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#501 dmclouse


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Posted 08 December 2023 - 06:26 PM


#502 Gmb1830


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Posted 13 December 2023 - 03:01 PM

Anyone familiar with Green Ridge State Forest in western MD?  It’s about two hours away on I-70 and Bortle 3. Primitive camping only (no power or water), so staying off-site might be the plan for a weekend away. Main question is whether there are specific locations in the park, like an overlook or field near the road with a good horizon?  

I’m familiar with Sky Meadows, VA, which isn’t as close and a tougher drive.  From the MD side of DC. 

#503 UnityLover



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Posted 14 December 2023 - 07:48 PM

For long islanders, Robert Moses beach is great! I can count over 100 stars!


Ive never tried montauk (too cold right now), so ill go in the spring.

#504 Contemporary


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Posted 01 January 2024 - 08:21 PM

I have a Celestron  Nexstar mount and have never got it aligned. Frustrated, I am considering another mount that simply tracks the objects I want so I can enjoy observation again. I have an excellent Skywatcher maksukov I think is better than the older Celestron 8” I had before. I miss the simple tracking of the C8 but want a Battery powered drive.

#505 Patrick.carter


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Posted 10 January 2024 - 04:17 PM

Wow, thank you to everyone who has posted! I’m finding arrears that we can take the grandkids to observe that are not too far from Richmond, Va, along with places we can visit ourselves.  I’ll never forget getting out of the tent at Molas Lake campground outside of Silverton, CO in the early 90’s and seeing the Milky Way at 10,500 feet   I had never viewed anything like that. Have been back several times since then. It was originally very primitive and there were no lights, last time I was there they had built new bathrooms with very bright lights on them.  Hoping to get there agin soon.

#506 floridamark



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Posted 17 January 2024 - 08:08 PM

I had my best observing ever from Okefenokee swamp (near Fargo, GA)  this past fall in the dark parking lot near the visitor center.  Too bad the campground is closed for the entire year.

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#507 Martin Glenn

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Posted 01 March 2024 - 06:31 PM

In my teens and twenties, I would take my equipment out to the desert, east of the Mesa, Arizona area. Getting just an hour out of town made a big difference, and there was pretty much nothing in the nature of light domes to the south, east, or north of where I'd set up, but I could pretty much write off seeing anything in the west, due to the gigantic glow of the Phoenix metro area. That was back in the 80s and 90s, so I assume a person would have to drive much further to get out of town these days.

I had a hard time observing when my family lived for a number of years in New England. We lived in a relatively dark area known as the Quiet Corner of Connecticut, where things were surprisingly rural. The darkness was nice, but the bugs and humidity were murder. I lost a lot of years there, astronomy-wise, and let the hobby lapse.

Currently, we live in the foothills outside of Boulder, Colorado. We enjoy many nights of clear skies, almost no humidity (which leads to our unfortunate wildfire dangers), and we're at 8,000 feet, so I feel lucky that I can avoid a good chunk of the planet's atmosphere right in my back yard. Darkness-wise, we have tremendous darkness and clarity to our west, there being nothing but high peaks and wilderness in that direction, but I let the bulk of the house block my view to the east, because that's where Denver and the rest of the crowded Front Range exist. Boulder is relatively aware and progressive, when it comes to using appropriate lighting, and it can be hard to find streetlights of any sort in many of the neighborhoods down in the Valley, thank goodness. There are frequently reminders around town to turn off outdoor lights in order to not distract migrating birds, and I appreciate being a side-beneficiary of the community's consideration.

But by far the best view I ever had of the Milky Way and the evening sky was right on the beach just outside of Owl's Head, Maine. I couldn't believe how dark and clear the views were right at sea level. It was one of the best experiences of my life. Bugs were still an issue, being August, if I recall correctly, but the experience of seeing such black-velvet darkness and clarity while being seaside and listening to the surf was something truly special.

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#508 Astro_In_Tampa



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Posted 05 March 2024 - 08:37 PM

You should try to visit Montana; you'd love it!

That is soooo true!! A few years ago our annual pyro convention was in Gillette Wyoming. My buddy and I took a drive over to S. Dakota and then back and up to Montana to see the Little Bighorn battle site. I simply could not believe how desolate that entire part of the country is. All I could think about was what it must be like at night with a telescope. Between pyro shows I did a lot of stargazing and it was easy to see satellites passing by all the time. We're headed to Brainard Minnesota this August and I'm seriously thinking about packing my ST80. Not a binocular fan, but maybe I should learn to be. Might be a better option. 

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