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Dark Sites - Alamogordo, NM

observing star party
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#1 Dave Bush

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 05:32 PM

I'm going to be in that area next April.

 

Any suggestions on good, safe, dark sites within say an hour or so from Alamogordo?


Edited by Dave Bush, 02 December 2019 - 05:33 PM.


#2 photoracer18

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 05:56 PM

Cloudcroft maybe? Just down 82 from Alamogordo and about 8800' elevation. Lots of tourists go there.



#3 alphatripleplus

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 08:47 AM

Moving to General Observing and Astronomy for a better fit.



#4 Astroman007

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 09:37 AM

I'll be keeping an eye on this thread. Might be some good material for future reference. popcorn.gif


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#5 ChristopherBeere

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 05:27 PM

Mayhill is on the opposite side of the range from Alamogordo and is good - I observed there back in 2001. Its the home of NMSkies remote observatories.

 

Best bet is to head North up the 54 from Alamogordo - its nice and dark out there. I just pulled off the road and setup in random clearings, traffic is almost non existent out there so not a problem.

 

I stayed at Star Hill Inn up in Sapello but we drove south to find darker skies.


Edited by ChristopherBeere, 04 December 2019 - 05:41 PM.

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#6 Splat32

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 06:08 PM

I am amazed at the transparency of the skies even from only 10 miles south of Alamogordo at Oliver Lee Memorial State Park. I was able to see the Andromeda Galaxy naked eye, which I've never been able to do, even when I attended the Nebraska Star Party several times. The park's group shelter is used by the local astronomy club once a month for their public outreach events. Even with the town 1000' below and 10 miles away, the skies are pretty amazing. There are also a number of forestry service campgrounds near Cloudcroft that would be safe.


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#7 JOEinCO

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 07:01 PM

.......I was able to see the Andromeda Galaxy naked eye, which I've never been able to do, even when I attended the Nebraska Star Party several times.....

Really? confused1.gif 

Was it cloudy at the NSP? 

 

It's just perceptible naked eye here 15 miles southwest of Denver once it's at the zenith or to the west (away from the Denver light dome), and I am by no means a dark site.


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#8 JOEinCO

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 07:04 PM

OP/Dave: 

 

Are you looking for observing sites, where you'll head back to a hotel? Or places to observe/camp?



#9 City Kid

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 02:34 PM

 I was able to see the Andromeda Galaxy naked eye, which I've never been able to do, even when I attended the Nebraska Star Party several times.

I've never had any problem seeing M31 naked eye at NSP. For that matter I've never had any problem seeing it naked eye from sites nowhere near as dark as NSP.



#10 MEE

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 02:46 PM

Wondering if it’s M33 that the observer is referring to; even then, M33 should be fairly easy on a decent night at NSP. Maybe M81?

Edited by MEE, 05 December 2019 - 02:47 PM.


#11 Peter B

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 04:44 PM

I would second Oliver Lee MSP as a possibility. I would also consider Valley of Fires about an hour north however the wind can pick up at night; there's a campground here too if you want to camp. Aguirre Springs is a beautiful campground in the Organ Mountains, but it's next to White Sands Middle Range and might not be too dark (I worked there as a computer operator when I was in college.)
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#12 Astroman007

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 05:00 PM

Wondering if it’s M33 that the observer is referring to

Wouldn't be surprised. That would be a true test of a dark sky, unlike the first.



#13 ChristopherBeere

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 05:15 PM

I am amazed at the transparency of the skies even from only 10 miles south of Alamogordo at Oliver Lee Memorial State Park. I was able to see the Andromeda Galaxy naked eye, which I've never been able to do, even when I attended the Nebraska Star Party several times. The park's group shelter is used by the local astronomy club once a month for their public outreach events. Even with the town 1000' below and 10 miles away, the skies are pretty amazing. There are also a number of forestry service campgrounds near Cloudcroft that would be safe.

 

Yeah, i observed from Apache Point which is next door to Alamogordo but at higher elevation. Its the home of the Sloane Digital Sky Survey and the seeing and transparency up there on a good night is world class.

 

The drive up there is wonderful, it snakes through dense Ponderosa pine forest all the way to the summit ridge.


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#14 paul

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 09:43 PM

Hello,

How dark is it down in Timberon? there are some cheap lots available there.

Thanks



#15 jfgout

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Posted 11 December 2019 - 09:08 AM

I spent a couple of days at New Mexico Skies (Mayhill) in the winter of 2011, when they were still doing hosting (of people + telescope renting). You may want to give them a call/shoot them an email to ask if they still have any hosting option available.

Skies as I remember were really dark. Be prepared for the cold...

 

jf


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