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How dark are your dark sites?

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#1 Younggun84

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 04:31 PM

I am in a Bortle 6 area. I can get to a Bortle 5 pretty easy but getting to a sight that’s 3 or less will take considerable effort.

How far do you go and how dark are your dark sites?


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#2 OliverToth

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 04:34 PM

well my home in a bortle 3,5 area so i usually stay there, i could drive to a bortle 3 or maybe 2.5 site but if i wanna go below that i would have to leave the country



#3 Augustus

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 04:39 PM

I'm at a 5.5 or so, my dark site is a 4 or maybe 3.5.



#4 havasman

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 04:41 PM

Home = SQM-L average @ 17.3 MPSS, very poor

 

SE Oklahoma club dark site = SQM-L average @ 21.4 over the last 4.5 years, pretty good and dramatically better than here

 

106 miles from my driveway to the gate at the site


Edited by havasman, 20 July 2019 - 04:42 PM.

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#5 ClrSky89

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 04:51 PM

I'm at a class 7 in the North part of the suburbs.

 

But using the app and panning out I can get into a class (5) in 10min with my car and a class (4) within another 5min from that location. Then about 40mins to the class (3) location. I think I scored out?



#6 TOMDEY

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 05:10 PM

My darkish site is my back yard... decent for New York... SQM (Sky Quality Meter) comes in 21.4 on a decent night... often less (worse) and occasionally more (better). I just never got into that Bortle thing, even though it is meaningful for the combination of observer, location, and conditions. The SQM just blurts out a number, which is easy to write down and seems to correlate with performance of the scope... whether I'm feeling on my game or not! (And, as most here will attest... a good, dark, transparent sky will look pertty bright when fully dark-adapted!)   Tom

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#7 Younggun84

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 05:32 PM

I only go with Bortle because it seems simple, although obviously not as accurate given it’s only 9 levels and each level is double the last.


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#8 CeleNoptic

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 06:01 PM

At home. Bortle 7-8. Normally, I can see 3 brightest Ursa Minor stars with unarmed eye. When I see more it means excellent seeing which is rare. Typical SQM-L is around 18.5 mpss at zenith and 17.9-18.2 at 45*. The galaxies with SB 12-12.5 m are challenging but doable at good transparency. Sometimes, maybe even up to 13m, but it's an exception.

 

Away. The best darkest sky I experienced when vacated with my family on St. George Island, FL,  SQM-L of 21.5-21.6 at beachfront. Nirvana. I could see M101 even through cheap 90mm achromat wink.gif .


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#9 scadvice

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 06:22 PM

I live in a Bortle 4-5.

 

I drove to Likely, California a Bortle 1 (SMQ 21.94) it's 6.5 hours by car and 7.0 hours with a trailer ... add the dog, and wife.... 7.5 hrs.fingertap.gif


Edited by scadvice, 20 July 2019 - 06:26 PM.

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#10 StarBurger

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 07:11 PM

I used to have access to Bortle 3-4 a 10 mile drive away but now have to tolerate my back yard. 

Finances no longer permit a car, and I have to say I don't miss it.

Backyard is on the cusp of a Bortle 5-6. I live on the edge of city lights to the west and an empty lake to the east. 

If I concentrate on imaging to the east or the zenith things work pretty well.

For some reason I judge my sky on the visibility of Kurhah mag 4.4 , the central star in the Cepheus square.

See Kurhah =imaging.

Don't see Kurhah= go visual.

Don't see Vega= go to bed.



#11 ClrSky89

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 07:48 PM

I live in a Bortle 4-5.

 

I drove to Likely, California a Bortle 1 (SMQ 21.94) it's 6.5 hours by car and 7.0 hours with a trailer ... add the dog, and wife.... 7.5 hrs.fingertap.gif

 

 

I am not married but I always hear you have to add min 1 hour to any trip!!!

 

Old folk tale I guess!

 

neener.gif


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#12 vdog

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 08:09 PM

I also live in a Bortle 6 area.  It's actually not bad; there's a lot you can see.

 

But I have taken my dob on one dark site trip to a Bortle 3 area.  It's a completely different experience--and worth the hassle.



#13 NorthernlatAK

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 08:21 PM

Bortle 2-4, my yard being 4 with 2 readily accessible. I can get even better with higher elevation about an hour away. Jaw dropping if you can stand the cold when the sky becomes transparent.

#14 Arcticpaddler

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 08:45 PM

Bortle 3 in my backyard,  Bortle 1 an hour to the north.


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#15 oldstargazer

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 10:32 PM

21.07 as measured using the SQM app on my iPhone.



#16 Sam Danigelis

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 12:42 AM

Bortle 4 in my backyard, near KC MO, but Bortle 3 30 miles away, and Bortle 2 within an hours' drive. My main viewing site is the Bonanza Conservation area, which is off the main roads, and has nice pads to pull off and setup. The coyotes keep me company.

#17 tphili1959

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 03:44 AM

i have bortle 4 in back yard,....bortle 2-3   about 30 minutes away in adirondack state park in northern new york state.  on a clear night in mid summer i can sometimes see the glow of the andromeda galaxy naked eye in my back yard.



#18 ellevy12

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 03:55 AM

Class 9 skies where i live in the center of israel , class 8 skies near the coast - about 10 minutes drive.

class 6 skies about 40 minutes drive , and class 3 skies (best sky in israel) in the negev desert , around 2 hours drive



#19 NightF0x

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 05:27 AM

I live in a Class 4.  Closest Class 3 is about an hour drive and closest Class 2 is probably around 5-6 hour drive.



#20 Allan Wade

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 06:46 AM

My suburban home is around SQM 20.0, which I see is Bortle 5. When I looked for my astro property I drew a ring within 3 hours drive from my house and that gets me to a lot of good Bortle 1 areas. The place I bought is 3 hours away and a very nice drive, within easy reach to make the trip a couple of times a month. We are lucky here in Australia. Every Australian would have access to at least Bortle 2 or better skies within 2 to 3 hours drive. Everyone lives around the coast, so the inland tends to be sparsely populated.



#21 Illinois

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 09:45 AM

I grew up in Chicago is Bortle 8/9  then I moved to suburban is Bortle 8 but can be 7 on very good night that I can see several bright Messier as M35, M36, M37 and M38 in my 10X50 binocular. Now I live near town about 2 hours west of Chicago is Bortle 4. I can see Veal Nebula in my 80mmED refractor WITH Filter. My mother in law live in upper Michigan and I go there during no Moon is Bortle 2. I can see black holes is cloudy and milky way is bright. I can see NGC7000 easily vision and bright in my 10X50 binocular. Veal Nebula is vision at low power in my 80mmED refractor without filter.


Edited by Illinois, 21 July 2019 - 09:46 AM.


#22 jfaldo

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 10:15 AM

3 in my backyard. 2 is about a fifteen minute drive and a true 1 is maybe 30 to 40 minutes. Usually just stay in my yard due to my time constrained schedule of a life.



#23 ClrSky89

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 10:23 AM

3 in my backyard. 2 is about a fifteen minute drive and a true 1 is maybe 30 to 40 minutes. Usually just stay in my yard due to my time constrained schedule of a life.

You must have some amazing views!!!



#24 watchplanets

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 12:15 PM

I go by colour zones not bottle zones some seem wrong to me.

I live white zone 

Cottage is grey zone but 3 hrs away



#25 CeleNoptic

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 02:18 PM

 

Bortle 3 in my backyard,  Bortle 1 an hour to the north.

 

I envy. Yes, Northern Minnesota night sky is majestic. BWCA area definitely should be Bortle 1. Some nights spent with binoculars on vacations with my family on Lake Itasca, Beaver Bay, Cascade etc. actually were the last straw that pushed me into starting this hobby wink.gif . The only problem there (not for me) would be hordes of not very kind mosquitos  grin.gif .


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