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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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sg6
professor emeritus


Reged: 02/14/10

Loc: Norfolk, UK.
Re: Do night-time critters like to look at DSOs? [Re: spencerj]
      #5927960 - 06/18/13 05:19 PM

If a black bear taps you on the shoulder and asks to have a look then let him.

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JayinUT
I'm not Sleepy
*****

Reged: 09/19/08

Loc: Utah
Re: Do night-time critters like to look at DSOs? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5928085 - 06/18/13 06:56 PM

We have a club member (in SLAS) who last July/August got visited by a bear while he was out observing in the mountains southeast of the Spanish Fork area. (southeast of Fairview at a place called Potters Pond, here is a map next to 19 and 20 at the bottom) He did have a package of graham crackers and a bottle of canola oil out and the bear loved him. His trailer got some damage but not his equipment. The bear eventually left. Here are pictures from his gallery at the SLAS Gallery if your interested in looking at them.

Now, I don't fear bears but I usually do take food when I camp over for a day or two and it is a good reminder that if in bear country, take the necessary precautions so you don't attract them.

To the OP, I only get "worried" when I allow my mind to freak myself out. Noises in trees are owls, one of our spots we have nicknamed Owl Roost for just such a reason. Coyotes don't bother me, I like their howls. Noises in the grass are usually night time birds that will begin to chirp after making the noise. If I am by myself I always take my iPod Classic and my iHome speaker and listen to music or an astronomy podcast if I get worried. I am more aware I fear and watch for headlights in the distance that might be coming my way at 1:00a.m. That gets my attention more than animals. I have yet to be bothered by animals.

Out of all of these the coyotes as mention would look up I guess at the sky and the Great Horn Owls with their eyes. I did have three of them fly around me and my friend Alan as we were observing last year at the place we call Owls Roost and that was rather cool. I guess they were looking at DSO's, Dorky Sky Observers.

Edited by JayinUT (06/18/13 06:58 PM)


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davebuechler
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 08/21/11

Loc: Red River Gorge Kentucky
Re: Do night-time critters like to look at DSOs? new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5928150 - 06/18/13 07:35 PM

Quote:

My vote would be for owls. Tawny owls have a 13mm pupil, and the image on their retina is twice as bright as ours, so they could see DSOs


.

I would love to have owl vision (during observing sessions), aside from the large pupil size, they are truly color blind having only have rods in their eyes making their dim light acuity infinitely sharper than ours.


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bherv
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/10/06

Loc: WMass
Re: Do night-time critters like to look at DSOs? new [Re: FoggyEyes]
      #5928212 - 06/18/13 08:22 PM Attachment (11 downloads)

I observe in the sparsely populated Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts. Many nights I am all alone with my scope, but only 20 feet from my camper in case I feel the need to run inside. There are various animals in the area. I have seen and heard deer in the woods, heard what I believe was a moose vocalizing, coyotes along with other small creatures. I have seen fresh bear tracks in the snow but generally I feel safe. There have been an occasional mountain lion sighting in the area (despite the state's claims that there are none in the state) which is the only animal that would be of a concern to me. Most bear in the area are looking for food so they usually migrate to areas closer to where people are, raiding bird feeders, dumpsters and other easily accessible food sources.
Barry


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bunyon
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/23/10

Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Re: Do night-time critters like to look at DSOs? new [Re: davebuechler]
      #5928226 - 06/18/13 08:34 PM

Noises in the brush are probably mice or rabbits. It doesn't take much to freak out a lone observer who is focused on stars and tired.

Skunks do worry me. It won't kill me but think about how terrible it would be to get sprayed. Or, worse, to have your scope get sprayed.

I've been visited by deer on a number of occasions. They're good observing buddies.


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JonNPR
sage
*****

Reged: 03/04/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: Do night-time critters like to look at DSOs? new [Re: bunyon]
      #5928353 - 06/18/13 10:18 PM

I've been hiking my Celestron 8SE and accessories (chair, rollup table, battery, EP case, etc) about 300 feet up a hiking trail on the side of a ridge a couple miles outside of Eugene. I found a flattened area where those big cross-county power line towers are sited, up away from the highway and car lights, shielded from the direct city lights by the hillside's northern slope. No street lights, out in the county, good south and west horizon. Takes just three trips up and down. But..

At the trailhead is a big permanent sign warning about bear and cougar in the area. My wife and I hike up and down the small mount most days, and we've never seen anything but birds and a little snake. The other day we saw a new temp warning poster nailed up, "Cougar sighted" and the date.

I am NOT happy about this development! It's become my regular site when not heading out for the hour drive to the club dark sky site. Just a five minute drive from the house! Sure, the hiking up the hillside is kind of a pain, but big deal so what. Now my wife is worried about the cougar. And I just got a new eyepiece itching for first light.

Jon


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Seldom
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/05/12

Loc: N of Cedar City Light Dome
Re: Do night-time critters like to look at DSOs? new [Re: davebuechler]
      #5928394 - 06/18/13 10:57 PM

Quote:


I would love to have owl vision (during observing sessions), aside from the large pupil size, they are truly color blind having only have rods in their eyes making their dim light acuity infinitely sharper than ours.




But then Albireo would just be a double, and R Leporis would just be a bore.


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Stargaz18
sage
*****

Reged: 01/04/11

Loc: Wichita Falls, TX
Re: Do night-time critters like to look at DSOs? new [Re: Seldom]
      #5928439 - 06/18/13 11:34 PM

Jon, will 2 new EP's make you walk up that trail???? While hiking with our daughter and grand kids in WA state we passed a guy carrying a shotgun. Asked why and my daughter said cougars. That's great! I had the 2 yr old in one of those backpack seats on my back! At least here we just worry about skunks and rattlesnakes.

Edited by Stargaz18 (06/18/13 11:36 PM)


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Usquebae
super member
*****

Reged: 06/11/13

Loc: 43 N, 73 W
Re: Do night-time critters like to look at DSOs? new [Re: Stargaz18]
      #5928567 - 06/19/13 01:07 AM

I see a few favorable comments on deer here. They carry what I am most fearful of: ticks. A cousin of mine got Lyme disease. I think I might prefer being eaten by a bear.

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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Do night-time critters like to look at DSOs? new [Re: Usquebae]
      #5928846 - 06/19/13 09:32 AM

Quote:

I see a few favorable comments on deer here. They carry what I am most fearful of: ticks. A cousin of mine got Lyme disease. I think I might prefer being eaten by a bear.




You will pick up ticks walking thru grass or brush; same place the deer pick them up. The deer don't bring ticks in; they pick them up same as us. I'm in tick country, and always check myself and my dog carefully after walks, etc.


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Starman81
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/06/08

Loc: Metro Detroit, MI, USA
Re: Do night-time critters like to look at DSOs? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5928929 - 06/19/13 10:19 AM

Quote:

...moral of the story: Always go viewing with someone slower then you......




That's essentially what Shane did with Otis a season or two ago!

(TWD fans know what this is referring to)


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Ravenous
sage


Reged: 11/14/09

Loc: UK
Re: Do night-time critters like to look at DSOs? new [Re: Seldom]
      #5929026 - 06/19/13 11:16 AM

Quote:

To get back to the thread topic. Any ideas which of the creatures discussed might be able to SEE DSOs?



A bit more about the dung beetle thing, as Jay Bird has already been mentioned. Apparently they look at the band of the milky way (specifically that - not stars) and use this to make sure they walk in a straight line. Maybe this reduces the risk of them being robbed:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21150721

Fascinating!


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E_Look
Post Laureate


Reged: 03/06/08

Loc: near New York
Re: Do night-time critters like to look at DSOs? new [Re: Ravenous]
      #5929037 - 06/19/13 11:22 AM

I think this should be moved to Planetary and Solar System Viewing because wolves and dogs like to bay at the moon.

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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Do night-time critters like to look at DSOs? new [Re: E_Look]
      #5929149 - 06/19/13 12:39 PM

I do...do I qualify as a night critter? I find I prefer looking at DSOs at night....

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ElkoAstro
member
*****

Reged: 11/17/11

Loc: Spring Creek, Nevada
Re: Do night-time critters like to look at DSOs? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5929805 - 06/19/13 06:07 PM Attachment (5 downloads)

I'm not sure Percival likes DSOs but he enjoys the evening views of Venus.
Gerry Pennington
Spring Creek, Nevada


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JonNPR
sage
*****

Reged: 03/04/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: Do night-time critters like to look at DSOs? new [Re: ElkoAstro]
      #5929953 - 06/19/13 07:54 PM

Patrick, good question. I have put off really thinking really seriously about it. I HATE to give up my newfound solution to the lack of any half decent observing from our yard. 2 miles away has been so conducive to not succumbing to putting off heading out. But I know cougars really can't be taken lightly. And I think they may hunt at night, not just day time.

I'll probably go ahead and risk it next month for the new moon sequence, so long as no new postings go up for more recent sightings.

Jon


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Tora
super member


Reged: 10/09/09

Loc: Illinois
Re: Do night-time critters like to look at DSOs? new [Re: ElkoAstro]
      #5930051 - 06/19/13 09:02 PM



It appears he DOES look at DSO's!


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FoggyEyes
sage


Reged: 06/01/13

Loc: Columbus, Ohio
Re: Do night-time critters like to look at DSOs? new [Re: Tora]
      #5930077 - 06/19/13 09:18 PM

Quote:



It appears he DOES look at DSO's!




But only through a cat.


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ElkoAstro
member
*****

Reged: 11/17/11

Loc: Spring Creek, Nevada
Re: Do night-time critters like to look at DSOs? new [Re: Tora]
      #5930079 - 06/19/13 09:18 PM

I think he's viewing the Cat's Paw Nebula.
Nice composite, Tora.
Gerry


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GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Do night-time critters like to look at DSOs? new [Re: FoggyEyes]
      #5930202 - 06/19/13 10:19 PM

We do need to be prepared for critters of all types. I recommend reading up on the various wild life that live in the area in which you observe. You can then read up on how to best defend yourself against them. We had mountain lions, bob cats, numerous snakes, and other guys wandering around the mountains and plateaus around Ely, Nevada where I grew up. We learned about these animals--and gave them a lot of respect.

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