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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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Astrodj
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 08/24/11

Loc: Missouri
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: amillego]
      #5853106 - 05/11/13 12:35 AM

From the catwalk below and surrounding the glass windows of Air Traffic Control Towers in several locations since I was 18 years old to present, using mostly 7x50's.

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FJA
Sketcher Extraordinaire
*****

Reged: 11/17/04

Loc: 50.65° N, 1.15° W
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: Astrodj]
      #5853328 - 05/11/13 07:25 AM

Ships at sea and the Andes mountains in Ecuador. I observed Comet Holmes from Ecuador with my 8x42 binoculars, it was just spectacular. Those mountains, along with the Australian Outback, the ocean far from land and the high desert of West Texas are the darkest places I've observed from.
I managed to take a half-decent constellation photo of Orion from the Queen Mary 2 last November, during a short "party cruise". Part of the bow of the ship, as well as an observation deck below the bridge, is open to passengers and is very dark so I spent quite a few hours doing unaided eye and binocular observing as we sailed along the English Channel towards Belgium. However, light pollution from England, Belgium and France was obvious towards the horizon.


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Joe Bergeron
Vendor - Space Art


Reged: 11/10/03

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: Tom and Beth]
      #5854446 - 05/11/13 09:49 PM

I once observed an intense auroral display through the opened window of my bathroom while I sat on the toilet (lid down). It was a very cold night.

On another cold night I used my Questar to observe the close passage of a small asteroid from the kitchen. I looked through a skylight.


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Thomas Karpf
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/09/09

Loc: Newington, CT
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: Joe Bergeron]
      #5860341 - 05/14/13 04:34 PM

While driving north on Route 8 in western Connecticut and clearly seeing aurora in front of me. The dashboard lights were on as were my headlights.

Despite the fact that the car was moving at the time with me in the driver's seat, I had a better view of the northern skies than I had ever seen before.

I have, of course, found dark locations since there where I can get out of the car and actually set up a scope, but where's the challenge in that?


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Crazyhorse1876
super member


Reged: 01/26/13

Loc: Left Coast U.S.A.
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: Thomas Karpf]
      #5861020 - 05/14/13 09:42 PM Attachment (6 downloads)

From the gunners seat of my M60A2 main battle tank using the M126 telescope. I would have the driver pull up on a mound of dirt or berm to get elevation of the weapons system and scan the night sky. I would also shoot the Moon with the laser range finder. Oh I heard it a few times about swinging that huge 152mm main gun around the sky in the middle of the night. "We're checking for Russian airborne troops sir..."

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Dan Finnerty
sage


Reged: 09/11/11

Loc: Pasadena, CA
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: Tom and Beth]
      #5861246 - 05/14/13 11:40 PM

Watching my first aurora through the window of a 747SP flying over Greenland at 47000 ft.

It was a bit unnerving seeing the base of the aurora at what seemed like our altitude. In reality the bottom of an aurora is 50 miles altitude or higher, but it looked close. I could not help but imagine how much radiation I was absorbing.

And then there was a night at the 120" Lick telescope. As the night operators were setting up I asked my advisor if he minded if I went out onto the observatory floor. Seeing the great view of the sky through the dome slit I climbed up a staircase on the wall to a scaffold catwalk that goes all the way around the inside base of the dome.

The view through the slit was spectacular. I spent a bit too long oogling the view and the operators forgot I was there and started rotating the dome for the nights first target. As it turns out, the catwalk is attached to the inside base of the dome but the handrail is attached to the wall below the walkway.

So there I was 30 or 40 feet above the concrete floor with the sky wheeling by outside and the handrail wheeling by the opposite direction all in utter darkness. Total vertigo! So I just dropped down on my butt where I was and waited for the dome to stop. I scooted down the stairs and back into the observing room as fast as I could with tail between my legs. I never said a word to anyone...


Edited by Dan Finnerty (05/14/13 11:59 PM)


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: Crazyhorse1876]
      #5861873 - 05/15/13 11:02 AM

Kina gives a whole new meaning to the term "Shoot the Moon"

Also, retired AF, 23 years, and thanks for your service....


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5861892 - 05/15/13 11:08 AM

"Watching my first aurora through the window of a 747SP flying over Greenland at 47000 ft."

I was 47000 feet below you, seeing it too.....Nice dark, clear, DRY skies, no air pollution. Only problem is that only occurs in Winter a few times, usually accompanied by -50* temps with hurricane force winds (called phases). It's kind of where I got the name Zilladude, as we always talked about how Godzilla came out of an Iceburg...and we used to walk out to the iceburgs and chip off chuncks for our drinking pleasure (and you ain't had NO beverage till you've had one with million year old ice....)


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Bakes
super member


Reged: 01/06/09

Loc: Stratford, CT
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5862152 - 05/15/13 01:05 PM

I watched the April 1976 occultation of Epsilon Geminorum from a hospital's rooftop greenhouse in the North End of Bridgeport, CT.

For the 1999 Leonids, I set my alarm and went to sleep on the living room couch facing the glass deck sliders. I awoke at 3AM and watched meteors in reclined comfort.

Much like Dan, I have seen my most intense auroral display from a 747 over Alaska.

I have never observed 'IN' a cemetery. But the Boothe Astro Society's observatory borders directly 'ON' an old cemetery in Stratford, CT. Does that count?


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Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: Bakes]
      #5868489 - 05/17/13 11:55 PM

At about 25,000ft flying over Afghanistan. You'd be amazed at what shows up in NVGs. I bring my iPhone so I can ID what I'm looking at.

The moon looks pretty cool in a targeting pod.

And yes, this all during drone time and not when I'm 'working' .

Chris


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FJA
Sketcher Extraordinaire
*****

Reged: 11/17/04

Loc: 50.65° N, 1.15° W
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5868829 - 05/18/13 06:10 AM

I've 'observed' from an airliner, flying to Australia. I watched as the southern constellations gradually got higher in the sky and the teapot asterism of Sagittarius' orientation changed, with far southerly constellations - and the Magellanic Clouds - coming into view.

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