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All My Binocular Objectives Just Got BIGGER!

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#1 SMark

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 12:00 AM

smile.gif  Yup, they really did!

 

I've been threatening to do this now for likely three years or more, but my wife and I finally said the time was now. So we started fixing up the house and made appointments with a couple realtors. Both said the same thing... STOP fixing up your house and just get it on the market! In the Atlanta housing market, apparently there is (or was at the time) a pretty large shortage of sellers. So we did just that. After listing our house and then showing it on Saturday and Sunday, we had 4 offers, with 3 of them well above the listing price, which had I set well above what both realtors had recommended. So with the sale of our house in the city imminent, we needed to quickly find our perfect retirement home in the country. Fortunately, I had been watching the market for quite some time and already had my short list. I had indicated earlier that we were primarily looking in the North Georgia Mountains, but that changed after I ran the numbers and saw how much we could save in taxes if we were to move to Alabama or Tennessee. We didn't want to move any further away since we are leaving our daughter in Atlanta where she will continue to live and work, and we wanted to stay close to her. So we have moved to Clay County Alabama. There are no large cities here, just a few very small towns. And we are located about 8 miles north of one of them. Our house is on a beautiful two acre lot where it's pitch black at night. No street lights, no neighbors, just really dark. 

 

My first night under stars showed me what happens when you move from a Bortle 7.3 to a Bortle 3.4. It's like getting bigger objectives on all my binoculars at once. It's pretty exciting! smile.gif


Edited by SMark, 09 May 2021 - 10:00 PM.

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#2 PEterW

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 12:54 AM

Great news, hope the dark skies don’t come with too many clouds! Be interesting to hear your experiences. A few friends at the local astro club gave recently announced they’re moving to darker skies. Gives me somewhere to go visit fir a starparty!

PEter
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#3 TOMDEY

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 01:39 AM

Yippee and superb! I moved country over forty years ago and, thankfully... it has remained dark here all that time. Suddenly galaxies became targets of major interest, rather than just a few barely able to detect. The first thing you notice is that galaxies are ~much bigger~ than before, because those subtle spiral arms and halos reach out a lot farther than just the brighter cores that are marginally visible from the cities suburbs. Everything gets better: safety, relaxation, crime (lack of), land, flowers, vegies, birds, insects (the pretty, good ones!), natural wildlife, taxes (lower), neighbors (fewer but friendly and helpful), light pollution (vastly less), noise (quietness), values (libertarian). And your freedom to move wherever you choose (county, state, region) makes it a no-brainer to simply get outa Dodge. When your area becomes objectionable for one or more reasons --- simply moving to greener pastures is the logical solution. PS: Country is even vastly safer for such things as... avoiding infections. With the population naturally distanced, the likelihood of caching anything nefarious is ~naturally diminished~.

 

PS: Upon moving here, we took a special interest in binoculars... from tiny ones all the way up to giant binoscopes. The night sky is magnificent seen with both eyes open.    Tom


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#4 Erik Bakker

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 02:26 AM

Congratulations Mark!

 

Enjoy your wonderful new home and much ditto skies waytogo.gif



#5 Erik Bakker

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 02:28 AM

So true Tom like-button.jpg



#6 Grimnir

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 03:40 AM

I'm deeply envious Mark - as are all of us who live in cities or towns. The brighter the city, the greater the envy and here in London the envy is very great indeed!

 

Congratulations to you - I hope you have a wonderful time!

 

Graham


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#7 Binofrac

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 04:49 AM

Here in the UK property prices were already daft before covid and now they're even worse! Wherever I look there's new houses being built with bright lighting. Staying put is the only option for the moment even though there's plans to build a new town about 2 miles away. On lovely open farmland too. Due to a new estate being built opposite me I've had to be a bit creative. If you can shield yourself from all forms of direct lighting, even the blanket over the head approach, it does help.
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#8 pat in los angeles basin

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 08:03 AM

I've read on the internet (so it must be true) that cicadas eat flint glass and flourite on specially dark nights....cue the bass notes... Sounds like the fun is just beginning. Regards, Pat


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#9 Foss

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 09:29 AM

Congratulations on your move to darker skies. Jack



#10 DrJ1

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 09:42 AM

SMark:  I can relate.  I live in a semi-rural area in Maryland USA with encroaching light pollution.  An autopark built 6 miles away actually made a difference for viewing in that direction.  My family wants to buy a get-away house in the mountains.  Although I won't sell my house (too many optics toys to move!), I was very close to buying a 60 acre homestead in rural West Virginia.  There were no houses within a mile and clear dark skies.  For various family reasons (a tad far from my daughter's house and the country house needing a bit of work) we didn't buy it.  We still are looking.  Taxes do matter.  I pay $11,000 property tax in Maryland on 7.5 acres, the WV place was less than $2k, let alone differences in state income tax.  Point being: with your lower taxes in Alabama, you can easily justify buying more, and better binoculars!  DrJ1



#11 Jay_Bird

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 10:40 AM

Enjoy your back door dark skies!

It would be nice to read some news about what you notice new skies vs old skies now that your binoculars are in their natural habitat


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#12 SMark

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 10:14 PM

I've read on the internet (so it must be true) that cicadas eat flint glass and flourite on specially dark nights....cue the bass notes... Sounds like the fun is just beginning. Regards, Pat

Lol. It gets worse. After they are finished munching on your glass, then the pit vipers come out to munch on them. And then on you if you're still hanging around. scared.gif


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#13 Napp

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 10:30 PM

Congratulations on the new home and the dark skies!  I envy you.  I recently bought bigger objective binoculars (100mm) just because my skies at home are so bad.  Wish I could do what you did.



#14 SMark

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 11:05 PM

Enjoy your back door dark skies!

It would be nice to read some news about what you notice new skies vs old skies now that your binoculars are in their natural habitat

My first night was short but quite memorable. I managed to unpack my Mark 41 wide angle 7x50 and aimed it at the western horizon, just under Procyon, Pollux, Castor and Capella, slowly sweeping back and forth, and I immediately noticed a number of faint fuzzies that I had never seen before while doing the same sweep back in 7.3 land. Next night I got out much later but it was clear and cool with great transparency. Earlier I managed to find my ANVIS night vision binocular so I sat for about an hour or more in total awe of the southern Milky Way. I never saw that much detail in the city. Next night was again clear and crisp, so this time I grabbed my 8x56 ShadowQuest, my 10x42L IS and my night vision binocular and had a late night feast on the entire summer Milky Way. Night #4 was again clear and cool so I mounted my night vision binocular onto my Bushnell 7x60 Astronomy/Marine and again enjoyed over an hour of the most vivid and detailed views of dark nebula I have ever seen. I knew that rain was moving in tonight, so I spent a good part of my afternoon sitting in my ZGC with my 7x42 Dialyt and 12x32 IS checking out all the birds that my new home offers me. And what do you think I saw the most of? Yup... Turkey Vultures. Welcome to Clay County Alabama! cool.gif


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#15 duck2k

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 12:20 AM

That is so cool! I bet those skies are so perfect on a clear moonless night. Enjoy the new digs!

 

CS :)



#16 ihf

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 12:27 AM

Not knowing the eastern geography I had to look at maps. (Who would have thought that Atlanta is right next to Alabama?) Congrats to finding the darkest spot in the neighborhood! Hope it comes with a nice deck.



#17 PEterW

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 01:43 AM

… sweet home Alabama….?!
If only such skies existed anywhere near me.. Bortle 3.4???? What’s that in “old money” (SQM) units?

Peter

#18 Grimnir

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 03:20 AM

… sweet home Alabama….?!
If only such skies existed anywhere near me.. Bortle 3.4???? What’s that in “old money” (SQM) units?

Peter

 

https://en.wikipedia...ki/Bortle_scale

 

Graham




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