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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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TL2101
professor emeritus


Reged: 09/17/10

Loc: Concord, Ca
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Pretty Boy 810]
      #5275895 - 06/17/12 04:52 PM Attachment (220 downloads)

This is a view from our astronomy clubs observing site. Lucky for me it's only 15 miles from my house. Elevation is 3,849' on top of Mt. Diablo and took this shot looking over Suisun Bay. Taken last night before the clouds began to clear for a night of observing.

Edited by TL2101 (06/17/12 04:56 PM)


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Gvs
member


Reged: 05/19/11

Loc: Texas
Take a look at Omega Centauri, Cochabamba Bolivia new [Re: TL2101]
      #5291459 - 06/27/12 11:52 AM

Altitude gives you better contrast no doubt about it!



NGC 5139 globular cluster.
30 seconds
3200 ISO
(CPC-8-GPS-XLT)
Canon Rebel Ti2 18Megapixel.
6/6/2011 Cochabamba, Bolivia.
No post processing
Lat -17.42461,
Lon -65.91786
Alt 3340 meters (10958 ft ~ 2 miles high).

We are in the process of installing a set of 4 - 8 telescopes in Bolivia 4 miles high to be hooked up through the Internet for remote viewing.

Edited by Gvs (06/27/12 06:00 PM)


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stevew
Now I've done it


Reged: 03/03/06

Loc: British Columbia Canada
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5342102 - 07/29/12 05:56 PM Attachment (169 downloads)

Another shot of my favorite site.
Manning Park B.C. I was there two weeks ago, and I am so impressed with the viewing conditions every time I go.

Steve


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Orionis91
sage
*****

Reged: 03/01/10

Loc: Maryland USA
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: stevew]
      #5371998 - 08/16/12 06:36 PM

I just got back from my vacation in PA, as you can guess, the goal was to see the sky from Cherry Spring State Park, but the weather and other circumstances made it so I never got to see the sky from Cherry Springs, but from my cabin I did, and the sky is just like nothing I had ever seen before!
I just can only hope my next time there that I get more then ONE clear night!


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festa_freak
member


Reged: 12/22/11

Loc: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Orionis91]
      #5384289 - 08/24/12 10:36 AM

Wow! Some of those areas are good for looking ANY time of day. I'm a prarie boy and I head out of my city about 20 min onto a dead end farmers road and set up my binoculars there. I just saw the milky way for the first time last weekend (I've probly seen it before but this time I was 'looking' for it)!

I think I can see the lagoon nebula or whichever is easier to see in saggitarius from my position. I could go further from house but it's a good spot with barely any traffic.

Edit: I didn't swear but changed my first expression. Also, the milky way was visible from SW to NE all the way!

Edited by festa_freak (08/24/12 10:43 AM)


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krp
Vendor. DarkSiteFinder.com


Reged: 11/10/10

Loc: Central Illinois
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: festa_freak]
      #5385426 - 08/24/12 10:39 PM

Last weekend I went to Green River, which is probably the darkest and best viewing site in northern Illinois.
http://www.observingsites.com/ds_il.htm#dixon
I have heard there is a star party here every year:
http://bootlegastronomy.com/
Here's some more info I found after going there. There are 10 different parking lots that are all numbered. So you don't have to every worry about it being too crowded. A lot of people like lot 2, but I set up in lot 6. The view was more unobstructed even though there were a couple lights in the distance. Plus I felt a little safer since I could see any cars before they approached (There were about 5 all night driving down Pump Factory Road). I saw another astronomer and a camper set up by the office (the biggest lot). I do recommend getting there a little before sunset just so you'll know your way around and choose the best spot to setup. As far as I know, you can camp in any lot, with no fees or registration. I tried sleeping in my car, but got too cold. The views were amazing, I could see a lot of detail in the milky way, the lagoon nebula, double cluster, andromeda all with the naked eye. I saw a couple dozen meteors, even though the Perseid meteor shower was well past its peak. The best directions to look are south and west. Also keep in mind since it's a state wildlife management area, you will hear spooky animal sounds, and gunshots in the morning from the hunters. Here's a map I made showing the different parking areas.

And a picture of the milky way looking down Pump Factory Road, by lot 6.

Galaxy Road by kevin-palmer, on Flickr

Edited by krp (08/24/12 10:52 PM)


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Blaise
member
*****

Reged: 09/05/12

Loc: Austin, Texas
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: krp]
      #5417166 - 09/12/12 12:06 PM

Awesome pictures guys.

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bigbinoman
member
*****

Reged: 06/22/08

Loc: midwest(summer)/FL(winter)
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: krp]
      #5440650 - 09/25/12 09:21 PM

Green River Wildlife Preserve is my favorite IL. dark sky site also. When in FL I like Harmony and a remote site in Dade County. 3 miles of dirt road and farms to get there. Known as FOO (Farr Out Observatory) for the man who owns the land and invites local astronomers out on new moon weekends.

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contrailmaker
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/02/09

Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: bigbinoman]
      #5453784 - 10/03/12 04:03 PM

For dark skies that would be right outside the door of my cabin in the Arizona White Mountains. It's bordered by state parks on one side and the hughe Apache reservation on the other. Pretty darned close to the darkest skies I've ever seen. For high power planetary observation I have seen none better than the steady skies over the deserts of southern Arizona.

cm


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SubaruB4
member


Reged: 11/14/12

Loc: Greenwich, CT
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Pretty Boy 810]
      #5523560 - 11/16/12 10:29 PM

New here but looking for members in the Connecticut area, I'm here in Fairfield county.

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condensermike
member


Reged: 11/03/12

Loc: chicago
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: jpcannavo]
      #5523769 - 11/17/12 01:31 AM

once went camping in maine. best stars i have every seen.

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efedut
journeyman


Reged: 11/03/11

Loc: Calgary, Canada
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites [Re: cam1936]
      #5547607 - 11/30/12 06:10 PM

Quote:

Anyone in south central Alberta have a favorite viewing site that offers good mix or drive time and clear skies? Anyone close to Calgary want to head out to a dark site? PM me!





In Southern Alberta it would be Cypress Hills and Writing-on-the-Stone Provincial Parks. Waterton National Park is also very good. Jasper is splendid but not for the summer stargazing: too up North, it never gets really dark at night time.


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Sean Wood
super member


Reged: 04/19/11

Loc: North Carolina
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: efedut]
      #5561053 - 12/08/12 03:23 PM

My favorite spot locally here in North Carolina, Mount Airy being my home area, is on the Blue Ridge Parkway...36.513728, -80.938791... a small field that is away from EVERYTHING you do have a very slight sky glow "dome" from the Mount Airy/Winston Salem area, Which is fairly common for this area but mostly hidden by the surrounding trees on the horizon. NO street lights anywhere near by and it is the darkest skies I've seen in the area. There's only a small area to pull off of the road due to the way a slight hill transition works out, But this actually helps if there is on coming traffic, It shields you. Oddly enough being in the south you'd be surprised how late people are on the parkway and not necessarily stargazing... ha ha ha. The one truly ODD feature of note for this site.. no matter what time of year and how late I stay there is always country/blue grass music playing in the distance. Not loud mind you, pretty faint actually, but you can always hear it.

Google maps link... http://goo.gl/maps/o9UE1


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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
*****

Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: jimg@sonic.net]
      #5561121 - 12/08/12 04:04 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Hi Folks: Post your favorite viewing sites to share with others, right here!




Lake Sonoma - outside Healdsburg, CA - about an hour north of San Francisco.



Just a little ways north of there--at the Galbreath Wildlands Preserve, I measured a sky about a half magnitude darker than Lake Sonoma, and it's only about a half hour farther. I think you go from a Green Zone to a Blue Zone in that extra bit of driving.
That does look like a pleasant site, though.


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aberrs
member


Reged: 08/23/11

Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: SubaruB4]
      #5562843 - 12/09/12 05:36 PM

From CT also. Litchfield county, where it is lovely and dark....

But SO CLOUDY THIS FALL. ARRGH!!!!


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Feidb
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/09/09

Loc: Nevada
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: aberrs]
      #5562904 - 12/09/12 06:23 PM

My favorite close site to Las Vegas is Redstone Picnic Area on the north shore of Lake Mead, Nevada. Maybe not the darkest, but close and dark enough. During the summer, the Lee Canyon weather station sometimes, though it is right next to the road going up to the ski area. We used to go to a place further up the road called Sawmill Trailhead, but one time a park ranger had a bit too much caffeine, someone smarted off to her, things got a bit heavy and that site is now off limits.

As for really dark sites, for me, it's either Cathedral Gorge State Park in central-eastern Nevada or Furnace Creek in Death Valley. Two extremes of altitude, but both places have been really good to me. I don't like to venture any further than either place as I don't trust my truck much past that anymore

When I lived in Spain near Madrid, my back yard in Eurovillas was pretty decent once I went around the neighborhood and popped the circuit breakers in all the street lights. That was from the early 70's, jump to mid to late 80's. Now it's severely light polluted from what I've heard. Too bad.


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ChrisBeere
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: London, UK
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: stevew]
      #5566347 - 12/11/12 05:33 PM

Quote:

Another shot of my favorite site.
Manning Park B.C. I was there two weeks ago, and I am so impressed with the viewing conditions every time I go.

Steve




That looks beautiful


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ChrisBeere
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: London, UK
Re: Sajama Bolivia - August 2012 new [Re: Gvs]
      #5566376 - 12/11/12 05:59 PM

Quote:

When I look at skies from the McDonalds observatory and compare them to Sajama, there is no comparison. We can see two orders of magnitude more at the Sajama site.




This is simply not true. Altitude will only affect the extinction coefficient.

The Davis mountains have skies with a sky background of the theoretical limit.

Hard scientific facts here :

http://www.astropix.com/HTML/L_STORY/SKYBRITE.HTM

I have been to class 1 sites in the Atacama and Kalahari deserts and can attest to this first hand.


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Meadeball
sage


Reged: 10/22/12

Loc: Midlothian, Virginia
Re: Sajama Bolivia - August 2012 new [Re: ChrisBeere]
      #5573670 - 12/16/12 06:54 AM

You guys out West have some INCREDIBLE viewing sites ... I'll echo others and say I'd give anything for those views, day OR night! Wow.

Back East we don't have quite the vistas, but our sunsets are pretty. Here are two views looking west and east at Amelia Wildlife Management Area, about 20 miles west of my home in the suburbs of Richmond, Virginia, and about as near as you can be to the city with decently dark skies.





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notoriousmr
newbie


Reged: 12/26/12

Loc: Arizona USA
Re: Favorite viewing sites new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5591489 - 12/27/12 05:14 PM

Awesome thread thanks:)

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