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Arizonans/Phoenicians: Asking for Advice on Travel Astronomy

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#1 mg07

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 02:26 PM

Hi all, I'm a beginner with an 8 inch dob in the midwest. I have a work trip to Phoenix coming up around new moon period in December, and am itching to get out to some of Arizona's dark skies. This presents the obvious problem: I can't bring my scope with me.

 

I am assuming there's no local scope rental program/shop.  I suppose I could get a 12 inch (which would be a nice upgrade for me I'd like to have eventually) and try to ship it home in the original packaging afterward as well, but that seems risky and probably at least as expensive.

 

Does anyone have a suggestion for situations like this?

 

It looks like the Saguaro Astro Club has a cool site at the "Antennas" location. Has anyone been there? Seems hard to pass up the opportunity, especially while it will be all freezing and clouds in the midwest.



#2 Xeroid

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 02:46 PM

Instead, how about stuffing a Celestron C6 + carbon tripod in a back pack for carry-on?

 

The C6 would be very good at a dark site plus minimum hassle to bring back home.



#3 bob71741

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 02:57 PM

mg07 - The antennas site has been sold and is no longer (?) available for use?

 

see post here : https://www.cloudyni...d-and-now-this/



#4 mg07

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 03:51 PM

mg07 - The antennas site has been sold and is no longer (?) available for use?

 

see post here : https://www.cloudyni...d-and-now-this/

Rats! Well then any good ideas for winter-friendly spots in the area?



#5 radial195

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 05:07 PM

If you are willing to drive about 3 hours North and West you could come up to the Grand Canyon Cavern. If you do your observing from the campground (sky is 21.9 SQM) you could  go up to the motel in the front of the complex to sleep. They used to have some smaller telescopes to rent. I've heard the caverns have recently been sold so I'd call before driving that far. Search the web for Grand Canyon Cavern to get the latest info.



#6 Wallache

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 07:38 PM

There is a lot of empty desert out by the Hovatter site.  If the area around the airstrip isn't accessible, the next exit on I-10 (Vicksburg) has plenty of room to the south of the highway.  The main dirt roads are county maintained and quite good but will turn into mud pits in the floodplains after a rain.



#7 kfiscus

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 08:02 PM

Do you have any friends in Phoenix?  If you're willing to buy a 12", you could have it shipped to your friends' house and use it while there.  You could then sell it as practically new, maybe even having sold it in advance since you have so much advance warning for this promising opportunity.  How much stargazing are you going to do?  Are you going to be worth anything at work if you stay up all night long like I'd want to do?  wink.gif



#8 KTAZ

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 08:09 PM

I live in North Scottsdale and am a member of Sirius Lookers of Sedona. We have a couple of great dark sky sites up there and I'd be happy to help you find them.

Plus, Sedona is a spot no visitor to AZ should miss.

#9 river-z

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 11:10 AM

If you can pull off getting a 12" to AZ for this trip by all means go for it, but I think you'll also be amazed by what you can see under very dark skies with much less aperture.  Last summer I bought a 3" refractor for a camping trip and saw everything I was hoping to see.  Even a good set of binoculars would be fun.



#10 dustyc

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 04:32 PM

mg07 - The antennas site has been sold and is no longer (?) available for use?

 

see post here : https://www.cloudyni...d-and-now-this/

The antennas is about 2 miles west of the airstrip and is not part of the closure. Just as good star wise.

Another good site is Picket Post Trailhead. 50 miles east of Mesa. There are 3 astro clubs in Phoenix but no permanent club owned site. But lots of BLM land everywhere. Enjoy your stay!




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