of there, so I know that area well. It's a sweet spot between the NY suburbs, the densely populated Housatonic valley from Great Barrington to Pittsfield, and Albany.

Quote:

It's funny if you look at the US as a whole it's like a huge dividing line between the West and East coast with the light pollution.




If you've ever driven across that line, you know that it's real. It's the divide between agriculture, which supports medium to high population density, and ranching.

Just remember, the choice of colors for the Light Pollution Atlas is highly misleading -- see my blog Is the U.S. Bright or Dark? Green, the brightest of the colors, is used to represent skies that are in fact quite dark.


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roscoe
curmudgeon
*****

Reged: 02/04/09

Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT
Re: Difference from red zone to green zone new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5527405 - 11/19/12 07:24 AM

That is a very interesting way to look at the maps, Tony! I agree that the last version you posted is really the most informative about how dark it is, and would be by far more useful to those planning to travel to observe.
Could you create one with a mouse-over feature that would show state lines and/or major towns as a navigation aid?
By the way, I do like the updated maps that seem to show darker skies in some areas, I think that in this area they are more accurate summer representations of the night sky.
Thanks,
Russ


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Difference from red zone to green zone new [Re: roscoe]
      #5527524 - 11/19/12 09:15 AM

All I know is that I have six weeks of vacation time I HAVE to take next year or lose them. While some will obviously be taken at home. I'm thinking of taking one week and driving out to either Utah, Nevada, New Mexico or Arizona to a black site. I live in Colorado, we have a blue site about an hour outside of Denver, and I use it; but want to experience Black skies with a scope. I've been in black skies (was stationed in Thule, Greenland for a year), but didn't have a scope then.

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SubaruB4
member


Reged: 11/14/12

Loc: Greenwich, CT
Re: Difference from red zone to green zone [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5527919 - 11/19/12 01:10 PM

I like the blog you did about the sky really helps in understanding it a bit more since it can be very misleading.

I will have to drive out to that spot one day in MA after I get my scope should be fun!


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