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Thread: Anyone planning stargazing party in Yellowstone?

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    Default Anyone planning stargazing party in Yellowstone?



    I am planning for a vacation there in early August. Will stay in Yell and Grand Teton NP for 7days. I am thinking whether I should bring my tiny Skyscanner with me or just bring 15x70 binoculars.

    Major advantages of stargazing and star party in Yell NP or other NP are lack of light pollution (min to none), pristine air, and high elevation (over 2000m. Probably 6000ft?) However there are some serious problems that make me hesitate to do the stargazing in Yell NP.

    1. Wilderness
    This can be both ally and enemy to stargazers, especially in places like Yellowstone. Grand Canyon should be ok, but in Yellowstone, not only you have tons of bisons, elks (which can be dangerous when you get TOO near), but also wolves and bears. Clearly you wouldn't want to receive a free hug from a grizzly bear behind you when you are on your telescope!

    2. Darkness
    I know this is what I was exactly looking for, but driving back to the lodge in total darkness is challenging. Especially considering you can have wildlife on the road as well.

    3. Calling for help in case of emergency

    To solve these problems, I think the only way is to form as a group, lets say about 5+ people. So I want to know if there are any starparty planned near Yellowstone National Park in August. Otherwise, the only alternative for me is to stay close to my room despite some light pollution.

    Are there any other ideas?
    Telescope: Barska 15x70 binoculars, Orion Skyscanner 100mm
    Eyepiece: 10mm kernel eyepiece, 20mm kernel eyepiece, Celestron 8-24mm zoom eyepiece
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    Default Re: Anyone planning stargazing party in Yellowstone?

    I was up in YP last year and the place was PACKED!!!! I' think crowds may be the biggest problem you face. GT will probably be your best bet for observing. There are plenty of pullouts and campsites where you can set up and be relatively safe (there's no shortage of people or bison). If I remember correctly I had cell service in just about all of both parks too.
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    Default Re: Anyone planning stargazing party in Yellowstone?

    I recall the skies being very dark in Yellowstone, took my 10x50 binos and was amazed at what I could see in the heavens. It was around the time of the new moon. It would be great if you could take a scope too.

    When I was there John Dobson was conducting outreach to campers at the Ystone visitor center, he had three dobs set up.

    Probably the biggest hazard would be other campers with their lights on or having blazing campfires. People have a tendency in the campgrounds to play cards until late in the night or leave the lights on in their RV's.

    There are a number of national forest campgrounds on the edge of the eastern side of the park which offer even darker skies. I stayed at a couple of them when I was there. You do have to watch out for bears there, as I had a bear poking around my campsite at about 3am.
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    Default Re: Anyone planning stargazing party in Yellowstone?

    You guys all say that no.1 problem might be people...well that's better than bears around you in complete dark!
    I am not staying at the campgrounds unfortunately. I am staying at Gardiner for two nights, two at West yellowstone, a night at Grant village and a night at Teton
    Telescope: Barska 15x70 binoculars, Orion Skyscanner 100mm
    Eyepiece: 10mm kernel eyepiece, 20mm kernel eyepiece, Celestron 8-24mm zoom eyepiece
    Filter: UHC filter

 

 

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