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Question about observing near a body of water

beginner observing
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#1 bradbaker7


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Posted 17 September 2020 - 03:42 PM

I live in a bortle 6 which isn't bad but while searching for an accessible dark sky site I came across a bortle 3 spot right next to a lake. I familiar with the idea of not viewing over houses, on or near hot pavement, etc but have never seen any info on lakes. 


Is there any reason why the viewing conditions would be considerably better/worse near a body of water?

#2 P_Myers


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Posted 17 September 2020 - 03:46 PM

watch out for the Bugs....
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#3 happylimpet


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Posted 17 September 2020 - 03:48 PM

No direct experience except looking south over the sea from southern england - it was wonderfully dark....


I would have thought the seeing should be steady, and no light pollution close to hand! Curious to see what others say.

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#4 GamesForOne



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Posted 17 September 2020 - 03:51 PM

Actually bodies of water can sometimes improve the local seeing perhaps via cooling laminar air flow after sunset -- especially if the water temperature is well below the surface air temperature.



Michael Mc

Edited by GamesForOne, 17 September 2020 - 03:52 PM.

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#5 rhetfield


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Posted 17 September 2020 - 03:54 PM

Biggest thing would be the increased chance for fog or dew.   Especially if it is a cool day and a bigger body of water.

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#6 StarBurger


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Posted 17 September 2020 - 04:00 PM

The only advantage I see from living by a lake is the lack of light pollution across the lake.

On warm nights if the breeze is blowing from the lake then the humidity and dew levels are elevated and seeing seems to be terrible.

I don't attempt any planetary or lunar visual when that happens.

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#7 Jaylab



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Posted 17 September 2020 - 04:24 PM

Generally you would experience better seeing during the day, like Big Bear Solar Observatory but worse seeing at night.


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#8 kfiscus


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Posted 17 September 2020 - 06:55 PM

Beware HEAVY dew formation near the water!  I ruined a particle board mount by observing near a lake for a summer night.  It was the only place not blocked by forest...

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#9 gnowellsct



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Posted 17 September 2020 - 07:20 PM

I've been observing not far from a small lake/stream for years in the Adirondacks.  The major issue is getting a clear sky.  Have not been fogged out that I can remember.


Greg N

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