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Thread: Selecting a site for Astronomy Purposes - identifying the best possible location

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Selecting a site for Astronomy Purposes - identifying the best possible location



    JG, your situation is very common. Most people just see an open field away from city lights and that's as far as site consideration goes, and just accept dew as part and parcel of astro, when a far better location is actually available but they were just not aware of what better site conditions actually are. It just takes a bit of guidance to identify what is a better location, and the benefits are substantial.

    Many astro clubs are also guilty of this. Most times it is out of ignorance. Worse are those that ignore the pleas from more enlightened members and decide upon a location that really is just the pits and subject their members to a world of pain from dew.

    The astro society I'm a member of is looking for a new dark sky site. The one they've been using was selected out of ignorance and has always been a dew disaster. I've been able to get my message through to them that there are better alternatives and are now using the principles I've laid down to find a better location. It benefits EVERYONE and the society too. It is not an easy process, but if the utmost is done to at least find a site that offers the best compromise situation, then the club and its members win!

    I make no claims to have discovered any of what I've written down. In my time in chasing down dark sky sites I've slowly been noticing certain locations are better than others and thinking that this was no accident. And it was a very good friend of mine, and a very experienced amateur astronomer that made me aware that not only was I not mad, but Nick was actually aware of these site conditions and this stems from taking notice of where professional observatories are set up - which it not by accident. Nick had been chasing dark sky sites long before me. I just wrote down what we now know.

    Remember, professional observatories are not set up on remote mountain tops for no reason. The research into these locations was very extensive. Yet it is not difficult to identify exactly the conditions that these sites provide that make them most suitable for astronomy, nor are these conditions exotic and only available to professional astronomers. Once armed with this knowledge, you can then make the best site selection for yourself.

    Alex.
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    Default Re: Selecting a site for Astronomy Purposes - identifying the best possible location

    Oh my goodness! You lucky Australians. And you lucky Southern Hemisphere observers!
    One of the big regrets of my life was that I lived in South Africa for three years and rarely profited from that location.
    I was between re-invigorating my astronomical interests and bringing up a family, as well as staying safe even in my own backyard.
    The family won.
    But I well remember the Southern Cross, the Coal Sack and the Jewel Box and also both Magellanic clouds by naked eye.
    Oh but I wish I could do it all again with a good
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    Default Re: Selecting a site for Astronomy Purposes - identifying the best possible location

    Please keep in mind that the examples I give of the locations I use pertain to the local geography and weather systems surrounding my home city of Sydney. Different locations will offer different conditions and different seasonal advantages and disadvantages. You need to make you own case studies.

    Sometimes it is the least likely of locations that can offer the best conditions. Look at inland hang gliding and paragliding launch sites. At night these locations are not used for flying purposes, and can provide ideal weather and environmental conditions most favourable for astro.

    Alex.

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    Great Read! I have found that talking to property owners and other locals out near family cabin in upstate New York in heart of Adirondacks has opened up some great site opportunities to me.
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    class 2 skies and mountain top views have been open to me since talking with various landowners.
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    Default Re: Selecting a site for Astronomy Purposes - identifying the best possible location

    Hi,
    For
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    you can find accurate maps on this site :
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    Choose VIIRS 2016 and Atlas 2015 maps and put the cursor around 74.
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    Visual observer , Dobson 16" , Binoculars 4"

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    Default Re: Selecting a site for Astronomy Purposes - identifying the best possible location

    Very nicely done and really not more than an hour away with rather dry conditions too. If it could only be as good in Florida.......
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