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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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careysub
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/18/11

Loc: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: Starman1]
      #5969151 - 07/13/13 03:07 PM

Quote:

In SoCal, low enough to suffice for observing sites, and all relatively dark:
--Amboy Crater
--Afton Campground
--Cottonwood Springs Campground--Joshua Tree
--Desert Center (go north on the 177)
--Chuchupate Ranger Station parking lot--Lockwood Valley (near Mt. Pinos)
--Little Blair Valley
--Tierra del Sol
--Carrizo Plain National Monument

Also good, but above 5000':
--Mt. Pinos
--Mt. Laguna
--Figueroa Peak

All the above have Clear Sky Charts with road maps and lots of links.




I also suggest exploring setting up in the Chambless area, 10-20 miles farther east along the old Route 66 from Amboy, perhaps off of Cadiz Road.

I scouted this area in the daytime, but haven't used it for astronomy yet.

According to the satellite light atlas map we see everywhere, this is deeper into the center of the grey zone.

And of course, if you really want to see the dark, dark summer sky there are the 4000 plus foot elevation regions in the northern Death Valley.

We should be posting GPS coordinates.


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: Starman1]
      #5969472 - 07/13/13 07:09 PM

Alternately we lazy NorCal'ers could, instead, head down to the Anza Borrego event.

I had no idea that it drew that level of attendance. And the park has great daytime stuff to offer, too. Though if memory seves (and it's been awhile), Anza Borrego is dark, but not super dark. Still, how can you resist a place that has an annual "Pegleg Smith" Tall Tales contest?

- Jim


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Gastrol
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/04/11

Loc: los angeles
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5970357 - 07/14/13 12:57 PM

A week after the big new moon weekend at Mt Pinos I didn't expect many to show up last night (7/13). It was so quiet and peaceful, only about a half-dozen scopes were set up...



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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: Gastrol]
      #5970399 - 07/14/13 01:37 PM

501s or 505s?

- Jim


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Gastrol
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/04/11

Loc: los angeles
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5970404 - 07/14/13 01:40 PM

LOL.....they're not even Levi's. They're some off-brand jeans my wife bought from a street vendor....cheap.

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WesC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: Gastrol]
      #5972834 - 07/15/13 06:16 PM

How late into the Fall does people go up to Mt. Pinos?

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

Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: WesC]
      #5972918 - 07/15/13 06:55 PM

I go there if it's clear, and if there isn't a foot of snow on the road, all year long. When it's really cold, there are still usually a few stalwarts who dress warmly enough to handle it.
One March, at 9F, with not a breath of wind stirring, the entirely of SoCal was under 6000' of clouds with pretty much only that peak above the clouds, and the seeing was nearly perfect and the transparency was like Mauna Kea in Hawaii. I saw magnitude 21.89 on the Sky Quality Meter, which is unheard of anywhere in SoCal.
The bigger crowds thin out in October unless there is a heatwave.
New Moon weekend this month, the low was 50F, so nice and comfortable. I've seen 30s in the Summer up there.
It doesn't usually go below 40F until October, and not below 30F until late December or January. Temperatures below 20F are not common unless a cold front has passed through. The coldest I've ever seen up there on a dry-pavement night was -2F. And there was absolutely no wind that night.
You have to dress warm, but if you have something hot to drink (like coffee in a thermos) and nice warm ski wear/boots/parkas, you'll be fine.

When it's windy and cold, though, I prefer Joshua Tree or Desert Center, where it's commonly 30+ degrees warmer. I did see 14F one January night at Joshua Tree, but it was nice because of absolutely still air.


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WesC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California [Re: Starman1]
      #5972957 - 07/15/13 07:16 PM

You make it sound really nice, Don. I still have a few things I need to get together before I can make the rub up there, but I am definitely going to do it soon.

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