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Favorite Viewing Sites

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#76 Bill Llano

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 01:03 PM

I used to observe at Jenny Jump State Park when I lived in NYC,it is a blast to see it listed.

#77 Tom Clark

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 07:50 PM

Since 1985 my favorite place to observe has been The Chiefland Astronomy Village in NW Florida. When we retired in 1997 we bought the club observing field and moved there, right on the western edge of the club observing field, where we built our 24' dome with a 42" scope inside.

The site is still quite dark, with average SQM of 21.5. Clearest skies are from Oct thru May, but summer skies are often spectacular, with fantastic seeing.

Although Chiefland is not open to the public, we welcome astronomers who wish to visit for an astronomy vacation. You have to join our group (no charge) and read our simple rules to visit. We have a donation box to pay expenses, and for 25 years $5 a night has been the suggested amount.

There are 100 electrical outlets around the field, plus nine RV 30 amp outlets. Facilities included water, flush toilets, hot showers, and a wonderful observing atmosphere. More info at our web site.

The astronomy village has 26 famlies living there, with 18 private observatories in the neighborhood.

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#78 jimg@

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 09:38 AM

Hi Folks: Post your favorite viewing sites to share with others, right here!


Lake Sonoma - outside Healdsburg, CA - about an hour north of San Francisco.

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#79 deSitter

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 03:25 AM

Contemplating a trip to Atlanta Ga. Are there some dark observing sites (bortle 1-3) within 100 miles? Also, in general, how is seeing in Georgia, anything like florida, which is known for its steady skies.
Joe


Atlanta is very fortunate for an enormous city to have blue zones in round-trip range - one is on the east side of Lake Oconee. There is a field used by the Atlanta Area Visual Observers, here.

The field is fronted by trees and easy to miss. If Liberty Church Rd turns to dirt, you've gone about 1/2 mile too far :)

I was shocked at how dark the skies were to be within 100 miles of astronomy hell, which is urban Atlanta.

You must be very careful driving at night. There are zillions of deer in the surrounding woods.

-drl

#80 deSitter

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 04:33 AM

Contemplating a trip to Atlanta Ga. Are there some dark observing sites (bortle 1-3) within 100 miles? Also, in general, how is seeing in Georgia, anything like florida, which is known for its steady skies.
Joe


There is another green location (dark green!) at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, here.. Considering that this site is only 50 miles from central Atlanta, the skies are amazingly dark. Armadillos are frequent visitors. There is a mailbox with a register and visitors are asked to check in. The field is always well groomed. A great resource if you don't have time to make it out to Oconee, which is twice the distance.

Again be careful of deer. Wild hogs are also known to tour this area - not to be messed with :)

-drl

#81 ChrisBeere

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 12:21 PM

What would be the nearest major town or city near Kimworthy ?
I can not seem to find Kimworthy in my British road atlas, or on Google Earth.

Thanks.


Barnstaple, North West Devon

Check out http://www.astroadventures.co.uk/

#82 Tim Gilliland

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:21 PM

I spent a four nights at The great salt plains state park in Oct. It was very dark and the park ranger was great. The park has Rv and primitive camping. The primitive sites are better areas for observing as the RV sites have numerous street lights. It is a three hour drive for me and I probably will go back.

#83 Mr. Bill

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 04:47 PM

My backyard...facing south.

The historic 2100 acre Lassen homestead....all in conservation easement.

SQM 21.5 on a good night

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#84 fedlog

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 04:56 PM

I spent a four nights at The great salt plains state park in Oct. It was very dark and the park ranger was great. The park has Rv and primitive camping. The primitive sites are better areas for observing as the RV sites have numerous street lights. It is a three hour drive for me and I probably will go back.


Did you go out in the salt flats on the west side of the park? I live in Enid and it never occurred to me to head out that way.

#85 Harachnid1

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 03:54 PM

I'm in South Louisiana too Gene! What part are you in? I'm right by the Louis Armstrong International Airport.

#86 jgibson1@emich

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 12:47 PM

Southern Utah is my favorite place that I have observed from thus far. Specifically, I am talking about a place south of UT-89 about 27 miles east of Kanab, UT south of hwy 89. Amazing scenery and black skies = AMAZING TIME!!! :jump: Spent 5 nights imaging and observing there.

Clear Skies,
Jason


Here is a last minute addition to the post!

Bing Maps Link :D I can't wait for April to get here. I will be heading to this spot and a couple new ones for a couple weeks.
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#87 Tim Gilliland

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 03:59 PM

I spent a four nights at The great salt plains state park in Oct. It was very dark and the park ranger was great. The park has Rv and primitive camping. The primitive sites are better areas for observing as the RV sites have numerous street lights. It is a three hour drive for me and I probably will go back.


Sorry it took so long to respond. Actually I stayed in the campground. I was on the western edge of the one below the Dam. By going to the unimproved camp sites I was able to avoid the park lighting reasonably well. Best observing I have experienced short of Okie-Tex and one visit to the diamond mine in southern Arkansaw.

Did you go out in the salt flats on the west side of the park? I live in Enid and it never occurred to me to head out that way.



#88 jrbarnett

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 11:22 AM

Chaco Canyon in San Juan County, NM, for me. Not because it has the darkest skies (it's a gray zone) but because it's place where astronomy, archaeology, archaeo-astronomy, naturalism (NOT naturism; it's a national park and you would end up in the brig :grin:), geology, hiking and history all come together.

The elevation is reasonably high (~7k feet) so extinction is low. The climate is arid, so transparency is typically good. Seeing is average - not desert bad but not thick-aired seaside Florida good. And it's out of the way enough (long stretches of dirt roads are the only way into the Canyon) that it's peaceful and free from the hub bub of other campers and astronomers. On my hikes in and around the Canyon I would see either zero or one other group of hikers per hike.

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That's the Tsin Kletsin ruin on the South Mesa.

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That is the Penasco Blanco ruin.

This location was featured in Carl Sagan's Cosmos (PBS) and more recently in Brian Cox's (BBC) Wonder's of the Universe. There's an endless supply of things to see and do, day and night, and for me it represents a "complete" experience.

It's looking like we'll be doing Lake Sonoma for the March New Moon (Messier Marathon) club star party. Maybe we'll see you there?

Regards,

Jim
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#89 JayinUT

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 12:55 AM

I am going to share my one of my favorite observing sites. It is in the Uinta National Forest south of Vernon, Utah. Skies are dark there, very dark, though to the north you do get some light from the small town of Vernon. Never has bothered me and the Juniper Trees allow one to block them out (or your car).

In January my friend Mat and I saw the zodiacal light there, and the winter Milky Way was wonderful. This is equal to the Wolf Creek area and during the summer there are a couple of ridges in the distance that you can drive up and observe from. There are ATV riders in the area during the day and most camp about 3 to 4 miles to the east at a local reservoir. Here are a couple of pictures I took of the area, though the skies were not too cooperative that day.

Looking south to southwest from the observing location:

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Looking West from the observing site:

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The observing site is behind me in this photo and this is the view heading back toward the Forest Road. The Juniper Tree in front has an owlet and the parents will fly back and forth form hunting during the night to feed it. The owlet can be noisy at times but it is rather cool.

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Coming down the Forest Road heading south to the observing site:

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This is a side road to a second observing site and you can see what the ground conditions are like. There are actually many excellent sites here that one can set up in. A fun place to observe from and you are about 3 miles west of the reservoir so no mosquitoes and really no people.

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#90 TL2101

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:27 PM

The great thing about dark sky areas is the daytime views can be pretty nice too. That's Mt. Shasta in the background.

This was the view from my tent at the Golden State Star Party. Near the town of Adin in Northern California.

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#91 great lesson

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:36 PM

A beach about 10 minutes away from my house. There is very little light pollution and I like observing while listening to the waves. I hate packing up and leaving the place

#92 Prima Luna

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 06:34 PM

A beach about 10 minutes away from my house. There is very little light pollution and I like observing while listening to the waves. I hate packing up and leaving the place


I live a 2 minute walk from the Pacific. Aren't you worried about the salt getting onto your optics?

#93 great lesson

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 07:27 PM

I haven't had that happen. I go up onto a bluff

#94 Gvs

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 01:31 AM

A few of us will be heading to Bolivia later this year.

The best deep sky photos you can obtain without adaptic optics at nearly 22000 ft above sea level (2/3 of the atmosphere is below you!). (If you can't deal with Altitude, no problem, just stay at the base 14400 ft at the base or we can obtain oxygen masks).

http://maps.google.c...n&ll=-18.107187,-68.876209&spn=0.141134,0.264187&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=59.249168,135.263672&hnear=Nevado+Sajama&t=p&z=13

Temperature will be around 20F or less at night. No wind, no water in the atmosphere, no light pollution, and some nice hot springs nearby.

Any one interested in tagging along, please let us know. I know the country fairly well as I grew up over there.

Some photos from other sites:

http://www.linternau...image/66446.jpg

This is over two miles higher than Lake Titicaca. We will be stopping at lake TitiCaca for couple of days,

SSSP (Southern Skies Star Party) suggests doing the trip in July. This really is not the best time because Bolivians like to light up bonfires on July 23rd as well fireworks all night contaminating the atmosphere for days and degrading the experience.

I'll just ask one question, how many of you have been able to look at, or photograph the planetary nebula inside M46?

Here are some links from lake Titicaca.

http://www.sssp.org/...tro/index.shtml
http://www.moonglow....2008/index.html

We hope to provide better pictures starting this year.

Now we have an LX-10 a C-8 GPS XLT and most likely an 18 inch dobosnian.

#95 Starman1

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 10:35 AM

While that high an altitude may be nearly ideal for photography, a cautionary note to visual observers: Physiologically, the starvation of retinal cells from inadequate oxygen starts occurring as low as 8,000' and becomes noticeable over 10,000'. This is even with several days of accommodation.
It seems that the sky may be more transparent, but because of the diminishment of our retinal cells' abilities to respond to it we cannot see any better at higher altitudes than we do at lower ones.
And above 10-12,000', we actually see less because of reduced sensitivity in the retinal cells.

[At 22,000', a substantial number of individuals are at risk of pulmonary edema and heart issues.]

As a side note, this same diminishment occurs when alcohol is consumed. For visual observers, it is wise to abstain from alcohol for at least 24 hours before going out to view.
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#96 Gastrol

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 04:52 PM

As a side note, this same diminishment occurs when alcohol is consumed. For visual observers, it is wise to abstain from alcohol for at least 24 hours before going out to view.

Well, that kills my idea of installing a mini wine bar in my new obs. ...lol...
I usually like having a glass of wine during my observing sessions.
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#97 Gvs

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 10:03 PM

LOL.. yeah, you might, though with those that I've traveled we never had that condition. I am Bolivian and don't suffer that draw back was born at over 10000 feet and regularly worked at over 14000.

When I look at skies from the McDonalds observatory and compare them to Sajama, there is no comparison. We can see two orders of magnitude more at the Sajama site.

Actually having traveled to almost all places on Earth, this is were I've been able to have the best skies.

No light pollution for miles, because the country is not developed within 200 miles of that area. There are a couple of paved highways that come near the mountain, but its pristine for the most part.

But then again, to each his own.

#98 YetAnotherHobby

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 09:11 PM

Another CT astronomer here - the White Memorial Foundation in Litchfield is open 24 x 7, and there is a club observatory on a knoll just south of the main buildings. The club members are a great bunch, and they conduct outreach meetings on a monthly basis. Much darker skies than my backyard in Central CT. Lots of wildlife - owls, fox, deer are frequent visitors. You can hear geese on Bantam Lake.

#99 Pretty Boy 810

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:09 AM

OMG i wish i could be there!!! :bawling: :jump: :jump:

#100 Pretty Boy 810

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 11:20 AM

lucky :mad: :(


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