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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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Tom and Beth
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Tucson, AZ
What weird places have you observed from?
      #5846452 - 05/07/13 07:38 PM

When I started in this hobby as a kid, I used to take my Kmart 60MM into a Cemetery.

Edited by Tom and Beth (05/07/13 07:43 PM)


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mich_al
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: Tom and Beth]
      #5846483 - 05/07/13 07:57 PM

When I was a kid I wasn't brave enough to be in a Cemetery at night. Probably still am not.

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Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: Tom and Beth]
      #5846556 - 05/07/13 08:34 PM

The first one that comes to mind is Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve in India. We were in bungalows with lights, and it was a little unnerving seeing all the eyes staring back at me from the edge of the forest. Probably just jackals, but you never know. For once in my life, I was not tempted to walk away from the lights.

The observation deck of the Empire State Building was fun.


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Tom and Beth
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: mich_al]
      #5846758 - 05/07/13 10:19 PM

Shucks, one place I rarely had to worry about somebody sneaking up on me.

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Tom and Beth
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5846760 - 05/07/13 10:20 PM

I could imagine what it must have been like to see eyes staring back at you. You COULD have been dinner for them!

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azure1961p
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/17/09

Loc: USA
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: Tom and Beth]
      #5846780 - 05/07/13 10:30 PM

Cemetery to see shoemaker levy impacts.

Pete


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bunyon
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/23/10

Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5846795 - 05/07/13 10:35 PM

Near a nuclear reactor tower. Downtown Baltimore. Parking area of a tiki bar. Next to the dumpsters at a Brazilian hotel. Cemetery (two to my credit, they're actually good places usually).

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roscoe
curmudgeon
*****

Reged: 02/04/09

Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: bunyon]
      #5847070 - 05/08/13 02:48 AM

A 15 acre coral lump called Aiku Island in a remote area of the Pacific called Johnston Atoll, which was a 4-island Air Force and Coast Guard base (26 CG on Aiku) populated only by male military personnel.....where I was stationed for 14 months. Weird is an understatement.....
Russ


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bherv
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/10/06

Loc: WMass
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: roscoe]
      #5847194 - 05/08/13 06:20 AM

I observed a lunar eclipse from my local cemetery. I carried my 60mm scope almost a mile through the woods to get there. I observed the May 1994 annular eclipse from a roadside pull off in Vermont.
Barry


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cuivienor
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/07/10

Loc: Tokyo, Japan
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: bherv]
      #5847205 - 05/08/13 06:53 AM

The outside emergency stairs at my company, in winter when the sun sets early, a few minutes at a time. Some have cigarette breaks. I have telescope breaks.

No wonder people think I am crazy! Especially since basically no one has used them since the earthquake in March 2011...

Yannick


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Feidb
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/09/09

Loc: Nevada
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: cuivienor]
      #5847408 - 05/08/13 09:43 AM

Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge near Lawton, Oklahoma. We had buffalo wandering through the telescope field. You don't want to mess with them, trust me!

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tigerroach
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/13/08

Loc: Houston, TX USA
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: Feidb]
      #5847488 - 05/08/13 10:28 AM

We saw the solar eclipse last November from a cow pasture in Queensland, Australia. The cows were all penned up somewhere else, but there were plenty of land mines.

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Kevdog
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 07/11/12

Loc: Desert Hills, AZ
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: tigerroach]
      #5847802 - 05/08/13 01:47 PM

The edge of the Grand Canyon for the Solar Eclipse last May. You made sure to not move while looking through the welder's glass!

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orion61

*****

Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: Kevdog]
      #5847863 - 05/08/13 02:12 PM

we were 10,000 ft up in the Rocky Mountains. It was great untill a Summer Lightening Storm blew in, I mean FAST!
Lightning was all around, we were hugging the ground,
When I say ALL AROUND I mean it! At that altitude we were IN the Clouds. My Hair was standing up all over me.
It Scared the S***T out of us.
But I had never seen such transparent Air and good seeing
before or since!
I'd never torn a C14 down as fast as that day either!
12 Minutes, still a record.


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: mich_al]
      #5847865 - 05/08/13 02:14 PM

Quote:

When I was a kid I wasn't brave enough to be in a Cemetery at night. Probably still am not.





"Want Brains!"


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: roscoe]
      #5847871 - 05/08/13 02:16 PM

Quote:

A 15 acre coral lump called Aiku Island in a remote area of the Pacific called Johnston Atoll, which was a 4-island Air Force and Coast Guard base (26 CG on Aiku) populated only by male military personnel.....where I was stationed for 14 months. Weird is an understatement.....
Russ




Knew a guy who was stationed there while in the Air Force...Weird doesn't even begin to describe him....


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SteveSMS
super member


Reged: 03/29/08

Loc: Jersey Shore USA
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5847883 - 05/08/13 02:21 PM

The Missus and I watched a Venus transit from the Seaside Heights, NJ boardwalk.

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jchaller
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 05/29/08

Loc: Tenino, WA.
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: tigerroach]
      #5847897 - 05/08/13 02:26 PM

I viewed from the top of a old army observation tower - not from the deck, but from the roof of the shack at the top. About 110 feet above the ground and no handrail. Sometimes, teenage boys do stupid things.

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GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: Tom and Beth]
      #5848508 - 05/08/13 07:19 PM

Ely, Nevada; Las Vegas, Nevada; Death Valley.

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jeff heck
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 01/16/06

Loc: stl,mo.
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: GeneT]
      #5848544 - 05/08/13 07:37 PM Attachment (21 downloads)

My current favorite observing site in central Kansas.

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City Kid
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/06/09

Loc: Northern Indiana
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: jeff heck]
      #5848551 - 05/08/13 07:39 PM

Quote:

My current favorite observing site in central Kansas.


That looks like a cool place as long as the only faint fuzzies you see are in the eyepiece.

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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: Tom and Beth]
      #5848967 - 05/08/13 10:44 PM

Shortly after Barbara bought my first scope (60mm Meade refractor), there was a lunar eclipse. There were so many trees around our home that we popped the scope into the ole' PT Cruiser and went to a very light polluted realtor's parking lot to watch. We had two different patrol cars stop to see what we were up to. A little strange, but sure doesn't beat the cemetery! I wonder if Barnubus Collins came to the outreach?

David


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Oscar56
sage


Reged: 01/25/13

Loc: Summerland, BC
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: jeff heck]
      #5848987 - 05/08/13 10:51 PM

Quote:

My current favorite observing site in central Kansas.




I have just started to work on my family genealogy. This would be a very fun project to photograph a scope on the vicinity of their burial plot.


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Adam Taylor
insignificant bystander
*****

Reged: 11/11/10

Loc: Arizona
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: Tom and Beth]
      #5849094 - 05/08/13 11:36 PM

Enjoyed the 1999 total solar eclipse from a topless beach in Eastern Europe. Just three months later, watched the Leonids Meteor Storm while lying in the bottom of a bomb crater in the Kuwaiti desert. Life is good!

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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: Adam Taylor]
      #5849155 - 05/09/13 12:33 AM Attachment (12 downloads)

Great thread, interesting and definitely exotic places...

For me, nothing too special. I think it was last year I setup a couple of scopes on La Jolla Hyatt Regency's swimming pool deck for some public out reach, I got to that meet astronaut Scott Altman.. it was pretty fancy and there were lots of people to look through the scopes.

About the only other unusual place was Mulholland Drive over looking the San Fernando Valley.. My wife had been hired to perform her Japanese Bamboo Flute music at the home of film producer Joel Silver and I had driven up with her from San Diego. I took along a 70mm or 80mm refractor and I had about 3 hours to kill so I found a spot up on the hill and setup. As I recall, there was so much light pollution that I basically couldn't see anything..

Jon

Edited by Jon Isaacs (05/09/13 12:54 AM)


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festa_freak
member


Reged: 12/22/11

Loc: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: Tom and Beth]
      #5849420 - 05/09/13 08:09 AM

Spillway of a Hydro generating station. A spillway regulates the flow of water down the river.

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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: festa_freak]
      #5849526 - 05/09/13 09:06 AM

My backyard, hey, it's a weird place.....

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David Castillo
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/09/06

Loc: Carmel Valley, Ca
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5850080 - 05/09/13 01:53 PM

I once observed a total eclipse of the Moon from a boat launch ramp at Inverness, California. The site was lit up like a theater marquee-not good for general observation- but the view of Luna was spectacular!
-----
Dave


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Tom Polakis
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/20/04

Loc: Tempe, Arizona
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: David Castillo]
      #5850345 - 05/09/13 03:56 PM

On the Piestewa Freeway (Route 51) in the Dreamy Draw between Northern and Shea Rd. No, really, on the freeway. OK, it was still being built at the time, and the freeway ended at Northern. This was a local high spot to look for a young crescent moon.

Observed Comet Hyakutake with binoculars from the flight deck of a 747 headed from Sydney to LAX. This was back when you could easily talk your way into the flight deck.

Chase Field, during a Diamondbacks game. The game was getting dull, and we went to the top of the stands to look through the only windows in the place to see a planetary conjunction on the western horizon.

Began my observing career in 1978 viewing from the Muskegon County Wastewater Treatment Plant. That smell always brings back good memories. Today, there are several observatories of the Muskegon Astronomical Society built on their property.


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Todd Gross
newbie
*****

Reged: 05/01/13

Loc: Massachusetts
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: jeff heck]
      #5850359 - 05/09/13 04:05 PM

ok, I literally, with no exaggeration almost hit 23 deer individually, driving into the Uinta mountains in Utah to get to my favorite spot just short of 11,000 feet right off the main road (no kidding!)

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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: Todd Gross]
      #5850366 - 05/09/13 04:08 PM

A mosquito infested swamp......didn't view long, packed up and got outta there.....

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Qwickdraw
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5850779 - 05/09/13 07:42 PM

From my kitchen table.

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FirstSight
Duke of Deneb
*****

Reged: 12/26/05

Loc: Raleigh, NC
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5850797 - 05/09/13 07:49 PM

Quote:

A mosquito infested swamp......didn't view long, packed up and got outta there.....




A beach near the south end of Eleuthera Island, Bahamas with some spectacularly dark skies accompanied by some spectacularly aggressive mosquitos. Eleuthera Island is one of the "out" islands that's still very much the laid-back less-developed "old" Bahamas. The Milky Way was vividly braided with strands of bright star clouds and dark nebula, and the sky was so dense with stars that it took quite a bit of effort to articulately pick out even some usually obvious constellations. The only astro equipment I had beyond naked-eye was a pair of 10x50 binoculars. Trouble was, it was hard to stay out to look very long before the skeeters became unbearable and forced a retreat back to the small resort a half mile away.


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: FirstSight]
      #5850928 - 05/09/13 09:03 PM

Not actually weird, but unique, I spent a year at Thule, Greenland...NO LIGHT POLLUTION (except in the summer, it never got dark). Thule is about 300 miles from the North Pole...yes it got a bit chilly at times. Only had military binocs available at the time.

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JKoelman
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/16/11

Loc: Bangalore, India
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5851839 - 05/10/13 11:33 AM

A dark spot in Texas, on top of a fire ants colony...

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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: JKoelman]
      #5851859 - 05/10/13 11:43 AM


"Them"!

When in Texas, Please don't feed the fire ants!

Edited by csrlice12 (05/10/13 11:44 AM)


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Matt2893
member


Reged: 09/18/12

Loc: ChicagoLand
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5852132 - 05/10/13 02:27 PM

If everything is lined up just right, I can view the Moon with binoculars through the skylight from the comfort of the couch in my family room. (downside is it shows that I need to get up there and clean it more often!)

Also, I was impatient to see it, so I started watching the transit of Venus last year from the passenger seat of our minivan (my wife was at the wheel) on the way home from our son's doctor appointment, by projecting onto a piece of paper while holding my binoculars.


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Tom and Beth
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: Matt2893]
      #5852217 - 05/10/13 03:31 PM

Quote:

If everything is lined up just right, I can view the Moon with binoculars through the skylight from the comfort of the couch in my family room. (downside is it shows that I need to get up there and clean it more often!)

Also, I was impatient to see it, so I started watching the transit of Venus last year from the passenger seat of our minivan (my wife was at the wheel) on the way home from our son's doctor appointment, by projecting onto a piece of paper while holding my binoculars.




No doubt that would have made for an interesting Medical Report if it had started a fire

I see a Cemetery is a fairly popular spot to observe from.


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REC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: NC
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: Tom and Beth]
      #5852276 - 05/10/13 04:18 PM

Well that is an interesting question?

Once saw some meteors through the house skylight.

An Annular Solar Eclipse through the moon-roof of my car as there was too many bugs that came out as the sky was getting darker.

Looking at M13 from inside my Kitchen with the patio door open as it was rising.

Observing Solar Ha from inside my house window cause it's too hot in the Sun!

Watched a very big Leonoid shower at 5 am through my car window open as it was freezing out and had the heat on.

Where there is a will there is a way:)


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amillego
super member
*****

Reged: 12/14/10

Loc: Southeast MI USA
Re: What weird places have you observed from? new [Re: REC]
      #5852357 - 05/10/13 05:20 PM

I saw Saturn, for the first time, from Hainan Island in China. Memorable in many ways!

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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
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
Post Laureate
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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
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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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