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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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Christopher EricksonModerator
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/08/06

Loc: Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: Mike Clemens]
      #5842174 - 05/05/13 06:13 PM

Quote:

Thus concludes the worst year I remember for deep sky pics in Alaska in the last 10? I think I had 5 sessions this year. Looking forward to September.... I mean, except for everything else but astrophotography. I worked hard to set myself up for daytime photography this last four months, sort of throwing in the towel.




You should take your 200mm TEC APO and AP1200GTO and ship them to me! We'll set them up in a small robotic observatory here on my property in Hawaii and you can run them remotely...


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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: CMacD]
      #5843197 - 05/06/13 10:09 AM

April 2013. I must have had my laptop unplugged more than I realized this past month. Only 16 images were used to create this collection for the month (oops). They are spread out over the course of the month so that is one consolation. Southern Arizona and southern Florida are the winners again. I have never been to Texas but looking over the images for the past 6 months I would have expected clearer skies for the number of professional observatories located in that state. Then again they are located in the western edge of the state so I guess that goes to show as the realtors say "Location, Location, Location!".



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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: CMacD]
      #5903393 - 06/05/13 08:28 AM

May 2013. This past month has been another for Arizona and Florida. Apart from Northern Alberta and Saskatchewan most of North America had mostly equal seeing and cloud cover. Well, the west was better than the east.



Winter/Spring 2012-2013.

I don't know about the rest of you but up here in Ontario, Canada we have had a pretty cool spring. Almost out of the norm - at least for the past few years anyway. The following image is a compilation of 144 images from late November 2012 until this morning. Clearly the winners over this past winter and spring have been southern Arizona and the Florida Keys. Given the fact that the Keys are prone to severe weather on a yearly basis around hurricane season I would say that I am leaning towards southern Arizona around the area of Prescott to be the best place for observing in all of North America so far. Does that sound about right? I would say to the west of Tucson but I have read that this area can be kind of rough and dangerous with people needing to bring guns and leave an observing schedule with the local sheriff etc. On a final note an interesting place nearing the mid latitude of the states is Greybull Wyoming. I wasn't expecting to see a single patch of clear good seeing up there. I guess topography has a lot to do with it.


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: CMacD]
      #5903506 - 06/05/13 09:55 AM

It looks like the best places would be either Willcox, AZ, or up near Safford, AZ would be the best place. This wouldn't be a coincidence- the Large Binocular Telescope was put on top of Mount Graham because of the superior seeing and weather in. That area.

There is a ham radio station on top of Heliograph peak, just down the way. It would be worth a try to see if they would be willing to let a little robotic observatory join their antennas on a 10,000 peak.

-Rich


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vsteblina
sage


Reged: 11/05/07

Loc: Wenatchee, Washington
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: CMacD]
      #5903522 - 06/05/13 10:01 AM

Quote:

.......I would say to the west of Tucson but I have read that this area can be kind of rough and dangerous with people needing to bring guns and leave an observing schedule with the local sheriff etc.




That was only because we spent the winter in the area. AND I do mean winter...on Jan 15th the low for the morning was 12!

There are plenty of developed campgrounds and other spots for observing.

Not sure I would feel comfortable with just camping outside of developed facilities with all the aliens streaming north through the area.

There are also the internal Border Patrol checkpoints scattered about the area. I don't know how well-lit they are at night....but the internal checkpoint outside of Tombstone looks like it has a great observing spot just east of it!!

We have spent two winters in the area. Next year, we will probably be looking for a warmer area closer to the Colorado River area.

The only downside from an observing point of view is the area sometimes gets dust particles in the air. There is a big dry lake bed in the middle of the area and I think the dust comes from that lake bed.

BTW.....we stayed in Benson.

Edited by vsteblina (06/05/13 10:06 AM)


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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5903531 - 06/05/13 10:07 AM

Quote:

There is a ham radio station on top of Heliograph peak, just down the way. It would be worth a try to see if they would be willing to let a little robotic observatory join their antennas on a 10,000 peak.
-Rich




That's a cool idea Rich. I should look into that - thanks.


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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: CMacD]
      #5952979 - 07/03/13 11:56 AM

June 2013. This past month has not been very good. I would have thought that June and July would have been the really nice clear months but it is not shaping up that way. Southern Florida is still a good place to be as well as Arizona and maybe the extreme South West of California although the light pollution there is killer?



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LakeFX
sage


Reged: 01/02/07

Loc: West Michigan
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: CMacD]
      #5998666 - 07/30/13 03:35 PM Attachment (7 downloads)

http://neo.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/Search.html?datasetId=MODAL2_M_CLD_FR

Monthly averages...

Works with Google Earth.

Edited by LakeFX (07/30/13 03:36 PM)


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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Clear nights per year [Re: LakeFX]
      #5999642 - 07/31/13 07:59 AM

Quote:

http://neo.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/Search.html?datasetId=MODAL2_M_CLD_FR

Monthly averages...

Works with Google Earth.




Very interesting Michael. I haven't seen that site before. Some of the more useful visual images are just one day sadly - but overall quite informative. Thanks.


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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: CMacD]
      #6011549 - 08/07/13 01:49 PM

July 2013. This past month has been almost a repeat of June. Not very good. Florida saw a bit more cloud this month as did southern Arizona. The central states saw a little less dense cloud cover but nothing to write home about. I would have to say that there is no clear winner this month. The south west is just marginally better than the rest of the continent this time around.



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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: CMacD]
      #6064180 - 09/05/13 10:56 AM

August 2013. Nothing special this month either. For the first time Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi made the running - although there seems to be quite a bit of light pollution that way. The Florida Keys always seem to be in the running and usually have good seeing and transparency. This month was another strong showing for them. New Mexico and Arizona had nothing out of the ordinary for a third straight month.


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vsteblina
sage


Reged: 11/05/07

Loc: Wenatchee, Washington
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: CMacD]
      #6064611 - 09/05/13 02:52 PM

Quote:

Quote:


The best source in my opinion is the clear sky charts sponsored sites. They have the forecasts for night by month.





Hi Vladimir, I like the clear sky charts also. They are a great resource and tend to be fairly accurate too. I am unaware of how they are organized by month though?




Sorry, I missed this message of yours. The sponsored clocks under FORECAST HISTORY have a summary of all the elements shown in the clocks, by month. So you can get cloud cover in 10% increments for each month.

Really a great service and an excellent reason to sponsor a clock.

I just wish he would send out BILLS for sponsorship....I keep forgeting to pay mine ahead of time!!


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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: vsteblina]
      #6064617 - 09/05/13 02:57 PM

Quote:

The sponsored clocks under FORECAST HISTORY have a summary of all the elements shown in the clocks, by month. So you can get cloud cover in 10% increments for each month.

Really a great service and an excellent reason to sponsor a clock.





Does this service only exist for sponsors then? I searched the page for the word "history" but didn't find any.


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