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  1. #1
    Mike Keith's Avatar
    Mike Keith Guest

    Default How to find observing sites?



    Well, o.k., at least I hope this question isn't as boring as "what telescope
    should I buy?". :-)

    I'm getting back into observing after a hiatus of 30 years. (Yeah, I know,
    gak.)
    Getting a decent scope for Xmas. No questions on that front...yet.

    But, I live in a city, and the sky in my back yard is...well, I'd
    guess magnitude 3; might be worse than that. So my new scope
    is (oops, I mean will be) very portable, and I expect to do most
    of my viewing elsewhere. Especially since DSOs is my thing.
    Or at least it was 30 years ago.

    So I have a stupid question. I know I can find much better skies
    within, say, 30 minutes of here, but how should I go about finding specific
    sites that are (a) open to the public after dark, (b) safe, (c) whatever
    other factors I need to consider? Parks and such seem
    like a good choice, but I can't find any parks that (according to their
    web sites) are open after dark. (There might be some, but many web sites don't
    even say.) Is there some category of site that I'm not thinking of?
    In short, any suggestions? I'm willing to do the leg work but I'm not
    sure where to start.

    Thanks.

    Mike Keith
    Word play, math, music:
    http://users.aol.com/s6sj7gt/mikehome.htm


  2. #2
    HAVRILIAK's Avatar
    HAVRILIAK Guest

    Default How to find observing sites?

    > know I can find much better skies

    Join an amateur astronomy club.
    In my club we have several sites and all we have to do is tell the local police
    what were doing. Since they know they wont sneak up behid us and say "Put up
    your hands". I addition we have sort of a protection because they'r on the
    look out,

  3. #3
    SaberScorpX's Avatar
    SaberScorpX Guest

    Default How to find observing sites?

    >I know I can find much better skies

    Astro-clubs in your area always know the best sites:
    http://www.astroleague.org/al/general/society.html

  4. #4
    Uncle Bob's Avatar
    Uncle Bob Guest

    Default How to find observing sites?

    Mike Keith wrote:

    Welcome back. I just pretend that it's still 1974 and go out driving
    around at night. Hilltops are better than municipal parks. Think
    hilltops, away from town, facing south and make a list of sites. Check
    them out in the daytime. A topo map helps you find some likely candidates.
    I found my best, most secret site driving around at night with my scope
    in the back of my car. Took most of one night, but I'll be darned if I
    didn't find a real sweetheart of a location. And I'm not exactly the
    sharpest pencil in the drawer, if you get my drift.
    You can ask some cops, if you know any. They know all the good hiding
    places.

    Let us know how you make out.

    Uncle Bob

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  5. #5
    Marty's Avatar
    Marty Guest

    Default How to find observing sites?

    I remember seeing a site posted in this group where you could type in
    your location and various nearby dark sky sites were mapped. I'll try
    to dig it up, but I gotta go to work now.
    As for myself though, I just went out and drove around looking for
    dark country roads. A low area is actually kind of good, because seeing
    is usually rotten at the horizon anyway, and surrounding hills can block
    out distant lights.
    Marty


  6. #6
    Axel's Avatar
    Axel Guest

    Default How to find observing sites?

    > As for myself though, I just went out and drove around looking for
    seeing
    block

    That's what I did and it only took an hour or so of driving around
    (once I got in the area) to find a suitable site. I've been using that
    site now for four years. It turned out to be private property, but
    most land is. If its unfenced and undeveloped, chances are that the
    owner won't mind you using it. In my case the owner and his kids just
    happened to be there one night but once he saw that I was harmless he
    said I could use it anytime for this purpose. I've only seen the owner
    that one time in a couple dozen visits.

    Cheers,
    Ritesh


  7. #7
    Mike Keith's Avatar
    Mike Keith Guest

    Default How to find observing sites?

    Thanks for all the responses...they are most appreciated! I'll give it a go in
    a week or two and see what develops.

    -Mike


  8. #8
    Len Philpot's Avatar
    Len Philpot Guest

    Default How to find observing sites?

    In article <20308-41C04B77-28@storefull-3172.bay.webtv.net>, movac5
    @webtv.net says...

    Is this what you were thinking about? It's on Phil Harrington's
    website : http://www.philharrington.net/dssd.htm

    --

    -- Len Philpot -> len@philpot.org <--
    ------ ><> -----> http://philpot.org/ <--

  9. #9
    Florian's Avatar
    Florian Guest

    Default How to find observing sites?

    I find topo maps useful in finding back roads and out of the
    way places to observe from.

    -Florian



  10. #10
    Len Philpot's Avatar
    Len Philpot Guest

    Default How to find observing sites?

    In article <cpq3aa03vt@news1.newsguy.com>,
    Florian@remove.stargazing.com says...

    Of course in Louisiana, road maps look pretty much like topo maps -
    No much topography here, just flat, flat and more flat... :-)
    (and mosquitoes and water)

    --

    -- Len Philpot -> len@philpot.org <--
    ------ ><> -----> http://philpot.org/ <--

 

 
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