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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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mak17
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 02/08/11

Loc: Central Florida
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: WStewart]
      #6079476 - 09/13/13 09:49 PM

+1 for the Chiefland Astronomy Village. Unobstructed views, bathroom, its safe, great group of regulars with big scopes, and mag 6.9 skies at last measure. Lots of parks nearby to hike and explore in the daytime. Kissimmee Prairie Preserve near Okeechobee is another good bortle 3 site with an astronomy pad with rv hookups and power. Nearby bathrooms too. Some good hiking trails during the day.

Edited by mak17 (09/13/13 09:50 PM)


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esd726
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/30/04

Loc: Rochester, IN
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: csa/montana]
      #6080472 - 09/14/13 02:00 PM

Only place I have ever observed, with anything more than naked eye, for over 30 yrs.....my backyard. Different house now, but still only in backyard

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immonacan
member


Reged: 01/12/06

Loc: New York
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites [Re: esd726]
      #6081922 - 09/15/13 11:47 AM

While my former residence in western NY, near Lake Ontario (out in the sticks) was decent... my favorites ... were in the higher hills in state lands of the NY southerntier, and even better, was remote higher elevations of the Adirondack Park. The best so far, was the area (and star party location, itself) around Cherry Hill Springs SP, in the northern PA wilds. I was pleasantly surprised, while camping once in the middle of the New Jersey Pine Barrens.. just how dark the sky was. No disturbing sky glow, from either Philly or Atlantic City. Did not take a scope with me, but sure enjoyed some good binocular astronomy.

Edited by immonacan (09/15/13 11:54 AM)


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jdown
journeyman


Reged: 09/19/07

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: immonacan]
      #6104291 - 09/27/13 01:50 PM

My astronomy spot is 7579' in the New Mexico Rockies, near the CO border (36 44 36 N; 106 30 25 W). With no lights around, it offered great views in May & June before our monsoon season. Now it is even better - the monsoon rains have cleared the sky of any dust & smoke. A few nights ago the Milky Way was stunning - bright clouds of stars stretching from horizon to horizon.
The only drawback to a place like this is that it spoils you for anything less.

Edited by jdown (09/27/13 01:52 PM)


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Starry Jan
member


Reged: 01/12/13

Loc: Pennsylvania
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #6131695 - 10/11/13 06:14 PM

Dave, since you are an East Coaster, if you were 5 hours from Cherry Springs and 8 hours from Spruce Knob, would you go to Spruce Knob for the experience, or just go back to Cherry Springs?

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

Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Starry Jan]
      #6131728 - 10/11/13 06:38 PM

Quote:

Dave, since you are an East Coaster, if you were 5 hours from Cherry Springs and 8 hours from Spruce Knob, would you go to Spruce Knob for the experience, or just go back to Cherry Springs?



If you look at the LP maps for both, they are equivalently as dark, except the Spruce Knob area also has a few pockets of Grey zone (darker) in the middle of the dark blue "pocket".
I'd be willing to bet that which one was darker would depend a lot on local conditions, such as water vapor in the air, low clouds over nearby cities, etc.
I'd be tempted to plant myself in the middle of one of the grey zone pockets at Spruce Knob. But both are really long drives for you unless you're planning to stay 2 nights.

Meanwhile, out West here in SoCal, Mt. Pinos has finally been downgraded to a dark green LP site instead of blue. That's correct, unfortunately.
So we, too, are getting to need a 3-4 hour drive to reach dark blue or grey zone sites. And our local Blue and Grey zones are threatened. They too will go into green if the construction plans in Arizona for LCD billboards along the 10 corridor comes to pass and/or if the multi-megawatt Solar generating stations go in.
I can see us needing to drive 5 to 8 hours to get to a dark site in only a couple years.


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dtripz
member
*****

Reged: 04/01/08

Loc: Brooklyn NY
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Starman1]
      #6134269 - 10/13/13 03:19 AM

Spruce knob is significantly darker then Cssp, however the weather there is very unpredictable, had three nights which were supposed to be great transparency wound up being clouded over. It's also much more remote and makes Cssp seem civilized.

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nexguy
member


Reged: 08/05/09

Loc: Wichita Falls, TX
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: dtripz]
      #6141963 - 10/16/13 10:25 PM

I drive about an hour outside of my town deep in to rural Texas. Bortle scale darkness of about 2. It's a public dirt road that leads to the opening of a ranch. Only distant house lights visible and cow moos to be heard.

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woodscavenger
sage


Reged: 08/20/13

Loc: Boise, ID
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: nexguy]
      #6143032 - 10/17/13 02:05 PM

About 25 min south of me I am on the edge of black at Swan Falls reservoir. It sits on the edge of the Snake River Canyon. Toilets, large parking area, but no power. Nearly deserted road with minimal drive by white light. Great views in all direction but especially good to the south where the milky way touches the earth. Our club meets out there 1-2 times/month.

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John Higbee
super member
*****

Reged: 07/17/12

Loc: Virginia
Virginia Northern Neck new [Re: Starman1]
      #6184200 - 11/09/13 08:32 AM Attachment (25 downloads)

Just found this thread...some great information here!

I was surprised that none of the "East Coasters" mentioned the Northern Neck of Virginia (the peninsula between the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers, and Chesapeake Bay). There is a broad swath of blue/dark green (Bortle class 3) dark sky conditions stretching from northeastern Northumberland County (Smith Point) southwestward into Lancaster County and the Rappahannock. This area is an hour from Richmond, two hours from Norfolk, and 2 1/2 hours from DC.

I've owned property in that zone for several years now, and the seeing is superb!

John


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penguinx64
professor emeritus


Reged: 11/12/13

Loc: Holland
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: csa/montana]
      #6213519 - 11/24/13 03:35 PM

You can't beat the Mojave desert, near Death Valley, California.

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seawolfe
sage


Reged: 06/26/13

Loc: N 47.11.23 W 122.20.18
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: penguinx64]
      #6214593 - 11/25/13 08:36 AM

For me it's either the backside of Mt. St. Helens near the Windy Ridge area....great spot! Or, Sunrise or Paradise parking lots at Mt. Rainier.

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Astro_yyz
newbie


Reged: 12/24/10

Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: seawolfe]
      #6230124 - 12/02/13 08:12 PM

My astronomy club's Carr Astronomical Observatory, in the Blue Mountain area, a couple of hours north of Toronto. Safe, dark, quiet, all the mod cons for observing even a place to crash after being up all night.

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Starry Jan
member


Reged: 01/12/13

Loc: Pennsylvania
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: jpcannavo]
      #6349090 - 02/01/14 12:37 PM

Hi, I took a look at Stone Tavern because I live in the Northeast, but I could not quite tell from the website where the astronomy observing would take place. The website says that camping is just for wedding guests. Where did you go to observe?

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Starry Jan
member


Reged: 01/12/13

Loc: Pennsylvania
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: StarGeazer]
      #6349109 - 02/01/14 12:44 PM

Hi, wondering whether the trip to Spruce Mountain is worth it. My usual dark sky spot is Cherry Springs, 5 hours from my house. Spruce Mountain would be about 9 hours drive. I have heard the site is prone to sudden weather changes and that it's dangerous to drive down in the dark so you need to be prepared to camp until daylight regardless of weather. Is that accurate?

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Philler
sage


Reged: 07/15/13

Loc: Kansas, USA
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Starry Jan]
      #6349911 - 02/01/14 08:00 PM

Hi, I love to observe at our club's DSS some 75 miles south of Kansas City. I think would be considered blue to dark blue.
I have observed from the Montana side of Yellowstone National Park in summer of 2003 at the little hamlet of Silver Gate, Mont., pretty dark skies.
Most of the area around the national parks connected by Hwy 89 in southern Utah have very dark skies.

I went to the Texas Star Party feud in 1997, the year it was disconnected from Ft. Davis, and moved to Leakey, Tx. Still, the skies were dark, except you could notice some glow coming from, I presume, San Antonio. Definitely, inferior to Ft. Davis.

Edited by Philler (02/01/14 08:03 PM)


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patg43
member
*****

Reged: 12/20/13

Loc: Union, Washington
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: seawolfe]
      #6351198 - 02/02/14 01:08 PM

Quote:

For me it's either the backside of Mt. St. Helens near the Windy Ridge area....great spot! Or, Sunrise or Paradise parking lots at Mt. Rainier.




We went to St Helens Last night, what a view. I have never seen Jupiter like that, not even in photos. The spot showed up and was super peachey in color. What a trip. Temp was a cool 27 F. No wind, and the moon was only out for an hour. The humidity was reported at 91% but it took over 2 1\2 hours for our unaided corrector plate to fog up. We stopped at a viewpoint, 3rd one from the 504-505 interchange. There is a place near here to stay called ECOPark, but we were unsuccessful in raising them with either phone or email. When we drove by the place, someone was there working, but the gate was locked. We gave them the salute(You're # 1!), and carried on up to the top. I am glad we did. The dead volcano in the background's sno-cap was illuminated by the moonlight...It was beautiful


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seawolfe
sage


Reged: 06/26/13

Loc: N 47.11.23 W 122.20.18
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: patg43]
      #6351918 - 02/02/14 07:18 PM

Quote:

Quote:

For me it's either the backside of Mt. St. Helens near the Windy Ridge area....great spot! Or, Sunrise or Paradise parking lots at Mt. Rainier.




We went to St Helens Last night, what a view. I have never seen Jupiter like that, not even in photos. The spot showed up and was super peachey in color. What a trip. Temp was a cool 27 F. No wind, and the moon was only out for an hour. The humidity was reported at 91% but it took over 2 1\2 hours for our unaided corrector plate to fog up. We stopped at a viewpoint, 3rd one from the 504-505 interchange. There is a place near here to stay called ECOPark, but we were unsuccessful in raising them with either phone or email. When we drove by the place, someone was there working, but the gate was locked. We gave them the salute(You're # 1!), and carried on up to the top. I am glad we did. The dead volcano in the background's sno-cap was illuminated by the moonlight...It was beautiful




Ah, so you went in the main road from I-5 to Coldwater Creek science center or to the Johnston Ridge viewing area. Both are great places!


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patg43
member
*****

Reged: 12/20/13

Loc: Union, Washington
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: seawolfe]
      #6352343 - 02/03/14 12:15 AM

I still cannot get Jupiter and his moons out of my head. First night with a binoviewer...

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seawolfe
sage


Reged: 06/26/13

Loc: N 47.11.23 W 122.20.18
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: patg43]
      #6352560 - 02/03/14 05:05 AM

Quote:

The dead volcano in the background's sno-cap was illuminated by the moonlight...It was beautiful




Correction please.... Mt. St. Helens is NOT Dead! Far from it. It is dormant, just like most of the other Cascade volcanos in Washington. I was about to include Oregon's volcanos in this, but there are a few in Oregon that I would consider "dead".


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