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Thread: Galaxy Fun at a Newly Found Dark-Sky Observing Site

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Galaxy Fun at a Newly Found Dark-Sky Observing Site



    What a great report. I can only dream of finding skies like that.
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    Default Re: Galaxy Fun at a Newly Found Dark-Sky Observing Site

    I found a very nice spot at the top of Mt Laguna. Find the Mt Laguna Volunteer Fire Station, next to Redtail Roost Rd on the Sunrise Hwy on Google maps. Look just to the right of the station and you'll see a dirt road, Desert View Rd. there is a small white square next to where the roads makes a small loop. It's over 6000 ft, the skies are wide open and you pretty much get the same seeing that the SDSU Observatory gets. As soon as the snow melts and kit warms up a bit, I'm up there. The dirt road is a little rutty so it helps to have a truck.

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to Charlesw For This Useful Post:

    samgray1 (02-20-2013)

  4. #13
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    Default Re: Galaxy Fun at a Newly Found Dark-Sky Observing Site

    Quote Originally Posted by samgray1 View Post
    Thanks. There is a saying: For galaxies the best filter is the gasoline filter; you put gasoline in your car and drive out to a dark-sky site!

    Honestly, since the light from a galaxy has all of the colors in it, you are better off not using a filter. Nebulae only glow in a few of the colors (mostly blue-green), so a filter can really help with them by blocking all the colors that are not coming from the nebula (light pollution) while passing virtually all the light that comes from the nebula. That is the basic concept behind the OIII and UHC filters that I use. They work great on nebulae, but that's about all.

    For galaxies, since most of them are so faint, in order to see them really well (out to the faintest edges, dust lanes, etc.), you have to go to an area where the level of light pollution is lower than the faint light that you want to see. Hope this helps.

    Clear, dark, transparent skies to you, and keep looking up!
    Yes it does, Thanks.
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    Default Re: Galaxy Fun at a Newly Found Dark-Sky Observing Site

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlesw View Post
    I found a very nice spot at the top of Mt Laguna. Find the Mt Laguna Volunteer Fire Station, next to Redtail Roost Rd on the Sunrise Hwy on Google maps. Look just to the right of the station and you'll see a dirt road, Desert View Rd. there is a small white square next to where the roads makes a small loop. It's over 6000 ft, the skies are wide open and you pretty much get the same seeing that the SDSU Observatory gets. As soon as the snow melts and kit warms up a bit, I'm up there. The dirt road is a little rutty so it helps to have a truck.
    That looks like a great place. Thanks for the tip!
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    I'm enjoying learning the sky by star hopping; just charts, my binoculars, and my Dob!

  6. #15
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    Default Re: Galaxy Fun at a Newly Found Dark-Sky Observing Site

    By the way Charles, your spot looks like it would be even better than the SDAA site at TDS... Is it?
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  7. #16
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    Default Re: Galaxy Fun at a Newly Found Dark-Sky Observing Site

    Quote Originally Posted by samgray1 View Post
    That looks like a great place. Thanks for the tip!
    Sam, sorry for the late reply. I'm really new to this so I haven't been to their site. I read on their website that fence lights from the BP were becoming a problem. Laguna has a couple of other advantages. There is excellent cell service at the site and a restaurant just past the fire station. I've also been looking at other roads just past the USAF installation but it's too cold right now. I'm really waiting for May gray to set in so the city lights are cloud covered. Maybe I'll see you up there one day.
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    Default Re: Galaxy Fun at a Newly Found Dark-Sky Observing Site

    Thanks for the info Charles. Much appreciated. Yes, we do get some light from the south and headlights from the border patrol on the local road sometimes, but overall it is pretty good out there. The best part about TDS (in my opinion) is having other amateur astronomers around to learn from, and share views and equipment with.
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  9. #18
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    Default Re: Galaxy Fun at a Newly Found Dark-Sky Observing Site

    Great report! You guys are lucky to live in places where you can get out to dark sky locations and view on your own! Out here I would be looking over my shoulder with firearm at the ready more than in the eyepiece! Hard to find decent spots like yours that are safe and friendly! Thanks for sharing, makes me green with envy!

    Cheers
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