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Newbie question about observing locations

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#1 jjbroomco

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 12:15 PM

Hello,
I recently purchased a Celestron 6SE and I’m looking for tips on where to take it for casual observing beyond my backyard. I live in a very light-polluted residential neighborhood in the north Denver metro area. Lots of streetlights and neighbors with bright patio lights, plus tall trees and houses that obscure my view.

Eventually I plan to visit dark sky locations, but that requires camping. Where do you go when you just want to set up a scope late at night for several hours, outside of home, without having to travel too far? I know this seems like a silly question. City and state parks usually close around 10 p.m. What about school parks or pullout spots along a country road? Safety is a concern too.

#2 BPoletti

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 12:22 PM

Where do you live?  

 

Have you tried:

 

https://www.cleardar...ksky.com/csk/  

 

or  

 

https://www.astrospheric.com/


Edited by BPoletti, 11 July 2020 - 12:25 PM.


#3 WarmWeatherGuy

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 12:31 PM

There are people who live in Denver who can answer your question. Hopefully they will see your post here and give some suggestions. You can also find them by searching for astronomy clubs in Denver.



#4 havasman

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 12:36 PM

Yes, find the local club. They'll know the best places and likely will let you in on it. They may likely have a club dark site.



#5 jjbroomco

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 12:37 PM

Thanks. I guess I’m asking more about the “types” of places you can go for a night of observing if you don’t want to travel too far away from home. Parks, open space, etc? Many of these close at 10:00 though.

#6 jjbroomco

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 12:39 PM

And, yes I will definitely check out the local clubs and the sky conditions site. Thanks

#7 eyeoftexas

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 01:39 PM

I was asking similar questions when I was first starting – and learning how bad my light pollution was – but then discovered my local astronomy club has its own dark site.  So, here's another vote for finding the local clubs in your area.  They might not just know where to go, but might give you access to it (once you join).  laugh.gif

 

Clear Skies!



#8 vtornado

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 02:09 PM

Technically the local ball fields are closed at dusk, however you can build a raport with the local PD.

If they are cool you can use the park.   Sometimes vandalism happens in the park and the police

know it will not if I am there.   The ball fields near me have minimal neighbors and street lighting.

Plus several hundred feet of grass to view over which helps for planetary.



#9 Paul Sweeney

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 09:54 AM

Are there any farms in your area? Most farms are wide open and there will be dirt roads between the fields. So ask the farmer if you can set up at the entrance of such a road. You're not hurting anything and there is usually very little traffic on farms at night.

Areas that have been logged are also good.

#10 jjbroomco

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 10:03 AM

Are there any farms in your area? Most farms are wide open and there will be dirt roads between the fields. So ask the farmer if you can set up at the entrance of such a road. You're not hurting anything and there is usually very little traffic on farms at night.

Areas that have been logged are also good.



#11 jjbroomco

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 10:04 AM

Yes, there are definitely many farms to my East. Great idea, thanks!


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